The Wayne National Forest reminds the public that Saturday, December 15th is the last day motorized trail riders, mountain bikers, and horseback riders can use its designated trails for the 2012 season. Trails will continue to be open to hikers.
Annually, the Wayne closes its trails to all-terrain vehicle (ATV), horse, and bicycle use from December 16 to April 14, due to concerns winter months bring to southeastern Ohio. With the constant freezing and thawing that occurs during this time of year, the trails can be susceptible to damage (trail erosion, rutting, braiding, etc.) from repeated trail use.
The investment to trail maintenance made earlier in the year could be lost if trails were open for use during the winter period. Additionally, trail maintenance costs could significantly increase because they may have to be maintained more often.
The 241,000 acre Wayne National Forest in southeastern Ohio has over 300 miles of trails on the Forest for hiking, ATV riding, mountain biking, or horseback riding.
Wayne National Forest trail permits may be purchased by anyone wishing to give trail permits as a gift. Gift certificates may be purchased online, or at any Wayne NF office at the value of the trail permit they wish to give (Seasonal: $45, Three-Day: $24, or Daily: $12). Gift certificates are valid for one year from the date of purchase. To purchase online, visit the Forest website (www.fs.usda.gov/wayne) and click on Purchase Trail Permits Online in the right column under Quick Links.
For more information, visit Wayne National Forest Offices (Headquarters and Athens Unit), 740-753-0101, (Marietta Unit) 740-373-9055, or (Ironton Unit) 740-534-6500.