ATVBC is an organization of clubs that believes riding on designated trails protects the environment. We promote safe and responsible riding on trails. We believe that education and awareness programs will further protect the natural environment. At the same time, the utilization of a trail network provides for a unique opportunity to experience nature. ATV’ s provide and allow for an increased mobility for a variety of users. The environmental guidelines address the biotic (living organisms) and abiotic (non-living) components of all ecosystems, and are directed to all trail users, including ATV riders. ATVBC believes the future of utilizing a trail in the outdoors is directly related to how clubs and its members use it today.
Please read these trail etiquette guidelines to ensure you’re being respectful to trail owners. Remember, some trail owners are donating their property for you to ride on. In some cases, they may even be donating time and money to keep trails cleared and marked. Be respectful. And always wear a helmet.
- Remove your helmet when talking to other trail users
YIELD to other trail users;
- Other ATVs: Pull over to the right and allow the other rider to pass. Trails can be narrow, so try to get over to the right as Far as you can. If someone is close behind you, stop and pull over to let them pass. DO NOT try to race them, or speed up beyond your comfort level. If you are the one passing, do not bully the other rider by driving too close. Thank the other rider for allowing you to pass.
- Horses: Horses can be easily spooked by ATVs. If you see a horse coming up the trail, pull over your ATV, get off the ATV and take off your helmet. This will generally avoid spooking. It’s a nice gesture to warn horseback riders of other ATVs in the area in case they’re riding spooky or young horses.
- BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS: If you’re riding near a camp ground or public space, ensure that you’re not picking up too much dust. Slow down, and go through quietly. Never pull over at the top of a hill! Be aware and allow others to be aware of where you have stopped. You should only stop on a straight away where you can be seen in both directions.
- DRESS APPROPRIATELY, CHECK THE WEATHER: If it is hot out, ensure you bring water with you to keep hydrated. Always bring an extra bottle in case one becomes dislodged from your ATV. Bring bottles back with you and recycle them at HOME or at a receptacle at the park.
- Take breaks and acknowledge your energy level. Check with other riders too. Chances are, if you’re a little bit tired they may be as well.
- Breaking your concentration on the trail for a while can help re-energize your brain and eyes, and make you more aware of on-coming danger.
- Ride on designated trails. Do not utilize CLOSED trails. ‘If you don’t know, don’t go!’
- ASK PERMISSION before using a trail or field. Land owners may have given specific groups permission to use their land, or there may be rules they ask you to abide by on their land such as opening and shutting gates. Even if you have asked permission before, it’s a good idea to check again if something changes (a gate has been put up, a no trespassing sign, or anything blocking trail entrances). ALWAYS leave the trail as you found it.
- Avoid sudden stops and starts and quick directional changes with acceleration
- Avoid sensitive and restricted areas at all times, especially wetlands, lakeshores, steep stream banks and hills
- Cross at designated crossings and utilize bridges when available. Cross watercourses at 90-degree angles and drive carefully and slowly
- Do not venture out on new, non-ATV designated trails without consulting appropriate stakeholders
- Comply with all applicable legislation and/or municipal bylaws Keep in mind the following:
- ON ‘Shared use trails – expect/respect other users.’
- Signal when approaching from behind. In particular, be certain to communicate with the riders of horses and those walking pets
- Avoid running over young trees and shrubs, particularly in the spring and the growing season of the summer
- Do not trespass on private property and do not utilize single-purpose trails designated for other (non-ATV) activities
- Promote parking and dismounting from your ATV to walk to sensitive, scenic, historic and cultural areas
- Enjoy wildlife viewing opportunities; avoid stressing any species particularly during the rearing stages
- Respect and be courteous to other users who are also using shared use trails
- Avoid riding after heavy rains
- Adjust riding behavior according to season and location
- The planning and staging of rodeos and safety courses should be within areas such as pits gravel parking lots and controlled areas
- If you haven’t taken a safety course, we recommend doing so before your first trail or even your first ride. It’s important to be safe as well as polite and respectful on the trail.
- Check out your local ATV Club in B.C. and ask about safety courses.
- Do not cut switchbacks or take shortcuts
- Keep your speed and engine rpm low and steady when approaching other riders, homes, etc.
- What you pack in, pack out – do not litter