ATV riding is one of the best possible summer activities. With the weather starting to get warmer, you are probably thinking about dusting off your ATV, bringing it out of storage and revving the engine. But where are you going to ride?
There are a whole range of amazing ATV trails across North America, but they are not always in close proximity, and if you cannot find the time or the money to make the journey to these bigger trails, how are you meant to get your ATV riding fix?
If you own a sizable area of land, you can transform it into your very own off-road park! It is quite the commitment, but once done, you will have an impressive ATV park on your doorstep, there for you to enjoy whenever you please. Keep reading to find tips to design, build and maintain your own ATV park.
What is an ATV park?
An ATV park is a trail that is used by off-road vehicles such as ATVs and UTVs. The scope of what an ATV park includes can vary greatly. Whilst some are simply bare areas of land that have been licensed to be used as an ATV park, other more elaborate ATV parks include carefully constructed trails through multiple different kinds of terrain.
Many ATV parks also double as family campsites and thanks to the stunning settings that these parks are nestled within, there are usually a whole range of activities to do at the park. For example, some ATV parks offer educational programs for kids, nature observation courses and areas for friends and families to rest and relax.
ATV parks offer a designated and safe area for drivers to drive their vehicles. If you try to ride on city park property, you might get in trouble or fined, so it is important to make sure you are riding in a specific area in which it is allowed. What these different kinds of ATV parks have in common is that they all create an exhilarating environment that attracts thrill seekers and riding enthusiasts!
Tips to build your own ATV park or trail
How exactly do you build your own ATV park? There are a lot of things that go into building your own ATV park which we discuss below.
Secure a piece of land
The first thing that you need to do is secure an area of land for your ATV trail. Realistically, you want an area of land with at least 500 acres. If you already own a large piece of land that you do not know what to do with, using it as an ATV trail is a great way of repurposing it.
However, if you don’t have any land, you will need to find an area that is appropriate for ATV riding. If you are able to find somewhere with multiple kinds of terrain, you will be able to ensure an interesting and engaging riding experience.
If you are going to buy new land, you need to be aware that this will require a significant monetary commitment. If you do not have enough money to pay the entire cost of the land upfront, you might need to think about getting a loan or finding investors who can help you foot the bill.
Once you have the area of land secured, you need to plan out where exactly the trail is going to go. It can be tempting to just go straight in and form the trail in whichever way you want, but it is extremely important to plan this step.
You need to thoroughly assess the land that you have and see what trail makes the most sense. In many cases, the land will have obstacles that can make certain trails difficult. Planning is essential to make a trail that optimizes efficiency and safety. Thorough planning will also help you avoid issues that you might otherwise run into.
Think about your neighbors
Thinking about your neighbors is important when starting an ATV park. Realistically, you should start thinking about your neighbors before you even buy your plot of land. If you are too close to a residential area, you are likely going to attract a lot of complaints from disgruntled neighbors, so it is best to look for somewhere a little more secluded.
However, even once you have built your ATV track, and during the process of building it, you should be in constant communication with your neighbors. Keeping them in the loop will minimize any issues and will help you establish a healthy relationship with them which is essential to run a successful business.
Get the right machinery
Once your plans are made and you have talked to your neighbors about your plans, it is finally time to start working on the ATV trail. However, if you are planning on shoveling and digging up all the dirt yourself, you are never going to finish your track. That is why you need to order some machinery.
The best way to do this is to rent it for the specific period of time that you think you will need it for. The type of ATV trail you are creating and its size, will determine the kind of heavy equipment you need. Whilst a small sized bulldozer might do the job, if you are more ambitious in your design, an excavator or a bucket loader might be needed.
It’s finally time to start building your trail! Your plan will have marked out exactly where you want the trail to go and where you want your obstacles. Simply start collecting and piling up your dirt where you want the obstacles to go. Once in place, you need to start shaping them by driving over them with bulldozers in order to pack everything down and make it nice and firm.
Bear in mind that the building process will take you some time. The process will also differ depending on the kind of terrain you have. For example, a valley ATV park will require a completely different building process than a flat backyard bike park. Moreover, if you want your park to be a full-time park range for the public, you need to make sure it is completely safe, so corners cannot be cut during the building process.
Maintain the ATV trail
Once the park is built and ready for expert riders to enjoy, it is important to ensure the regular maintenance of the ATV trail. This involves the maintenance of the track, ensuring it is safe to ride, keeping on top of any erosion or issues, etc.
Your ATV riding business cannot overlook safety once the doors open. Although most visitors to your park will be experienced ATV riders, you need to monitor everything and everyone at your park. This involves insisting everyone wears the proper riding gear, monitoring rider speed and providing assistance to anyone that might need it.
Go easy on the environment
When running an ATV business, in addition to being responsible for the health and safety of riders, you also need to be responsible about the way in which you treat the environment.
The first thing you need to think about is water as it can be destructive, especially to areas of land that you are using for an ATV track, due to the threat of erosion. You also do not want your track to direct water where it is not meant to be and where it can pollute and destroy different areas of wildlife.
You essentially want to limit how much contact your drivers have with water. In addition to it being detrimental to your track, your track can also be detrimental to the water. When drivers go through water, they track sediment into it, which causes sedimentation. This can harm wildlife. It is therefore extremely important to be mindful of the environment when building your ATV trail.