Survey: Should Trails in Wilderness Areas be Open to Mountain Bikes?

Photo: Jeff barber

Designated wilderness areas go by a variety of names around the globe, and in the US they have been protected by federal law under the Wilderness Act since 1964. The thousands of trails in Wilderness areas spaghettied across the US are currently closed to mountain bikes. We would like to hear your thoughts on whether those tracks should be opened up to bikes, or if they should preserve their current “hikers- and equestrians-only” status. Here is how the US Wilderness Act defines its namesake.

“A Wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain. An area of wilderness is further defined to mean in this Act an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions and which (1) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man’s work substantially unnoticeable; (2) has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation; (3) has at least five thousand acres of land or is of sufficient size as to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition; and (4) may also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.” from Wilderness.net

For readers living outside of the US, let us know how land access laws affect trail access in your country.

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