LAFAYETTE COUNTY – There are over 300 miles of ATV/UTV road routes in Lafayette County and the fundraiser scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 19 at the Darlington Country Club will help keep those routes signed for everyone’s enjoyment.
Lee McCarville, Tri-County ATV Club president, says that every intersection of road that the routes meet need to be signed and they don’t come cheap.
“An intersection could have up to eight signs that could be worth about $250. That includes signs, posts and hardware,” Lee explained.
McCarville wanted to stress that the road routes and trails are not only for those who ride, but it helps several businesses.
“The trails bring in a lot of money in Lafayette County and tourism. People enjoy the Cheese Country Trail but the road routes can take you to the small towns.”
During the fundraiser, they will be selling 500 tickets at $50/ticket with thirty grand prizewinners winning ½ a hog, including processing.
Lee said even if they sell all of the tickets, which would equal $25,000, it still wouldn’t pay for all the signs.
“Signs have to be updated properly and replaced when damaged.”
McCarville figured that big ATV route signs (like the one pictured) cost about $27, arrows cost about $12 and the post about $18. He said they are just volunteers putting up the signs and working with the township workers who also help sign the roads. But the difficulty is making sure they meet the DNR rules and codes with height and correct signage in places.
After joining the Tri-County ATV Club in 1994, Lee has either been president or vice president of the club since 1996. He believes in what the club does in providing the best quality trails and routes for those visiting Lafayette County. The club tries to give back what they can to the community, by donating to EMS and fire departments as a ‘thank you’ for helping those who may need medical assistance on the trails.
McCarville wants to keep up that standard and keep bringing in people from other places to Lafayette County to ride the trails and the road routes but they can’t have the road routes unless they are signed correctly.
“I’ve had people say they have traveled from 3 to 4 hours away. During the flood, I got calls at 4 a.m. asking if the trails were open. I told them to come ride our road routes because the Cheese Trail was closed. The businesses were able to make some money and [the riders] were thankful for the road routes. It really helps our tourism.”
Lee stated that if someone is not able to come to the fundraiser on Saturday, starting at 4 p.m., they could still purchase a ticket by calling My Turn Pub in Belmont. Anyone who uses or makes a profit off of the trail and road routes, the Tri-County ATV Club would appreciate the help to support the trails and keep them available for everyone to use.