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  • Writer's pictureJeff Moffett

Developing successful OHV terrain parks and trail systems

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

Off-highway vehicles and trail bikes are consistently popular activities across the country.

With the ability to travel steep and rugged terrain, OHV rides are a popular form of outdoor adventure. The very same attributes that make the OHV experience so thrilling have the potential to exacerbate land use conflicts, cause avoidable environmental damage and put riders in dangerous situations. Adaptive management of OHV trail systems and the development of OHV parks are increasingly effective approaches to enhancing OHV recreational experiences while minimizing unwanted impacts.

Popular recreation

From family picnics to 1,000-mile enduro races, OHVs cater to a variety of passions. These vehicles provide access to panoramic vistas, hunting, rockhounding, bird watching, and fishing. Racing and other competitive events are widespread.

Management challenges

Without improved access to designated OHV riding areas, riders may trespass either intentionally or unintentionally. At certain times of the year, riding through sensitive wildlife habitats can harm breeding. Litter and the potential for increased fire risk are other hazards. For the riders, going off-road without a designated trail system occasionally ends up as an unplanned night in the woods or desert.

Benefits of developing parks

Developing OHV parks provides many benefits. Users have higher quality riding experiences, land managers confront fewer conflicts, local economic activity increases, and park fees and grants can often cover infrastructure and operating expenses.

Organizations such as CORVA and D36 are committed to supporting land managers who are developing and managing off-highway vehicular access and recreation opportunities. Rider associations play an important education role and promote clean-up and trail maintenance projects.

Land managers and recreation planners must adapt to a more competitive and always changing marketplace. Hybridization and electrification are recent examples.

OHV Partners

OHV Partners is uniquely qualified to support the planning and development of OHV trail systems and riding areas. Not only does our team have extensive experience in environment/site location, market analysis, economic feasibility, but we also have experience specifically within the off-highway vehicle industry. We have a proven record of success in the following areas:

  • Strategic planning to ensure long-term sustainability and financial success

  • Conducting market feasibility and data-driven marketing plans based on consumer research

  • Location citing and identification of optimal terrain to maximize consumer demand

  • Mitigating environmental impacts and developing resource conservation plans

  • Assembling stakeholders and building multi-agency consensus and public-private partnerships

  • Creating funding models for planning operating scenarios and business analysis, and

  • Quantifying economic impacts

Visit to meet the team and learn more.

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