New UTV/ATV trails maps completed

LEAD — A new motorized trails map that will target ATV/UTV trails for destination travel and points of interest has been completed, and will be available for use for the coming spring.

Dustin Heupel, president of the Northern Hills Recreation Association, which has been working with area governmental agencies to create the map, made the announcement at the Lead City Commission meeting Sept. 20. The map connects about 3,000 miles of trails in the Northern Hills Ranger District. It shows how each trail connects, gives an explanation of each trail, and points out different areas of interest within neighboring communities. It is the result of five years of collaborations with the U.S. Forest Service, the Game, Fish and Parks, the Bureau of Land Management, the cities of Lead and Deadwood, and the Department of Transportation.

Heupel said the printed map will be a tri-fold brochure that will be distributed at every ATV/UTV rental location, and at other major tourist stops. Initially there will be 20,000 copies printed. There will also be an app that can be downloaded. Additionally, he said most newer ATV/UTV machines that feature GPS systems will have the map pre-downloaded into the system.

“These will be pretty much everywhere,” Heupel said.

The effort to develop these maps is part of a much bigger project through the Northern Hills Recreation Association and other interested state and federal land managers, as well as other recreation groups to improve the motorized trail system in the Northern Hills Ranger District. The group is working to model the ATV/UTV trail system and maintenance after the snowmobile trail systems, which are ranked among the top five nationally.

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