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.