Riders of Nova Scotia Please Read...

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Tylenol, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. Tylenol

    Tylenol Been here awhile

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    Hello,
    As most of you know we now have a new Government as of yesterday and I think now is the time to rally for some change to the trail and OHV Legislation.
    I have written some letters to DOT and DNR about the use of trails and dual sport motorcycles. DOT or TIR basically road blocks the questions by either pretending they don't know what I mean, or telling me its one type of use or the other.

    I am waiting for some replies but I am thinking the PFO responses are going to continue. What I would like to see at the least is a provision for motorcycles to get trail passes like the snowmobiles, perhaps a little orange sticker for the highway plate. I am aiming for is that all fully licensed drivers be exempt from the trail riding safety course completely and have a highway registration legal for NS trails as long as the vehicle meets the trail restrictions on size and weight. Meaning that a 1/2 ton truck still wont be trail legal but a smart car could be, don't know why someone would wont to off road a smart car but that is his/her choice.

    Since I am new I would like to know the thoughts and opinions of other NS riders where as most of you probably have a better understanding of the legislation.

    Cheers
    #1
  2. tbas3

    tbas3 Adventurer

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    I looked into this some time ago. I was told if you have a motorcycle registered for the street you can ride it anywhere you want. As in you are free to ride it on the trails. No special sticker is required.

    Unless you know of someone being ticketed I suggest you just go ahead and ride on the trails. I see no sense in asking for an orange sticker for a street plate. The last thing Nova Scotia needs is more rules. I ride a lot on the abandoned railroads and have never had an issue.

    Your street plate is already legal for the trails. The rules for OHV are for OHV's not for your street registered bike. Ride and enjoy.

    Tom
    #2
  3. Littlepeter

    Littlepeter Been here awhile

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    This was my understanding also.

    Peter
    #3
  4. Tylenol

    Tylenol Been here awhile

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    The DMV told me I could not when I asked, a member of the atv club when I asked about trail rules said, "We don't driven your roads, you can stay off our roads", both the DMV and this particular person have been umm..... Misleading with their info or plain wrong.
    So I should just get a street plate and drive and if I get into any trouble go from there?
    #4
  5. zokn

    zokn ...In a Hand Basket

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    Perhaps it would help to clarify what is meant by the term, trail. Riding on a woodlands trail is different from riding an abandoned rail bed, which is different from riding on a rail bed that has been developed as part of the rails-to-trails network.

    Some parts (local groups have responsibility and input into usage rules) of the rails-to-trails network, which uses abandoned rail beds that have been taken over by the Province, allow ATVs but do not permit trail bikes or any two-wheeled motor vehicles. On some sections not even ATVs are allowed.

    I presume this thread is referring to woodland trails through crown lands, primarily, and to rail beds that are not part of the rails-to-trails network.

    Near where I live, the forest areas previously owned by Bowater are now open to the public. Lots of ATV and bike riders and 4x4 drivers now travel the roads that were built and used for logging. There are concerns developing about misuse stemming mostly from carelessness and thoughtlessness: damage to the land and waterways, dumping garbage, and reckless vehicle use.

    Continued access will always be at the pleasure of public sentiment. Let's hope the disrespect of a few will not harm the potential pleasure of many.

    My understanding is that licensed motorcycles can travel any public road or trail that is not specifically restricted, such as sections of the rails-to-trails network. Is that the consensus?

    Enjoy your rides -- in the woods and on the street!
    #5
  6. tbas3

    tbas3 Adventurer

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    I don't know how to post quotes so will just answer the questions as i saw them.

    For Tylenol: the information you got is quite different from what I was given. If no one is completely sure what the rules are it is highly unlikely you will be charged with something. If you are doing something dangerous like riding 120 km/hr down the trail I'm sure they could find something to charge you with. I have been stopped by some sort of patrol on the trail. They looked to see if i had a plate and said have a nice day. I only have a street plate but it was sufficient. Our abandoned railways here seem to be considered everyone's. They do not belong to the off road crowd.

    For Zokn: Trail in my part of NS refers to the abandoned railway lines. I am in the western end of the province. Using the land with respect will go a long way towards keeping access open in the future. Its unfortunate that I have seen some of the issues you mention especially garbage dumping.

    Tom
    #6
  7. Tylenol

    Tylenol Been here awhile

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    zokn: I am actually talking about the rail to trails network. I feel that the whole thing can be used by all interest groups respectfully and safely. I pay taxes to the NS Gov that are suppose to go to the maintenance of the trails, as well as part of my license and registration fees, and I feel that the closed sections need to be open and that the trails must all fall under 1 Provincial/Federal Legislation and not multiple little municipal units. To my knowledge Wolfville has their section closed, Paradise here in the Valley twice to my knowledge tried to, or a residence of the area tried to, have that section closed. The idea when the rail to trails started was to have a Trans Canada Trail for everyone not just dog walkers and hikers.

    tbas3: 90% of the time what you describe is what occurs. However I have heard stories where it went a different way. Now I can not speak to the validity of the stories, they were all hear say and may have been brought on by activities described by zokn in terms of disrespectful use of the trails and property.

    Zokn raises another interesting point, I have been asking these questions using the term trail without clearly identifying what exactly I am referring to, so that could be a cause for confusing info. One person answers based on Bowater and non-railway associated trails, and another might be thinking only the railway trails.

    With all that said I suppose a better question to pose is has anyone had any issues with enforcement, or anyone else, on the use of trails railway trail included?
    #7
  8. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    I went to a couple meetings about 6-7 years ago in Bedford, (I lived in NS from 1990 to 2008). It was hosted by the Off Highway Vehicle something or other (I can't remember the title) with a couple of RCMP officers attending.

    It mainly dealt with ATV's but myself and few others wanted clarification about our street/trail bikes. I had a DRZ400 at the time. Long story short, you can go anywhere you want if the bike is so called, "blue plated" for street use. Not including private property unless given permission.

    They said I could ride from Halifax to Truro in the ditch if I wanted.
    #8
  9. Tylenol

    Tylenol Been here awhile

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    Thank you, that helps me out a lot, perhaps I should have just asked an RCMP Officer about it, since they are the ones who will be enforcing the laws.
    #9
  10. C-Stain

    C-Stain Long timer

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    My suggestion is to call or email the NSORRA with your questions or concerns. http://www.offroadriders.ca This is a lobby group that has our interests in mind. I've approached them with concerns about the Rail Beds and was told not to worry, there was no reason I couldn't ride on them.

    A membership is not a bad idea - it costs around $15/year and I've joined for the past two.

    They should be able to respond to all of your concerns.

    There's no point in starting something new when there's already something there. They will accept your assistance if you want to volunteer.

    C.
    #10
  11. Tylenol

    Tylenol Been here awhile

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    thanks c stain, i might do that, volunteer that is, and join.
    #11
  12. Sawdoc

    Sawdoc Been here awhile

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    Tylenol<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Here in NB the situation regarding the "rail bed" is similar but maybe a bit better defined.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    I have 3 bikes , all have street plates , a KLX250s, WR450F and a R1200GS and all are ridden frequently on NBATV trails. I pay for four trail passes per year ( i also have a Polaris side by side ) but the bikes only cost me $15 each as street plated vehicles cannot be fully registered with the federation. The $15 is more or less for a club sticker and lets fellow trail riders know that we recognize the efforts that go into maintaining a large segment of the trails here in NB.

    To date , we ( family of riders ) have never had a issue on the trails , in fact just the oppisite. New Brunswick is heavy with off-roaders SxS are becomeing very popular and between that and standard 4 wheelers it is not unusual to encouter 20 4 wheeled bikes on a Saturday, railbed or not.
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    We sometimes trailer our bikes to Kingston to do some dirt riding with my daughter and son in law and frankly have had the same experience, all good.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    If i might make a suggestion, next time you hear of a local rally , maybe a fundraiser or such sponsored by the ATV clubs, pay a few bucks and run along with them . A lot of rallies are easily ridded by off-road bikes, in fact many i join and ride on my GS , <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    You might be surprised how far that will go in developing a good relationship between the two wheel and four wheel enthusiasts !

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    #12
  13. Tylenol

    Tylenol Been here awhile

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    I think your right.
    #13
  14. Tylenol

    Tylenol Been here awhile

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    DNR Enforcement called me today and basically said that when they stop someone they are looking for a registration regular or OHV, and insurance. In the case of a regular registration a recipt of the 40$ trail infrastructure fee as well. If I got that I am good to go. He also pointed out that the DMV local to me seems to be a constant reason why he gets OHV questions, told me to call the 1 800 number and talk to a call centre representative because they give better, accurate, and consistent information.
    So apparently it does work the way I thought it should work and the issue is one DMV that is making up crap as they feel like it, public service eh...
    #14
  15. CallMeBoog

    CallMeBoog hi functioning idiom

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    From what I understand, coming from RCMP officers, is that a blue plated vehicle may NOT ride on the railbed trails, only red plated vehicles. If you find out about that $40 trail fee, can you let me know? DMV here told me that I was not able to 'pay-in' to the trail infrastructure fee, as only red-plated vehicles can do that.

    now, given that, I don't believe anyone has ever been charged or fined with anything in this respect.
    #15
  16. Tylenol

    Tylenol Been here awhile

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    The DNR guy said he was only looking for a trail fee on a blue plate, the way he said it implied that red plates don't need to pay the fee. I would go to DNR and see if they will take your trail fee money and give you a pass.
    OHV vehicle clubs can also issue passes when you pay your dues, I am thinking about going that route.
    #16
  17. MrBear05

    MrBear05 n00b

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    I recently joined NSORRA and it has increased to $20 for 2014. As for trails, we have been riding Rails To Trails and Bowater roads off the 103.
    Dualsport.ca talk about blue plate and red plate motorcycles riding on all trails not specifically mark private or NO Motorcycles allowed.

    Still learning the lay of the land by we have travelled much of Bowater with both Red/Blue plates and Rails to Trails from Digby to Doctors Cove on the South Shore.
    #17
  18. Tylenol

    Tylenol Been here awhile

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    To be honest 3 different departments have gave me three different answers on the question of vehicles on the rail bed trail. However it seems that only the railbed is confused, so I have decided it's not worth the headache when I can go on the trails out south and go pretty much anywhere I want to between the trails and K Class roads.

    Just a week or 2 ago I made a map for a trail club showing all the abandoned roads and trails out in the dalhousie area, and that club did a run to investigate them and found that you could go from Annapolis to Roxbury with little to no road travel. I should be getting their gpx files soon to see where they went to update my data. They also found a whole series of Bowater logging roads, and NSPI service roads left from the old dam that ran all around the lake that were not on my map, I think there is a plan to go back and further investigate these. Anyway, all I am trying to say is that the railbed, all though handy, isn't the only source of off road fun. There is lots out there....
    #18