A proposal to put ATV trails and an “ATV Safety Course” on Devil’s Lake State Park’s south bluff has been making the rounds recently. I can’t say how serious it is really, but according to the documents that found their way to my desk and the way things are done these days, we should probably take it seriously.
The proposal for a State Funded ATV route called the “Tawacunchukda Trail” by its author, would put ATVs on various park roads including Burma Road on the south bluff and develop a training course west of Burma at what looks to be the north end of what is we know as “Pine Hollow”. At first glance it seems that any pollutants and erosion sediment from the course would flow directly down the stream and into the hollow, continuing out into Ho-Chunk Land in the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area. On a side note, the location also seems to be within earshot of the Chicago Mountaineers property which I’m not sure would’nt please those folks either.
While the proposal is calling for “road only access” the map I was able to see seems to show trails all around the Burma Road area. (The map below shows my understanding based on the information presented to me.)
Now let me be clear, although I don’t use it, I am supportive of the snowmobile trail that now travels Burma and circles around the southern foot of the south bluff. If you’re going get noisy out there, winter is the time to do it. They should move it off of the wetland, but that’s a debate for another day. Otherwise, It’s hard to get behind any sort of loud, destructive trail building & use on the south bluff which is one of the last relatively untouched areas within the park any other time of year. For the benefit of the majority park users, hikers, wildlife, and hunters who use this area, ATVs are just not appropriate on the south bluff.
What’s more, if you get an opportunity to look at the map of ATV/UTV routes in Sauk County now, you’ll quickly see that our area is blessed with an abundance of trails now.
I’ll leave it to the reporters to ferret out the details and to folks more eloquent than me to debate this issue for and against. And I’ll leave it to the politically energized to wake up their government officials to this proposal although I don’t see this as a “right or left” issue. My hope is that the majority of ATV/UTV riders are also Devil’s Lake State Park visitors, hunters, and hikers who also think some ideas and locations should never make it past the proposal stage.
**Just a reminder, DevilsLakeStatePark.com is owned by Skillet Creek Media and is not associated with the Wisconsin DNR in any way. My opinions do not represent those of the park or the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.