OHVs and WATVs - Go For a Ride
I had the opportunity in June to attend a WATV Travel & Tourism meeting in Cle Elum and get an appreciation for how important motorized trails and trail access are to the recreation community in Washington State. One focus of the meeting was on leveraging roads that have been opened to WATVs through the state’s new WATV ordinance to create cross-state travel routes that would provide new opportunities for the ATV community while also promoting tourism and helping to support the economy of our rural communities. One thing I found particularly exciting was how motorized access can make the outdoors available to people with physical disabilities that would make it impossible for them to get outdoors strictly under their own power. I was also excited to see the energy and enthusiasm of the groups that participated in the meeting.
Washington Hometown is working to improve our mapping of trails open to motorized uses and also to add in the county roads open to WATVs to our recreation maps. We have currently incorporated roads open to WATVs in 12 counties to our data set and will be adding WATV accessible roads in the 12 remaining counties that we know have WATV ordinances, as well as any city roads that have been opened to WATVs.
In addition to incorporating WATV routes, with the help of one of the WDNR mapping specialists, we have just added a number of WDNR trails open to the motorized recreation. As of this moment, our data includes 1,729 miles of trails open to motorized use and 2,977 miles of roads open to WATVs, as well as the WDNR Green Dot Roads in Kittitas and Yakima Counties.
We have just updated our OHV web map and will be converting to a new format later this summer that will allow you to filter for specific uses. If there is enough interest in the OHV community, we hope to have an app available later this year for both iOS and Android. As we work to develop the web maps, we need help from the OHV community to identify any trails or trail systems we might be missing, help improve the information about the trails we currently map, and also help us understand what other types of recreation you are interested in for when you go out for a ride.