I subscribe to the National Off-Road Association e-mail newsletter that is sent out about once a month, with this months having quite the surprise. If you don’t know what NORA is I recommend you just over to their about NORA page. Instead of the usual list of trails that are being threatened to close, this months announces that in Northumberland County located in central Pennsylvania there will be a new Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) recreation area. This new OHV park in Pennsylvania is 6,000 acres of old coal mining land intended for the public to enjoy. Instead of paraphrasing their email I’ll just quote it below.
“You just don’t see this everyday” says Pearse Umlauf, Founder & CEO of the National Off-Road Association. “We see many trails being closed across the United States, most recently the Upper Tellico OHV area, but it’s very rare to see new trails being open”.
Northumberland County located in central Pennsylvania has decided to do just that; open over 6,000 acres of old coal mining land to the public for the intended use of off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation.
“The Northumberland County Commissioners deserve a thumbs-up and our full support on this project”, says Off-Road Hall of Famer, Mark A. Smith and Founder of Jeep Jamboree USA. “Years ago in California, El Dorado County officials got involved with keeping the Rubicon Trail open and today it generates an estimated 30 million into the local community. Now that’s an investment worth making”.
Barry Yorwarth a local resident of Northumberland County spearheaded this idea a few years ago. He has been working closely with county officials to help them make this project a reality. “I got the idea back in 2005 when I was the co-pilot for Tom Lawlor at the Top Truck Challenge in Hollister Hills, CA”, says Yorwarth, “I said to myself; we’ve got some land like this back in Pennsylvania, why can’t we do something like this?”. Barry’s dad bought him his first Jeep (CJ-5) when he was just 13 years old. Today Barry owns (5) Unimogs and a few Jeeps. “The park is designed to be open for all motorized users not just full-size vehicles, everyone’s welcome. The county is planning to have onsite camping as well as parking for RV’s”.
“It’s great to see the County Commissioners of Northumberland take such a proactive leap forward” states Pearse Umlauf. “The local communities and residents will benefit tremendously from the development of this park. The park is an economic “center of commerce” for local businesses not to mention the potential jobs it’ll create. OHV enthusiasts from across the United States will flock to this new park just for the opportunity to run new trails. This park will allow individuals to recreate in a safe, dedicated environment.”
The National Off-Road Association will keep you up-to-date on any news and developments on this new OHV Park. Stay tuned.
So with that, I recommend if you have Facebook account join the group at http://www.facebook.com/nationaloffroadassociation and if you want to become a Member of NORA, they have really sweet benefits, you can support them in their cause to keep the trails open by signing up here.