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HMBA Alert: Increased Fees and Off Road Cycling Permit

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Indiana’s State Parks face a 3 million dollar deficit and have to either pass on costs to park users or close parks.  In an effort to avoid closing Parks, Indiana State Parks is increasing existing fees and adding some additional fees, including an off road cycling permit.

The annual pass cost is increasing from $40 to $50 ( $60 to $70 out of state).  This increase is going into effect on May 13th.  So if you have not yet bought a State Park Pass and wish to save $10, please get your pass prior to May 12th.  All current 2015 passes are valid for the year.  Other fees such as camping are also increasing.  A complete list and FAQ is available here:
A $20 off road cycling permit is also being proposed.  This permit is not yet approved so we do not have the final details. 

There are some advantages to the mountain bike and cycling community for having an off-road cycling permit. 
·   It allows us to get an accurate count of off-road cyclists using our State Park and Forest trails.  This data will help us provide data to the local communities about the economic impact our trails have on the local economies.
· With current budget constraints, those groups who pay to play are in the best position to gain more access.  Despite the current budget constraints HMBA is involved in expanding trails at Brown County, Versailles, and O’Bannon State Parks.
· The permit also opens the door for access to State Forest properties.  HMBA is working develop trails at Yellowwood State Forest and use those trails to connect to Brown County State Park and Hoosier National Forest.

While HMBA supports pay to play we do feel that a total cost of $70 ($90 out of state) will become a barrier to entry for many Hoosiers as well as riders from other States.  This will have a negative impact on the well-being of Hoosiers and the local economy. 

HMBA has asked IMBA to issue an Action Alert to provide information to mountain bikers how to provide their feedback on the increased fees.  At the end of the day the increased fees are due to under funding of our Parks by the Indiana Legislator.  It is time for the mountain bike community to let our State Legislators know that continuing to under fund our State Parks will hurt Indiana residents and our local economies.

HMBA will be working on a funding source to provide off road cycling permits to our trail volunteers who cannot afford the $20 permit. 

It doesn't bother me, but it is going to bother people who ride very casually or are getting out for the first time.


--- Quote from: Hocky on May 07, 2015, 11:17:03 PM ---It doesn't bother me, but it is going to bother people who ride very casually or are getting out for the first time.

--- End quote ---

That was my thought as I was reading this. Those of us that do ride state parks won't have an issue with paying a few bucks to make sure our trails stay where they are. It will, however, make mountain biking a slightly more cost prohibitive sport/ activity. $10 bucks however, I don't think that will stop people.

David Kuehnen:
This will not affect Town Run, Southwestway, Wapahani, Rangeline, Avon or other city trails.  That said, it may not be that big of a factor in deterring new riders as they still have city trails to begin on.

My only problem with the proposed off-road cycling permit is the trails are open to hikers and runners however there is not off-road hiking and running permit?   I understand that mountain bikers are by far the largest user group but it seems a little unfair seeing that the trails were built with volunteer labor or money raised by mountain bikers.  What are the chances that paid IMBA / HMBA members can get this permit fee waved (if the proposed permit is approved)?  Something like that may boost membership as well.   


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