All terrain vehicles will be allowed for the first time in Wisconsin's largest state forest.
The state Natural Resources Board voted 7-0 Wednesday to designate up to 205 miles of trails for A-T-V and ultra terrain vehicle use in the Northern Highland/American Legion State Forest in the Northwoods. It was part of an overall recreation plan that includes more biking and off road motorcycle trails, plus more modern camping areas.
Supporters say A-T-Vs and U-T-Vs continue to be more popular, and many communities at the forest now allow them on roads -- but some who like "silent sports" such as biking and hiking don't want the noise. Among other changes are four rustic to modern campsites, two campsites designated as quiet sites, add two group campsites, add water access sites among other changes.
The DNR's Ben Bergey says additions were made to non-motorized activities as well...
"....this plan proposes to increase biking trails by 130 miles. Biking just doesn't mean 'biking'. We have several different types of trails, from fat bike trails to paved trails to constructed mountain bike trails. Hiking trails increased by five miles as well. Cross country skiing and snowshoeing, this plan doesn't make any changes to those activities. They are both occurring on the property and no changes to horseback riding trails. Again, from the comments we received from the public."
A D-N-R spokesman says the Northern Highland forest will not get A-T-V usage until next spring, and the trail openings would be gradual.