Thursday, October 8, 2015

Connecticut DEEP offers tips for state park and forest use

Woodland creatures you might see

The state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection reminds trail users of rules and trail etiquette for Connecticut’s state parks and forests that aim to "make your outdoor experience as safe and enjoyable as possible," according to a release.
State park and forest recreation areas are open daily between sunrise and sunset, the release said and the following are tips the agency shared:
What you can and cannot do on the trails:
Ø  Trails and service, logging and other roads are open to non-motorized, multiple use activities (foot travel, mountain biking, equestrian) unless posted closed.
Ø  Connecticut Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails and the National Park Service Appalachian and New England Trails are limited to hiking except where they overlap a multiple use trail.
Ø  Public roadways in state parks and forests are open to registered motor vehicles (includes registered dirt bikes) and non-motorized multiple uses unless posted closed.
Ø  Effective January 1, 2006, riding an ATV on state or municipal property may result in charges of criminal trespass. (Public Act 05-234) At the current time, Connecticut does NOT have any public areas open to quads. 
Ø  Registered dirt bikes can ride on the motorized trail at Pachaug State Forest or at the Thomaston Dam.
Ø  Trail building and maintenance is illegal unless authorized.  To request permission to put in a new trail contact DEP’s Trails Coordinator at 860-424-3578.  For permission to perform trail maintenance contact the Park Supervisor.
Ø  After it rains, please be aware of fragile areas that should be avoided such as wetlands and steep slopes. For your safety and to prevent erosion and disruption of habitats always avoid travel through streams that have no bridges or stepping stones.
The agency also asks that if you see an illegal activities please call the State Environmental Conservation at:  860 424-3333



Essential for Safe Trail Use: 

Ø  Plan your route!  Trail maps are often found at trail heads and always found on the DEEP website.

Ø  Remain on trails that are blazed.

Ø  Always let others know where you are and when you expect to return. 

Ø  Be aware where hunting is allowed and if hunting season is open.  Wear bright orange for extra protection.

Ø  Cyclists and motorized users yield to pedestrians and equestrians.  Pedestrians yield to equestrians.

Ø  Park in designated areas only.

Ø  Keep your dogs on a leash.

Ø  Respect private property - when you are leaving State Land you may no longer have permission to recreate.



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