HARRISBURG – ATV enthusiasts will have more and better opportunities to ride across the Northern Tier with the July 16 opening of an ATV Regional Connector Pilot area, say a group of lawmakers who have been heavily involved in the project.
Reps. Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter) and Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter), as well as Sen. Cris Dush (R-25), advocated for the law passed last summer to create the pilot project and have met with state officials several times to help bring the project to fruition.
“This is a great day for ATV riders across our area,” Causer said. “Our region has so much potential for ATV riding, but the lack of connectors between existing routes has significantly limited access and usability of our system for so many riders. This initiative will make a big difference and open up so many more opportunities.”
“This is simply outstanding news for ATV riders across the Northern Tier,” he said. “DCNR has been working to establish ATV opportunities, and the pilot program gives us the chance build on that and to demonstrate how we can safely open up limited portions of our state forest lands to provide long-distance riding opportunities. We appreciate the partnership with our local officials and look forward to continuing to support them as well through this project.”
According to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) announcement, the pilot area, which is primarily in Potter and Tioga counties, will open for use on July 16, and will remain open until Sunday, Sept. 26. The pilot program will also be reopened on the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend in 2022 to coincide with the full DCNR trail summer riding season and incorporate a planned connection to the Tiadaghton State Forest and the Haneyville ATV Trail System in Lycoming and Clinton counties.
“With this pilot project, we finally have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of states like Maine, New Hampshire and West Virginia, which have really opened up some great rides for their ATV enthusiasts,” Dush said. “And this project won’t just benefit the riders themselves but the local economies of rural communities as well. The possibilities are endless!”
According to DCNR, ATV riders will need to purchase a Regional ATV Connector Pass permit to use the designated PennDOT and state forest ATV connector roads, the cost of which will serve to offset implementation and management of the program. Permits for the remainder of the 2021 season will cost $20 for Pennsylvania registered ATVs and $30 for non-Pennsylvania registered ATVs. Full 2022 season permits will cost $40 for Pennsylvania registered ATVs and $60 for non-Pennsylvania registered ATVs.
Permits will be available for in-person sales only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays at Tiadaghton, Susquehannock or Tioga State Forest district offices beginning this Wednesday, June 30. Permit applications also will be accepted by mail beginning the same date by sending a properly completed permit application form available on DCNR’s at DCNR.pa.gov
Though the pilot areas will be marked, riders will be expected to familiarize themselves with the portions of road and trail that are open to ensure they are operating in the legal areas. The official pilot area map is available at maps.dcnr.pa.gov/geopdf/atvpilot/
The pilot project was authorized by Act 114 of 2020
and called on DCNR to evaluate department forest districts, including Elk, Moshannon, Sproul, Susquehannock and Tioga, for roads and trails to serve as potential regional connectors and to provide local access or serve as a trail complex for ATV use.
Representative Martin Causer
67th Legislative District
Representative Clint Owlett
68th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia Hippler 717-772-9846