Motorized trails set to open for the season in the Northumberland County Forest

Motorized trails in the Northumberland County Forest will open for the season as of May 15, 2021. The off-road recreational trail system in the County Forest includes over 50 km of forest roads, double-track and single-track trails for ATV and off-road motorcycle enthusiasts to enjoy. Motorized users must be members of designated provincial associations, the local branches of which include the Northumberland District ATV (NDATV) club and the Northumberland Trail Riders (NTR) Association, with whom the County has annual agreements.

“We are pleased to once again be working with the local associations to ensure their members are able to access the trails and enjoy this seasonal activity,” states Warden Bob Crate. “The County Forest is an important shared community asset, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic when outdoor recreational space is so vital to health and well-being. As an ongoing precaution to protect visitor and staff health and safety, washroom facilities in the Forest remain closed at this time. We also ask that everyone please practice physical distancing when exploring forest trails, stay home if you are feeling ill, and comply with prevailing provincial orders regarding outdoor gatherings. During the current provincial shutdown, this means visiting the trails only with members of your own household, or – if you live alone – with one other household. As we continue to navigate through the pandemic, we want to ensure that residents visiting the Forest have a safe and enjoyable experience.”

“Northumberland County, including County Forest staff, is an important partner with the Northumberland & District ATV (NDATV) club,” states club President Mike Ainsworth. “Signing the agreement this year was the first step in that partnership. The Northumberland County Forest is the heart of our 340 km trail network. Being a partner with Northumberland County is a priority to us as we value our municipalities and County with respect to bringing ATV riding in Northumberland County under control with a trail system that we all can enjoy. Please respect all COVID-related rules while out on the trails and always ride safely and responsibly.”

“The Northumberland Trails Riders (NTR) are excited about the upcoming riding season and our partnership with Northumberland County for use of County Forest trails,” states NTR President Ron Johnson. “Off-road riding is a wonderful family activity. We are fortunate to have this opportunity in our own community during these challenging times. We remind our riders that it is their personal responsibility to stay current and in full compliance with the Ontario health protocol regulations in relationship to riding. Riding within the County Forest is a privilege so please be courteous to other Forest users and ride responsibly.”

Riders visiting the Northumberland County Forest must be plated, insured, and comply with all applicable provincial and municipal laws such as the Off-Road Vehicles Act. By-law officers and the OPP continue with patrols of the Forest to enforce measures designed to protect the safety of visitors and habitats. For information including trail maps, membership with partner organizations, and trail rules and etiquette, riders are encouraged to download the County’s Motorized Trail Brochure, available at Northumberland.ca/Trails.

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