2nd Wolf Den Run State Park open house

The second Wolf Den Run State Park open house, held on January, 26th 2019 at the Greenbrier State Park Headquarters, was just as successful as the previous one.  As we expected, OHV enthusiasts turned out in force and there was standing room only. DNR reviewed the the current status and proposed way forward with a master park plan. DNR remains committed to opening the Park as soon as possible using existing trails however, the access bridge still remains a major issue. They are currently looking at various options to access the property in the absence of a permanent bridge.

Standing room only! Great turnout by OHV enthusiasts.

To all of those who have attended these open houses and responded to the online survey, THANK YOU! The State now more fully understands how strong of a force our community can be. They are listening to our survey responses and understand our desire to have the park opened as soon as possible, and to do so with camping!

James Ratino Named President of MDOHVA

Organization’s new leader looks forward to expanding off-road riding opportunities in Maryland.

The Maryland Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance, Inc. (MDOHVA) is pleased to announce that James Ratino has been named president of the organization
effective January 1st, 2019. A board member for the past year, James is an experienced and effective advocate for motorized recreation of all kinds in Maryland. He has been riding dirt bikes with family and friends since age 10, has raced in many hare scrambles, and is a long-time member of a local motocross club.

“James has a strong drive to advocate for all enthusiasts of off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation, including those who enjoy riding on ATV trails, technical single-track motorcycle trails, full-size 4×4 rock crawls, and motocross tracks,” said Ken Kyler, organization president. 

James is a graduate of Frostburg State University, with a degree in Physics and Engineering, and brings to the post of MDOHVA president many years of experience in commercial construction management. Over the years, he has hosted rides on his family’s private property in western Maryland that were open to dirt bikes, ATVs, multi-passenger side-by-sides, and full-size 4×4 vehicles.

The Maryland OHV Alliance, Inc. is a state-wide body of OHV recreation enthusiasts. It advocates for responsible OHV recreation and resource protection by working in partnership with private and public land managers and recreation planners; provides and promotes best management practices for OHV recreation planning, development and management to policy makers; promotes a positive OHV recreation image to all publics; and emphasizes the benefits of responsible recreation behavior and raise awareness of the impacts from irresponsible recreation activity.

Since its founding, the MDOHVA has been successful at advocating for ORV recreation resulting in the MD DNR building the St. John’s ORV Trail and Campground in the Savage River State Forest, and more recently supporting DNR’s acquisition of land for the Wolf Den State Park near Kitzmiller which will be the State’s first ORV State Park.

Wolf Den Run State Park Open House – January 26, 2019

UPDATE: The second Wolf Den Run State Park open house is scheduled for January, 26th 2019 from 10am-12pm at the Greenbrier State Park Headquarters, 21843 National Pike, Boonsboro, MD 21713

Previously the Maryland Park Service hosted an open house on, October 20, 2018, in Kitzmiller, MD. Similar to the first open house, staff will be available to answer questions regarding the property and provide stations to solicit feedback/comments on topics such as trails, hunting, infrastructure, amenities, operations and camping.

Before coming to the open house, visitors should review a consultant’s assessment of the existing Wolf Den Run trail network and/or take a DNR OHV Users survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PXGGVPF

Further reading at http://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/western/Wolf-Den-Run.aspx

Wolf Den Run State Park — First Look!

A limited group of local residents and MDOHVA members were invited to a workday and preview of the new Wolf Den State Park.  Here’s a few pictures.  Be sure to come to the Open House October 20th and please read the trail assessment first.

A huge thanks to Andrew Taylor, CORE 4×4 President, for the following video.

OHV TRAIL SYSTEM ASSESSMENT

The MDOHVA, using grants from Polaris Industries and the Maryland DNR, contracted with Applied Trails Research to conduct an initial assessment of the new Wolf Den Run State Park for OHV use.  This report is a lead-in to the formal planning process.

I’ll share a few highlights.

Wolf Den Run State Park is a new addition to the Maryland State Park system. The Park is comprised of three parcels (referred to as Parcels A – C and shown on the Inventory Maps at the end of the report). In total, the Wolf Den Run State Park property includes more than 66 miles of OHV routes that were collected by GPS during a three-day assessment of the property in May, 2018. The purpose of the project was to 1) develop a general trail inventory, 2) assess the existing conditions and potential sustainability of the trail system on these new State-owned parcels, and 3) provide baseline recommendations on moving forward with the formal development of the properties into a desirable outdoor recreation destination.

The entire report is at the link below.  The conclusion is

Wolf Den Run State Park can be an important State Park and desirable outdoor recreation destination. Given the industrial land use history and informal but relatively heavy OHV recreation use, this redevelopment process could be viewed through the lens of a recreation-focused environmental restoration. Runoff could be managed on many of the existing routes to mitigate potential sedimentation impacts, perennial streams could be better protected by improved crossings at all culverts and bridges, and redundant routes could be closed and restored to improve navigability. A number of local challenges will need to be overcome, including trespass, camping/hunting, and historic “ownership”, but if completed diligently, the Park could receive broad community support around the region.

Click here to download the report: Wolf Den Run OHV Assessment

Kitzmiller Update

Dangerous bridge

Accident waiting to happen

The MDOHVA is closely following the status of the new Wolf Den State Park (in Kitzmiller). We recently met with Maryland Department of Natural Resources staff who reaffirmed their promise to open the park as early as possible. DNR is currently reviewing a feasibility study of the existing trails on the property to determine which trails could be opened to the public before a formal Park opening. One of the biggest obstacles that DNR faces are unsafe bridges on the property, specifically the bridge at the end of Shallmar Rd that users must cross in order to get to trail head parking. DNR is currently investigating options to expedite the repair of the existing bridgees, or use of a temporary bridge, to provide safe access. DNR is making good progress and the MDOHVA is actively involved. Thank you for your patience and support!

Updated: Below are pictures of the bridge at the end of Shallmar Road.  This is the main access route.  Below that are pictures of the bridge at Parcel B.

Here are pictures of the bridge at Parcel B:

Off–Highway Recreational Vehicle Trail Fund Legislation Passed!

On 15 May 2018, Governor Hogan signed Senate Bill 606 which was introduced by Senator Edwards at the request of the Maryland Motorcycle Dealers Association (MMDA) and the Maryland Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance (MDOHVA). It creates, within DNR, an Off–Highway Recreational Vehicle Trail Fund and transfers roughly $750,000 per year from the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) to the trail fund. Further, it fences those funds so that they can only be used for ORV trails! Those funds come from the Title Tax we all pay when any ATV, SxS, dirt bike, etc are purchased within Maryland. The MMDA has been working for over a decade to get that money transferred to DNR where it belongs. Until now, those funds were used to maintain highways!  The MDOHVA is proud to have been able to assist in this.

This is HUGE! A common problem in getting trails built on public lands is the lack of funds to build and maintain them. With this legislation, the funding issue has disappeared. This was a great day for all ORV enthusiasts.

Assisting DNR On New State-Acquired Property

Trail inventory is first step to creating
new recreational opportunities in western Maryland

Frederick, MD — April 10, 2018 — The Maryland Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance, Inc. (MDOHVA), in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), completed the first phase of an assessment of property purchased by the DNR in western Maryland for a new State Park.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has acquired approximately 2,009 acres in Garrett County, near the town of Kitzmiller. The property will potentially provide a wide range of recreational opportunities, including hiking, biking, camping and trail riding with off-road vehicles (ORVs). Two of the three parcels purchased are adjacent to the Potomac State Forest.

MDOHVA contracted with Applied Trails Research to do an assessment of the existing trails on the property, funded with grants from Polaris Industries, Rugged Ridge and DNR. The initial assessment is complete and the next phase is to analyze the data, create the inventory and final report.  The trail inventory will include GIS data and annotated maps, helping DNR create a strategic management plan for the property, including public access and trails that potentially could be opened in 2018. As this project moves forward, there will be opportunities for public comment and involvement throughout the planning process.

ORV Trails developed on the acquired property would add to the trail-riding opportunities now available in western Maryland. MDOHVA was instrumental in designing, building and signing the new St. John’s Rock ORV trail, located in the Savage River State forest. The  ribbon-cutting ceremony for that trail was held last July. “It was exciting and inspiring to see trail-riding enthusiasts, representatives of the Maryland DNR, and elected officials all celebrating the State’s new ORV opportunity,” said Ken Kyler, President of the MDOHVA. “Like St. John’s Rock, trails at this new State Park would be professionally designed to be fun and sustainable, both economically and environmentally.”

Applied Trails Research is a full-service outdoor recreation firm that specializes in sustainable trail development, and a member of the Professional Trail Builders Association. The Maryland OHV Alliance, Inc. is a State-wide body of off-highway vehicle recreation enthusiasts. It develops and provides a wide spectrum of programs, materials and information, or “tools,” to individuals, OHV clubs, associations and agencies in order to further a positive future for responsible OHV recreation.  For more information go to http://mdohvalliance.org/ or email info@mdohvalliance.org.

Daryl Anthony Joins Board Of Maryland OHV Alliance

For Immediate Release

For information, contact:
Ken Kyler, Maryland OHV Alliance
phone: 240-601-5705
email: President@MDOHVAlliance.org

Daryl Anthony Joins Board
Of Maryland OHV Alliance, Inc.

Anthony brings 35 years of public service to the organization as it expands trail riding opportunities in Maryland 

Frederick, MD — February 15, 2018 — The Maryland Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance, Inc. (MDOHVA) is pleased to announce that Daryl Anthony has joined its board of directors. Daryl recently retired from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, where he served as Assistant Secretary of Land Resources.

“Daryl has been instrumental in bringing new opportunities for off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation to Maryland and is a strong supporter of the Maryland OHV Alliance. We’re excited to have him join our 9-member board as we continue to expand trail-riding opportunities in the State,” said Ken Kyler, organization president.

Anthony served as Assistant Secretary of Land Resources, starting that role in July of 2015. He first joined the department in 1983, as a contractual seasonal ranger at Patapsco Valley State Park, while earning his Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Park Management at Frostburg State University. In 1995, he was promoted within the park service from sergeant and assistant park manager, and in 1999 to captain and southern region manager, and later served as regional manager in the central and western regions.

Daryl is an avid outdoorsman. He spends much of his free time mountain biking, camping, hiking, fishing, kayaking, and most importantly exploring off-road trails throughout the country in his Jeep with his family and friends.

The Maryland OHV Alliance, Inc. is a State-wide body of off-highway vehicle recreation enthusiasts. It develops and provides a wide spectrum of programs, materials and information, or “tools,” to individuals, OHV clubs, associations and agencies in order to further a positive future for responsible OHV recreation.  For more information go to http://mdohvalliance.org/ or email info@mdohvalliance.org.