West Virginia Poised to Ban New Off-Road Trails in State Parks and Forests

Ban stems from concern over irresponsible riding damaging state park visits.

West Virginia is poised to ban the establishment of new off-road trails within state parks and state forests.Camden Thrasher

The West Virginia state senate has passed a bill that would ban establishing off-road parks and trail systems within state forests, according to the Williamson (West Virginia) Daily News. The bill is now headed to the desk of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. The bill protects and makes permanent the existing trail system within the Cabwaylingo State Forest.

According to the Daily News, the ban came from a state delegate who was worried that irresponsible riding within state forests could negatively affect the number of visitors to state forests. While the bill will ban dedicated trail systems within the state forests, it will allow trails from private trail systems to connect to amenities and facilities in state forests and parks.

The plan to ban riding in state forests drew consternation from towns and cities that want to leverage increased tourism for off-roading to bolster their economies. That controversy largely led to the amendment to make the Cabwaylingo trails permanent, and the measure that allows connector trails.

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