WOODBINE, N.J. – Residents of New Jersey and surrounding states will get a long-held wish with the Jan. 13 opening of the state’s only ATV park.
State and local officials will join ATV riders who will take test runs at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Sunday at the Mount Pleasant State Off-Road Vehicle Park.
Participants must get free permits in person at nearby Belleplain State Forest, where they must show valid identification, current New Jersey state vehicle registration, and proof of insurance for their ATVs. Permits will be issued to 25 riders per session. Complete park and rider rules are available here.
The park site in northern Cape May County is a former sand mine that became a private motocross track and paintball park. The previous use helped overcome public concerns about potential noise, traffic and pollution.
"It's a perfect fit for us," William Pikolycky, Woodbine mayor and chairman of the Pinelands Municipal Council, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "This area already has a lot of industrial activity, with an asphalt plant and mining operation nearby…We'll have less noise than we did when there was motocross racing."
Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin pointed out the park will “take pressure off of sensitive lands that are damaged by illegal use of ATVs."
The state’s only other ATV park closed in 2008. Since then, riders have clamored for a legal place to ride and state legislators passed a bill requiring the state to establish three ATV parks.
The state is developing a request for proposals to seek bidders interested in running the park under a 10-year operating agreement.
The park will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. After Sunday, riders can use the site free until a contractor is hired to operate it. The state did not know how much the admission fee would be thereafter.
The DEP bought the 63-acre former Mount Pleasant Sand & Gravel operation in November 2011 with $393,000 in state Green Acres Program money.
Posted by Holly Wagner