Trail Maintenance Made Easier

It is very likely you will come across KATVA’s new Trail Maintenance and Safety Vehicle, especially if your adventure takes you to the Five Points trail system. Our UTV was purchased earlier this year with sponsor support from both Yamaha and McGregor Sportsline. This multi-purpose vehicle has been generously equipped for trail maintenance and safety tasks.

Our Trail Maintenance Leads, Ron Genereaux and Gary Von Roden, routinely respond to maintenance priorities. When called upon, they now deploy the UTV. Depending on trail conditions, the trail maintenance crew can be on site in places like Five Points for several days in a row. Both for time saving and safety, it had to be well appointed for known or unexpected maintenance tasks. Further, ensuring the vehicle was equipped with safety gear provides peace of mind for the maintenance crew. It also enables them to assist riders requiring some attention for themselves or their ride, should that need arise.

Trail maintenance equipment carried by the vehicle includes: a chainsaw, a pole saw, a long handled brush cutter, and accessories. Safety equipment includes: a heavy-duty winch, a tire repair kit, a first aid kit, a tree belt, towropes, and more. The long handled bush cutter was instrumental in clearing the massive number of wild blackberry bushes and thorny stems from encroaching on trails. A lot of trees fell on trails this year due to high winds and wash outs. The trail maintenance crew was able to clear trails for riders. That will continue to be a focus for the crew next year too.

Trail maintenance is ongoing and expensive. It requires the right equipment, dedicated volunteers and cooperation with other parties. During 2014, two major bridges were replaced – one in conjunction with the Buckhorn District Snowmobile Club. The crew worked on the bridge for three long days. Another bridge was rebuilt in conjunction with the Twin Mountains Snowmobile Club. The UTV was instrumental in getting the tools and people to bridge sites – particularly where everything had to be ATV’d in.

The trail maintenance crew looks out for riders in need of help. Numerous flat tires have been repaired with assistance from the crew, enabling riders to continue their journey and carry on having fun. Mechanical help has been provided to disabled ATVs. Where possible, stranded ATVs are repaired on-site and driven out by their owners. Several rides have been towed out to the closest road access, while riders themselves were transported back to their vehicles. The latter service to stranded riders ensures they can get their ATV and make their way home.

The UTV is well marked and decaled. It’s easily recognizable and a positive addition for KATVA. If you see the Trail Maintenance Crew and UTV, you are welcome to stop to talk or even offer a hand.