Confederation Trail damaged, ATVers seek more ways to ride legally

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Confederation Trail damaged, ATVers seek more ways to ride legally

Conservation officers are investigating damage to the Confederation Trail, allegedly caused by ATVs in recent days.

Conservation officers say charges are pending against one individual. They're reminding the public that use of ATVs on the Confederation Trail is against the law.

Damage was discovered in two locations, according to conservation officials, where the trail crosses Clyde Road in Queens County, and a few kilometres away near Hunter River.

Conservation officers said they received a complaint from a local resident this week who reported seeing up to 20 ATVs on the Confederation Trail last weekend, and on local roads. ATVs are not permitted to travel along public roadways.

Conservation officers said they apprehended a lone rider on the trail Wednesday, while investigating the resident's complaint.

'They know themselves it is an illegal act'

The P.E.I. ATV Federation said it's working to keep ATVs off the Confederation Trail, by building more private trails in cooperation with farmers and rural land owners. The federation said ATV riders enjoy the outdoors and support local businesses in rural areas.

"People that are riding the Confederation Trail right now, they know themselves it is an illegal act," said Paul Wilbert, president of the P.E.I. ATV Federation.

"But at the same time … they want to explore the Island and in some cases they're forced to use the Confederation Trail, even though they know it's wrong, to get to that restaurant or that business."

The P.E.I. ATV Federation hopes to establish more legal crossing points for ATVs in the year ahead. Right now, there's only one place in the province where ATVs on the private trail system can legally cross the Confederation Trail.

Conservation officers are on patrol

The federation said it would also like to talk to the province about incorporating select portions of some public roads into the private ATV trail network, mainly along remote or seldom-used sections of dirt roads.

Conservation officers said they will be patrolling the Confederation Trail in coming weeks, in an attempt to crack down on ATVs and other illegal users.

The only motorized vehicles allowed on the trail are snowmobiles, during winter months. All other uses of the trail are prohibited in winter.

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