I learned recently that there have been some requests for ATV/UTVs to be allowed on Heritage Trail. While I support people driving such vehicles on secondary roads and trails specifically set aside for that use, Dubuque County should hold firm and not allow such vehicles on Heritage Trail. Allowing ATVs on the trail, even on a limited basis, would seriously damage the surface of the trail and make the trail unusable by cyclists and hikers.
I’ve been on the Pecatonica State Trail up in Wisconsin from Belmont to Calamine, which is open to ATV traffic. It was so badly rutted by ATV tires that it was unsafe for me to ride my bike, and I used secondary automobile roads to go back to Belmont.
It would be safer for ATVs to use the secondary roads since they can go faster and provide more protection than forcing cyclists and hikers to use these roads. If ATVs were allowed on the trail cyclists and hikers would have to spend more time constantly watching the trail to keep from crashing or from an injury such as twisting an ankle, and it would be difficult to get any quality exercise on or enjoy the trail.
There are plenty of safe places for ATVs to ride in the area. The Heritage Trail was intended for bike riding and hiking and should be kept that way. I urge county officials to reject any proposal to open Heritage Trail to ATV usage.