HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — The state of Maryland says it’s permanently closing three off-road vehicle trails to curb environmental damage.

They are the Green Ridge State Forest trail, the Poplar Lick trail in the Savage River State Forest and the Chandler Trail in the Pocomoke State Forest.

They were closed earlier this spring on a temporary basis.

About 18 miles of state ORV trails remain open.

Natural Resources Secretary John Griffin said Friday that an appointed stakeholders group will help the agency find other riding sites.

The options include buying or leasing private trail sites.

The agency also is considering new trails on state-owned land that is less ecologically sensitive.

Officials say the number of permits sold annually for the 18-mile Green Ridge trail more than quadrupled in the last 20 years.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (27)
  1. williejoe says:

    Good, Those stupid POS are good for nothing except to make adults feel like kids & kids to feel like Cowboys. I personally know of one 21 yr old who died from a broken neck.

    1. Shawn says:

      good comment. Really? so you know one person who rode irresponsibly and that makes ORV’s POS? Stay in school man, you might learn something…

    2. Erick Horning says:

      I personally knew a 21 yo that got killed while drive his car. By your logic I guess we should outlaw driving cars on the road.

      But you are right. Instead of these kids out riding dirtbikes with their parents maybe they should be on the streets doing drugs while their parents stay home drink beer while watching TV right?

  2. excopterjockey says:

    Why should taxpayers provide a place to ride these vehicles? Seriously if you can’t afford to buy yourself a piece of land big enough to ride your ATV on then you really can’t afford to have one in the first place.

    1. craig says:

      Gee paw what we gona do. How we going to get to the market

    2. Erick Horning says:

      Tax payers had nothing to do with it. Thousands of people paid $15 each for a permit to ride. Many of these same people would have been willing to pay as much as $50 for a permit. The government was and could have made a profit on this rather than now having to use tax payer money to enforce this new no ride rule,.

    3. RiderGirl says:

      Do you even know how much a dirt bike or ATV costs?! They are very affordable. So someone that isn’t RICH can certainly afford to buy one. Try it one time…you might actually have fun. I’m not a freakin millionaire, I can’t afford 40 acres of land in MD. I have 4 acres but that’s NOT big enough! This trail is AWESOME! like I said…try it sometime:-)

    4. Jay says:

      ExCopterjockey, I’m a a tax payer just like you. I feel just as entitled to ride my quad on state land as much as anyone else can walk or hike or walk their dog or ride their horse on. What these clowns in our government didn’t bother to tell anyone, is it’s nothing to do with off road vehicles, they don’t care! They are closing down GRF to get the timber and sell it. So when the tree huggers hear about this, it won’t sit to well. Our state will make more money out of the timber to build more construction and destroy more of the eco system then ATV’s and dirt bikes could ever do. Try walking in the woods around these guys while they are logging. Litter, gas & oil cans all over the ground. If your in the group of people that can’t stand the thought of this happening, email your State Rep and elected officials. This is just the government taking more of our freedom away and some just don’t get it.

  3. Doug says:

    Yes,these are fun to drive,but are typically very noisy,
    and really tare up trails in a hurry.
    I’ve nearly been run over by idiot drivers on trails.
    Buy your own 150 acre woodlands and enjoy.
    ATV’s are ruining our wonderful parks.

    1. kb7274 says:

      sure we should make it all about you… no one else has a right to enjoy our parks in any way other than what you seem to see fit. Shame on them.. who are they to think they have the right to breath your air.

    2. Jay says:

      Yeah, great idea…Let’s get rid of all the horses and dogs too. They certainly make a mess on the trail! This was the last place in MD to ride any ORV’s. Now that they shut it down I’m sure this will stop all the riders from riding. Take all the good pass members off and what do you have. The guys in Annapolis that comes up with these ideas must really need some fresh air.

    3. BZ says:

      Doug, just wait to see what the trails at Green Ridge Forest looks like after they start logging. DNR is not shutting down the trails because of the damage that ATV’s and dirt bikes cause, they are shutting them down and will be logging. They will make more money selling the timber then they would by selling permits. Now let’s see what the tree hungers will say about that. Guess that wasn’t mentioned. The closing of these trails will not stop the illegal riders that never bought permits in the first place. They will still be riding. Now DNR will have to beef up patrols on your dime and be out chasing kids on ATV’s and Dirt Bike’s.

  4. mike says:

    Let’s not boating, biking, hiking ,horseback riding and bird watching on publicly owned land either if that the stance some want to take against atv usage.

    1. Jed says:

      Don’t forget all those permit paying Hunters that kill the poor defenseless deer who destroy the land. lol

  5. shirley says:

    well u know some people like to ride. and we pay to go to Green Ridge. we like to Camp and ride atv. just because some people dont like it other people do. and for u people that dont like it so what we might not like the stuff that u do. for the 3 people that are happy that they closed the parks DO U ALL LIKE UR SELFS. u all sound like very unhappy people. can u 3 go get a life. u all do know life is to short to be unhappy. and a smile will not crack ur face . have a great day u 3 guys

  6. shirley says:

    boy Willie, Exco and Doug do u guys like to have fun or are u 3 very unhappy guys. Thank u Mike if they stop this then they need to stop every thing. My family loves doing the Camping , Boating, and we love the out doors. just because some people are fools dont mean other people cant have fun.

  7. Dan says:

    Thank you Shirley,

    And look everyone, these recreational vehicles can be quiet and ridden responsibly. But some people tend to not care about their actions. My family rides, and we enjoy the atv’s a lot.

  8. Frank says:

    Poplar lick was a place were most of us would take are trucks or jeeps and pack a tent and just go camping. ATV’s were few and far between. Yea atv’s do damage, but so do horses. Most of the people who don’t like atv’s using parks don’t even go there. Boats dump tons of polutants in the water son lets pull them outta our parks too and be even across the boards

  9. ed says:

    I like how the people in support of ATV use don’t know how to spell, that pretty much says it all.

    1. Judith says:

      You’re using a comma where it doesn’t belong, actually. I guess that says it all about you, too.

  10. tadmi says:

    All of you need to chill out. I am a 47 year old mother and nothing makes me happier then to ride along side my son and husband. Yes we do the normal things like camping, fishing, bike riding. My son gets a kick out of it to see use all ride together and mom get stuck in the mud or something silly. God forbid some of you are afraid to get your shoes a little dirty. Life is too short, live it and stop complaining about those of us who enjoy life and have fun with our kids. Get over it and if you cannot then leave use alone. The last I checked this is a free country. In regard to your friend, my heart goes out. You must buy the saftey gear and ride like you have sense. Enjoy life it is too short.

  11. tylerjake says:

    Another move taking away rights from the nanny state or “People’s Republic of Maryland” under the guise of “It’s dangerous!”

  12. Erick Horning says:

    What you people are not taking into account is that now instead of the state making money of these trails now they will have to spend money to enforce this new no ride rule.

    Those ATV riders kept the trials open. Give it 2 years and those trails will be grown closed to the point they wont be traversable. Lets see how much damage is done to the forest while it is burning down because the fire department cant get access to the fire areas they normally would be able to if ATV riders kept the trails passable.

    You people cheer when a small portion of the populations rites is taken away. Lets see if you cheer when something you like to do is taken away from you in the future.

    1. BZ says:

      I agree with that completely Eric. Whoever comes up with these decisions must have had a lousy childhood and never got out in the country. My recommendation would be write and email your congressman and senator. This decision will hurt Western Maryland financially by sending the riders out of state. The culprits that caused the shutdown will continue to ride wherever they want. Great decision DNR! Thanks again!

  13. ATV Rider says:

    Now we have to ride practically to Tennessee, 9 hours to go riging in WV:( It sucks. We can’t have just a weekend trip anymore. I learned to ride at Green Ridge and this breaks my heart that it’s closing. The overlooks on the ORV trail are beautiful! Does this mean we won’t be able to access them anymore? I’m so sad. Why are they doing this:-( I’m in school full time and don’t get breaks. So Green Ridge was perfect to go for the weekend when ever I got the chance. Now I NEVER get to go riding becasue we have to make a 4-5 day event out of it. I’m heart broken:( I love Green Ridge. Please let us ride:) PLEASE! My father took me & my brother to Green Ridge as a child and we have the best memories. I’m only 21 and don’t have kids yet but I’ve allways dreamed of taking my children there to learn to ride. It’s very depressing, these people just don’t understand. And DO NOT undermind us as ATV riders saying that we are illiterate. I have college education and i’m working on my maters so I find that extremely INSULTING! Rednecks and hicks arn’t the only one’s who go riding:) I was very offended by that statement. Thanks for reading.

  14. Adam B. says:

    I hope all you stupid ass tree huggers die. Go for a hike with a meat-suit and get eaten by a bear you pricks.

    There’s my opinion.

  15. Tom P. says:

    In states with functional off-road policy, it goes like this. The state will charge a certain amount per year for use of trails in the form of ORV registration, and in return allows some substantial amount of trails (more in the realm of 1000 miles, rather than 20.) The ORV industry in that state does well, because your average Joe who can afford $2grand for a decent bike doesn’t need to spend $500k to buy land to buzz around on.. (for a majority that ride, buzzing around in the same circle really isn’t the point anyways) Conservation clubs & off-road clubs spontaneously form because of the few riders that realize that trails don’t build themselves. Said groups _volunteer_ to fix up trails on both statelands and on private lands that give permission for ORVs to ride, and the state lets them. Due to the large number of miles of trails, there isn’t a hundred bikes zipping by every hour.
    Bottom line:
    Trails will degenerate into nothing if people don’t use them.
    ORV owners as a whole _more_than_compensate_ for the environmental impact and the cost of keeping trails open.
    Maryland has already said ‘no’ to ORVs. 20 miles of trail is nothing more than lip service to ORV businesses, and so is the “appointed stakeholders group”.
    Dirt bikes are already illegal in some counties.

    MD should quit the charade, the taxpayers’ decision has been made for them.

    And might I forward the notion that it may be possible that the logging company and the DNR have trolls at work on this comment page?

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