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DCNR Accepting Permit Applications for 2023 Regional ATV Connector Pilot, Riding Season Dates Set


Harrisburg, PA -- The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) today announced that permits for the ATV Regional Trail Connector Pilot in the northcentral region of the state are now available for purchase.

“DCNR continues to assess the ATV riding community’s desires to be able to travel long distances legally and without interruption through this pilot project,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “We take seriously our role in connecting ATV trails and we will use this pilot program to determine whether sections of state forest roads may serve as permanent strategic connectors for regional ATV trails on a limited, case-by-case basis.”

Permits are required to use the designated PennDOT and State Forest ATV Connector Roads, the cost of which will serve to offset implementation and management of the program.

Permits for the 2023 will cost $40 for Pennsylvania registered ATVs and $60 for non-Pennsylvania registered ATVs. Regional ATV Connector Pass permit sales opened April 3.

Permits are available for in-person sales at Sproul, Susquehannock, Tiadaghton, or Tioga state forest district offices. District office hours are subject to change throughout the riding season. Please check online or call for office hours.

Permit applications will be accepted by mail by sending a properly completed permit application form (PDF) available on DCNR's website to: Penn Nursery, 137 Penn Nursery Road, Spring Mills, Pennsylvania 16875.

Permits will be processed according to the date they are received and will be postmarked within three to five business days of receipt.

This year’s pilot riding area will center upon Potter and Tioga counties, but will also include parts of Clinton and Lycoming counties.

A digital map of the riding area is available on DCNR’s website. 

The trail route categories are as follows:

  • More than 400 miles of township roads
  • 163 miles of state forest roads and trails
  • 33 miles of PennDOT-administered roads

The pilot riding area will open for use on Friday, May 26, 2023, and will remain open until, Sunday, September 24, 2023.

Though the pilot areas will be marked, riders will be expected to familiarize themselves with the portions of road and trail that are open to ensure they are operating in legal areas.

A printable version of the map (PDF) is also available on DCNR’s website.

This ATV Regional Trail Connector program is in response to growing ATV purchases, registrations, and public demand for increased riding opportunities.

Through collaborations with public and private partners, the pilot aims to offer long-distance riding opportunities and contribute to local economies, while maintaining the many uses and values of the state forest system. DCNR recently revised its ATV trail policy, which lifted the moratorium on new trails that had been in place since 2003.

DCNR is gathering public input on the pilot through a variety of methods, including webinars, surveys, comment cards, public meetings, and advisory committees.

To comment on the ATV Regional Trail Connector Pilot, please send an email to DCNR's Bureau of Forestry.

To gauge the impact of the pilot, DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry is implementing a comprehensive monitoring program that will evaluate:

  • Impact of the trail to local communities
  • Ecological values
  • Other state forest users and recreational values
  • Bureau of Forestry operations, staffing and law enforcement capacity
  • Public safety and impacts to adjacent public lands and natural resources

DCNR has partnered with researchers from Penn State to evaluate social, sound, and economic impacts of the pilot.

The monitoring program will also evaluate the effectiveness of the special permit, the adequacy of funding for continued operation of the trail, and the need for additional education, outreach, and trail marketing.

DCNR will publish a report about the pilot project for further evaluation and stakeholder input by December 2023.

Additional information about the ATV Regional Trail Connector pilot program is available on the DCNR website.

Visit DCNR’s website for more information about ATV riding opportunities in state forests and check out DCNR’s Calendar of Events for events on public lands.

MEDIA CONTACT: Wesley Robinson, 717-877-6315

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