ATV park opens in Woodbine

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

WOODBINE – ATV riders now have a designated place to ride in Cape May County.

The state opened its first all-terrain vehicle park on a mostly wooded tract in Woodbine Jan. 13.

The site used to be a sand mine and a private motocross track. 

The state Department of Environmental Protection and local officials saw a test run of the new Mount Pleasant State Off-Road Vehicle Park, the first regional ATV park to be designated by the DEP.

ATV use remains illegal on all other state-owned land.

“We are very excited to showcase this new park,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin in a press release. “The Christie Administration is committed to developing managed parks in the state that will provide fans of all-terrain vehicles a safe environment in which to enjoy their sport. Just as important, this park will take pressure off environmentally sensitive lands that are damaged by illegal use of ATVs.”

The DEP is developing requests for proposals from bidders interested in running the park under a 10-year operating agreement. Riders may use the park free of charge until a contractor is hired later this year, state officials say.

The park will be available to riders seven days a week during operating hours at Belleplain State Forest, located nearby. Those hours are 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

The DEP worked closely with Woodbine Mayor William Pikolycky and the Borough Council in scouting out the site.

The DEP purchased the site of the former Mount Pleasant Sand and Gravel operation, at the intersection of county routes 550 and 610, in November 2011. The DEP acquired the 63-acre property with $393,000 in Green Acres Program funds.

Ten acres of the property, including an existing 3/4-mile ATV course, will be used initially for the park, with future expansions planned. The park consists of sand pits, sand roads and sandy areas left over from the former mining and motocross operations that provide ideal tracks for off-road vehicles. It is suitable for beginners to intermediate riders. 

“With its existing ATV track and sandy moguls in a pine woods setting, this park will provide a great riding experience for many years to come,” said Richard Boornazian, assistant commissioner for Natural and Historic Resources. “This also should reduce illegal ATV riding in our state parks and natural lands, which damages sensitive natural resources such as forests, streams and wetlands, and harms plant and animal species and their habitats.’’

State park service personnel and state park police will patrol the park.

The park is to be used by ATVs, dirt bikes and snowmobiles and users must be at least 14 years old.

Legislation enacted in 2009 calls for the DEP to site three regional parks for the use of all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes and snowmobiles to provide riding opportunities and reduce pressure from illegal and improper use of ATVs, dirt bikes and other off-road vehicles. 

The DEP had been searching for suitable sites for regional off-road vehicle parks for a number of years, officials say. The DEP is working to identify municipalities in central and northern New Jersey willing to help with the development of similar parks in those regions. Under the ATV legislation, the DEP must purchase new land for the parks and may not use existing state park lands.

ATVs must be registered in New Jersey. Registration can be obtained at the Motor Vehicle Commission for $17 for in-state residents and $19 for out-of-state riders. Proof of ownership is required.

blog comments powered by Disqus