ATV Park Looks to Manage Growing Off-Road Craze in Winnebago County

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

For stateline off-road enthusiasts, the Rocky Glen OHV Park is a dusty dream come true.

"It's close to home, fun, a place to ride. There aren't too many around here that you can really ride on," Kevin Lavender said.

Hundreds of OHV, or Off Highway Vehicle, riders got airborne Saturday for Rocky Glen's weekend grand opening. With Winnebago County's growing off-road craze, organizers believe great days are ahead.

"I think families will really enjoy themselves out here. It's a great place. It's a safe environment. Every trail is marked; it's a one-way trail system, so you aren't going to bump into anybody else," Bryant Vangsness said.

But while off-road contact is a non-issue at Rocky Glen, it's an emerging issue across Winnebago County between riders and neighbors angry about noise and dust. That's why in January, the county's zoning board will hold a public hearing with hopes of compromise through an ordinance.

"My thought is that we get all the public input we can from the ATV clubs, the ATV organizations, the neighbors that live in the subdivisions, so that we can get all the truths out," Winnebago County board member Chris Johnson said.

Currently there are no rules for casual off-road riding on private property. Johnson just hopes there can be an agreement in the fine line between keeping the peace and invading personal space.

"The ATV craze and the popularity of it is what's bringing this to our attention, because there are so many being sold and utilized," Johnson said

It’s a park that's utilizing the area's growing demand for off-road excitement, but not squashing a growing off-road debate between neighbors.


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