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.

Governor Larry Hogan Announces Maryland Outdoor Recreational Economic Commission

October 14, 2017
Will Strengthen the Outdoor Recreation Industry, Boost Rural Maryland Economy

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced Executive Order 01.01.2017.24 establishing the Maryland Outdoor Recreational Economic Commission (MORE). This commission will be responsible for developing strategies and making recommendations to the governor to strengthen the state’s outdoor recreation industry and help ensure increased investment in our state’s outdoor recreation resources.

“Maryland is abundant with natural, cultural, historical, and recreational resources that contribute significantly to our economy and quality of life,” said Governor Hogan. “This commission will help ensure that our state’s natural heritage is strengthened, bringing new businesses, increased tourism, and ultimately preserving our resources for future generations.”

The outdoor recreation economy in Maryland already generates 109,000 direct jobs, $14 billion in consumer spending, $4.4 billion in wages and salaries, and $951 million in state and local tax revenue. Investment in outdoor recreation and nature and heritage tourism economies support many outdoor activities in Maryland, including hiking, biking, horse-back riding, paddling, boating, fishing, hunting, camping, swimming, wildlife-viewing, and visiting historic sites.

As part of their work, the commission will develop innovative strategies to market Maryland’s unique outdoor and heritage recreation brand, as well as recommend initiatives to grow and attract new companies. Additionally, the commission will explore ways to retain and support Maryland’s existing outdoor recreation businesses.

The commission will be co-chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources Mark Belton and the Secretary of the Department of Commerce Mike Gill and comprised of seventeen members appointed by the co-chairs with the approval of the governor. Members will include representatives of companies within Maryland’s outdoor recreation manufacturing and retail industry; representatives of companies representing small business outdoor or heritage recreation service providers; nonprofit organizations; representatives of gateway cities, towns, or communities; and legislative members.

The commission will provide a final report to the gove

see http://governor.maryland.gov/2017/10/14/governor-larry-hogan-announces-maryland-outdoor-recreational-economic-commission/

Paul Peditto on the St John’s Rock ORV Trail

Maryland OHV Alliance promotes safe, sustainable off road recreation in Maryland. The Alliance worked with the Dept of Natural Resources along with other State agencies and officials to open the first of its kind ORV Park in Maryland. Paul Peditto offers insight.

Please take advantage of the new riding opportunities at the St. John’s Rock ORV facility. Get the details here:
http://dnr.maryland.gov/forests/Pages/orv/home.aspx