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River Valley Outdoors
Roxbury ATV Club volunteers and Hope Association members line up for some scenic trail riding in the River Valley. (William Clunie Photo)
Roxbury ATV Club
Usually, ATV clubs are noted as a place where people get together because they love riding all terrain vehicles (ATV).
Roxbury’s ATV club goes one step further. Go to their website, roxburyatvridersclub.com, and find out about all the activities they have planned for September, as well as the rest of the riding season.
One event that struck me as taking an ATV club one step further was the Hope Association Ride the club sponsored on Aug. 18. My wife and I, and several club members, joined in taking lucky Hope Association participants on an awesome ride through some of their fantastic trails. The joy of ATV riding was clearly evident in the laughter and smiles during the ride, from the participants as well as the volunteers.
After the ride, everyone was treated to a tasty cookout at the club headquarters on Route 120. Tables, tents, and chairs were provided by sponsors, as well as the food. Events like this really show how dedicated this club is to providing those with challenges a chance at enjoying the beauty of the River Valley.
Along with organizing events like this, the club has also collected $6,000 in donations from sponsors to give to the Make-A-Wish Foundation this year. The Roxbury ATV Club is on the move, making huge advancements in helping the less fortunate in this community. Other ATV clubs are following a similar path – joining a local ATV club is an excellent way to support these fine programs.
ATV club members that share their time and money in this manner will surely get more out of their efforts than a simple trail ride. There is a great joy and satisfaction that comes from volunteering during these events.
The fellow that rode with me on the ATV ride had a great time, and never stopped smiling at the wonders along the trail. Everyone involved agreed, with most making similar comments like; “When can we do this again?”
At present, the Roxbury ATV Club has 240 members. Hopefully, through a concerted membership drive, more ATV riders will get the message and join a local club to get involved. Events like this draw our community together, and make us better stewards of this region.
Looking back, ATV use in Maine started out a lot like snowmobiling. Initially, the general public expressed skepticism about the new machines. Many thought, “Will there eventually be a slew of these things tearing up MY back yard?” ATV riders have come a long way to improve relationships between these concerned landowners, and continue to make positive strides toward maintaining amiable connections to property owners who allow trail access.
In the early days of ATVs, a few irresponsible riders spoiled it for the whole bunch. Like the snowmobiling crowd, ATV enthusiasts pulled together to form clubs that offered ideas for improving landowner relationships, trail acquisition and maintenance, and an overall organization for the growing number of ATV members.
Over the last several years in Maine, ATV registrations have steadily increased. Most ATV clubs affiliate themselves with the statewide group, Alliance Trail Vehicles of Maine (ATV Maine), in order to further organize the large influx of ATV riders. By banding together, their collective voice becomes more powerful in legislative matters. More importantly, the group offers support to clubs for gaining and maintaining access for trails from private landowners across all across Maine.
In fact, Maine’s Department of Conservation recently published a new trail map showing that ATV trail miles have increased from 1,000 to 4,000 since they put out their last map in 2002. ATV Maine, and its affiliate clubs, deserves a huge round of applause for their successful efforts to substantially increase the trail system for ATV riders in Maine.