Oneida County continues to lag behind neighboring counties when it comes to ATV trail systems. But more and more municipalities are exploring the option of opening up designated routes along town roads to ATV traffic in order to make it easier for ATV enthusiasts to access other counties' trails.
The town of Three Lakes is the latest municipality to consider such a proposal. The newly formed Three Lakes Nicolet ATV Club recently came to town officials with a request to establish an ATV route within the town that would allow ATV riders to easily hook up to trails in Forest County.
A joint meeting of the Three Lakes town board and plan commission has been scheduled for Jan. 17 to give members of the public an opportunity to provide input on the proposal.
Club president Lisa Kwaterski said it's not all town roads that the club wants open to ATV traffic, just certain routes that would link up to the Forest County trail system. Kwaterski said the club has developed maps and will be working to educate people on the request even prior to the Jan. 17 meeting.
"The main goal is to do this safely and responsibly," Kwaterski said.
She said ATV routes would be clearly marked and state law already has many rules governing ATVs that would also be part of a local town ordinance. For example, the ATV speed limit within 150 feet of a dwelling is 10 mph.
The club is still in its infancy. It was formed in October and has approximately 35 members. That's without soliciting the public yet, Kwaterski noted.
She said the club wants to eventually expand its efforts - perhaps even creating more trail systems locally in Oneida County - but the priority at the moment is establishing some trail routes.
"Routes are a good way to start," Kwaterski said. "It's definitely time (to start improving ATV trail access) with the low snow conditions. This is a year-round activity that's not weather dependent."
Like its weather dependent winter season counterpart - snowmobiling - ATV riding can be a boon to local tourism, but for a longer portion of the year, Kwaterski said. Routes would allow ATV riders to access not just trail systems, but area businesses.
"To connect with Forest County means they can connect to us," Kwaterski said. "I think, especially when people start to see it's good for the town and brings tourism here, people will be more apt (toward agreeing with other ATV proposals).
Kyle Rogers may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Article comment by:
I have a business in Three Lakes and I think it would be great even if we just got a little business out of it. I have friends who have businesses in Three Lakes who want to close up because of no business right now. So I think it would only help everyone in Three Lakes. I'm for it. I don't want to have to close my business. Let's not let Three Lakes die.
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Article comment by:
I have a home on Big Lake since 1979 and enjoy ATVs and horse riding. Opening routes in the Three Lakes area would be very desirable.
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