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Off-Road Vehicle Trail Approved for Garrett County

Department of Natural Resources to Construct Project in Savage River State Forest

Western Maryland Recreational Access and Trail RestorationThe Board of Public Works unanimously approved today the construction of several projects within Savage River State Forest, including the development of the state’s first modern off-road vehicle trail. The trail will include the first-ever campsite designed to support off-highway vehicle riders. Other features will include single-track hare scramble style trail sections, technical trail spurs, internal loops, vehicular pull-offs and in another first – a full size rock crawl area.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, which manages state forests and parks, seeks to open the 6 miles of improved trails late next spring or early summer.

“Improving access to our public lands and resources, and enhancing and promoting outdoor recreation is at the heart of what we do,” said Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton. “Providing an enjoyable and safe area to purse one’s passion in an ecologically-responsible and sustainable manner is in everyone’s interest. We appreciate the patience of the off-road community as we developed this project and look forward to welcoming riders and their families.”

The new St. John’s Rock Road trail, located near the Allegany and Garrett County line, will complement the state’s existing off-road trail system in select areas of Garrett, Potomac and Savage River state forests.

All off-road vehicles must be registered annually with the department and display a current registration sticker, which is available for purchase online, at department service centers or Maryland Forest Service offices. An off-road vehicle is defined as a motorized vehicle designed for or capable of cross-country travel on land, water, snow, ice, marsh, swampland or other natural terrain. This includes a four-wheel drive or low pressure tire vehicle, an automobile, a truck, a motorcycle and related two-wheel vehicles, an amphibious machine, a ground effect or air cushion vehicle, a snowmobile or golf cart.

The Western Maryland Recreational Access and Trail Restoration project is estimated to cost $1.4 million and is set for completion around May or June 2017 (weather dependent). Part of the funding was provided through the Recreational Trail Program, which is administered by the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration.