The Withlachoochee State Forest in Hernando County has much to offer, trail riding, hiking, camping. But what most people do not realize is that our "Forest" is home to one of the largest motorcross raceways in the SE United States. The following information will let you see another one of Hernando's secrets!
State Forest Recreation
Off-Highway Vehicle Safety and Recreation The passage of the T. Mark Schmidt Off-Highway Vehicle Safety and Recreation Act (261, F.S.) has provided the State of Florida with a set of guidelines to follow for maintaining and providing state lands for Off-Highway Motorcycle (OHM) and All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) users. An important aspect of Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use is understanding the legal requirements and responsibilities associated with this recreational activity. The guidebook contains essential information for OHV users and answers to frequently asked questions about OHV use on public lands, roads and trails. Rules and rates contained in this guidebook are subject to change. Please contact each site for current information. Safe Riding Tips An enjoyable OHV riding experience begins with safety.
Safety GuidelinesWhile some safety guidelines may be required by law, good riding means planning, safety and following guidelines like these:
· Always ride within your abilities.
· Dress to spill- wear appropriate protective gear.
· Travel in a group of two or more riders.
· One rider per machine (unless the machine is designed for two).
· Riders under 16 years old should always be supervised by an adult.
· Do not ride a machine that is too big for you.
· Always provide someone with a ride plan. This should include where and when you are riding, as well as a return time and date.
· Be in shape to take all the punishments a trail will offer. Be prepared to walk out in case of breakdown.
· Prepare for the unexpected- your emergency kit should include the items in the Trip Planning Checklist (below).
· Check the weather forecast before leaving.
· Do not drink alcohol and ride.
· Obey all traffic and information signs.Back to Top
For additional information on safety contact:
1. TrailTamers: Telephone 407/ 492-8687 or E-mail
2. Motorcycle Safety Foundation Dirt Bike School:
Telephone 877/ 288-7093
3. ATV Safety Institutes ATV Rider Course:
Telephone 877/ 288-7093
Courtesy, Ethics and the Environment
- Share the trail- give non-motorized trail users the right of way.
- Stay on the trail- riding off the trail damages wildlife habitat and contributes to erosion.
- Keep the noise down. Remember- less sound means more ground.
- Do not litter. If you packed it in, pack it out. Stay on designated trails.
- Keep out of closed areas and off private property.
- Always use TREAD Lightly and RIGHT RIDER principles. For additional information on TREAD Lightly, visit their website at http://www.treadlightly.org/
TREAD Lightly: Travel and recreate with minimum impact
Respect the environment and the rights of others
Educate yourself _ plan and prepare before you go
Allow for future use of the outdoors : leave it better than you found it
Discover the rewards of responsible recreation
Protect your PrivilegeRiding on public lands is a privilege, not a right. As such, it can be taken away if riders don't do everything they possibly can to protect it.
Responsible riders protect their privilege by:
- Staying on designated trails
- Keeping out of closed areas and off private property
- Following applicable rules, regulations and laws
Trip Planning ChecklistAll safe and enjoyable activities start with proper planning. Always provide someone with a ride plan. This should include where and when you are riding, as well as a return time and date. Make sure you and your machine are in top operating condition. Call ahead to see whether site conditions are conducive to riding.
Using the following checklist will help ensure that that your experience is an enjoyable one:
PROPER PLANNING PREVENTS POOR PERFORMANCE
- Title of OHV
- Protective gear: helmet, goggles, boots, gloves, body protection, long pants and shirt
- Plenty of food and water
- Extra fuel and oil
- Tool kit
- First aid kit
- Extra spark plugs
- Tow strap or rope
- Waterproof matches
- Duct tape and electrical tape
- Tire repair kit
- A good map of the area, a compass and GPS
- Cell phone or 2-way radio