UTVs pass erosion, safety test at Hatfield-McCoy – November 13, 2006

A select number of UTVs will be permanently allowed on the Hatfield-McCoy trail system’s easiest trails, said Jeffery Lusk, the system’s executive director.
The 500-mile trail system in West Virginia had opened up their easiest trails, or Green Trails, to side-by-side vehicles last summer in a 90-day trial period.
After that trial period, Hatfield-McCoy officials said they would look at any possible safety or trail erosion caused by the UTVs, which are wider and often hundreds of pounds heavier than ATVs.
Lusk told Powersports Business that no safety accidents were reported during the three-month trial period and “we saw limited or no impact on the trails.
“We didn’t see any trail widening, which we thought might happen. We also have not seen any additional erosion.”
The trail system’s decision to allow UTVs did not go unnoticed by riders. Although the trail system did not count how many side-by-side vehicles were driven on the trails, they estimate that number from the 90-day trial period to be “hundreds of hundreds of hundreds,” Lusk said. He said over the three-month trial period, 5,000 permits were sold and up to 10 percent of those could be side-by-side riders.
At a recent trail festival, Lusk said he saw between 50-100 UTVs.
The select UTVs that have been given permanent access to the Green Trails, which represent close to 50 percent of the trail system, include the Kawasaki Mule, Suzuki’s QUV, Arctic Cat’s Prowler, Yamaha’s Rhino and Polaris’ Ranger. psb

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