All DNR Trails are currently closed to bikes. While we have some concerns about how this has been handled by the DNR, it is important that mountain bikers comply with the trail closures.
Many of these trails are in rural areas and there is local concern about people from other areas traveling to their county to recreate and potentially bring COVID-19 into their community. We as mountain bikers stick out (bikes loaded on our vehicles) and we run the risk of getting a black eye in the local communities where are trails are located.
The following DNR properties have mountain bike trails that this trail closure applies to.
Harmonie State Park
Brown County State Park
Versailles State Park
Fort Harrison State Park
Brown County State Park
O’Bannon Woods State Park
Potato Creek State Park
Spring Mill State Park
Clark State Forest
Covered Bridge SF Retreat
Deam Lake SRA
Ferdinand State Forest
Harrison Crawford State Forest
Jackson Washington State Forest
Martin State Forest
Stave Hollow SRA
Yellowwood State Forest
For our volunteers, we are also currently being directed to suspend trail work on DNR properties.
In the grand scheme of things (loss of life and jobs), taking some time off from mountain biking is not that great of a sacrifice. We are all feeling the stress, please do not add to the stress of others by riding trails that are closed.
If your local trails are open, then please ride responsibly. Due to irresponsible park use, we are seeing more and more parks/trails closed across the country. If you want your local trails to stay open speak up when you see others who are not following CDC guidelines.
HMBA Guideline April 2020
With the Closure of trails on DNR property to mountain biking, we are expecting the first question from many mountain bikers will be “Where Can I Ride?”.
At this point, HMBA is recommending that you limit your cycling to local options. While there is no specific definition for “Local Trail”, please consider it to be the trail that is closest to you. So if you have trail 5 miles from your home, don’t travel 30 miles to another trail.
With the closure of many trails and parks, there will be increased pressure on those trails that remain open. Please consider cutting back on how often you ride to help reduce over crowding which makes social distancing difficult.
Please make every effort to ride at times when the trail is less heavily used. If you have the ability to ride during the day on weekdays, please let those working weekday jobs have the option to ride trails that aren’t over crowded on week nights and weekends.
This is not the time to explore new trails, especially remote back country trails. Please do not ride outside of your ability or in areas that you are unfamiliar with. This is not the time that you want to be rescued or visit an ER, tying up local emergency resources. Doing so could generate bad PR for mountain bikers.
Finally please remember that you represent the mountain bike community. There were pictures of mountain bikers who were not practicing social distancing at Brown County State Park circulating on Social media. The perception of many (especially non trail users) is that mountain bikers are out playing during the pandemic. Please understand that if we want to continue to ride at this time, that public perception is very important. If you can, ride to your local trail, turn a couple laps, and then go home. Do not meet friends. Do not hang out in the parking lot.
No Car. No Gnar. Not Far.
Finally if you ride, this is the time to display the best possible trail etiquette. Slow down and even stop when encountering other trail users. All trail users must ensure a 6’ passing distance, and this often means both users will need to stop. Please expect more hikers and new mountain bikers on the trails at this time.