BOISE, ID (March 22, 2012) -- ATV, motorbike, UTV and 4WD enthusiasts now have a handy online resource available for finding new places to ride in Idaho. It's called the Idaho OHV online map. The web address is: http://trails.idaho.gov.
With a few clicks, users can zoom into areas of Idaho where they want to find OHV trails, determine what types of motorized uses are allowed, season of use, get driving directions to the trailhead and more. People can export the trails to Google Earth or to their GPS devices for quick reference when they're out riding the trails, and they can share trail maps with their friends. The trail map also provides information on non-motorized trails.
"The maps are designed to help OHV riders find places to ride in Idaho, and that's exactly what they do," said Troy Elmore, Idaho OHV Program Manager for IDPR.
"It's really a useful tool for motorcyclists and recreationists," says Mark Weaver of Kuna, president of Treasure Valley Trail Machine Association. "And it shows how proactive IDPR is in providing the tools for people to enjoy the outdoors responsibly and legally."
Idaho is the first state to provide an interactive online mapping resource of this kind, Elmore said. "This is a first. We are the first state to produce an interactive Google-based statewide online trail map. It's been a lot of work putting it together. We've had some bugs to work out, but we're pretty excited about it now."
Click on a part of Idaho, and the online map zooms into the trail networks that exist in the area. People can zoom into a particular trail, learn the name of the trail, the trail number, and the online map tells you what kind of trail it is through color coding (motorcycle, ATV, jeep trail, non-motorized trail, road, etc.). It tells you how long the trail segment is, what season of use is allowed, and more.
Creating a map with a downloadable GPS route is a bonus, Weaver says. "I think that's going to be a really wonderful feature," Weaver said. "With the GPS tracks from a route, there will be less likelihood of someone getting lost out there."
The online maps provide a diversity of viewing opportunities for checking out Idaho's trails and roads. People can choose from an aerial photography view, topographic map view, terrain map view, or a hybrid view.
Several years in the making, the interactive online map was produced by the staff at the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation with assistance from the Idaho Department of Administration, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. The project was funded with OHV registration sticker money.
The maps provide a quick view of when particular trails are open or closed during the spring, summer and fall riding season for ATVs, motorbikes, UTVs and 4WD vehicles. This information also is available on U.S. Forest Service Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs), and Bureau of Land Management travel management maps.
"This feature is a great informational tool for OHV users," Elmore said. "To research when trails are open and closed with MVUMs, travel management plans and Idaho Fish and Game big game regulations, it can take many hours to figure that stuff out. The online maps will make it much easier for OHV riders to check on when particular trails and roads are open or closed."
The Idaho OHV online map also provides information about nonmotorized trails and road networks throughout the state. The maps have a tool for creating your own personal route measuring the distance of particular trail segments or loops that people might want to explore.
"It's going to be a great tool for recreationists to plan trips and explore new trails that they've never experienced before," Elmore said.
About the Idaho OHV Public Outreach Campaign: To help raise awareness about the importance of OHVs staying on trails, five state and federal agencies in Idaho work on a statewide campaign called the Idaho Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV) Public Outreach Campaign. The campaign encourages riders to ride safe, responsibly and reduce their impact on the land and other trail users. See www.stayontrails.com for more information.
About the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation: The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation manages 30 state parks. It also runs the registration and recreation programs for snowmobiles, boats and off-highway vehicles. IDPR provides yurt and cabin rentals, winter and summer non-motorized trails, and manages outdoor grant programs that provide facilities and services to a wide variety of recreationists and the local government and nongovernment organizations that serve them.