Fenced off road?

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - Northeast, Southeast & Florida' started by Telstar_2112, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. Telstar_2112

    Telstar_2112 Adventurer

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    Near my property in upstate NY I have found that on Garmin's maps there is a road that goes over the mountain connecting two county roads. In actuality the road comes to a fence that looks to go into a farmers field. From the other side of the mountain the road is signed and also goes through a farmers property but appears to go through and up into the mountain and there are no fences. So I rode through a swamp of cow manuer and up into the mountain and at a certain point the road practically dissapears and it is clear no one has gone that way in quite a long time.

    Does anyone know of any way to determine if I am in fact allowed to ride this road? I can't imagine opening the gate and going through potential fields of farm animals but am curious about it and if there is any way to find out for certain if the road is still a legal road.

    Telstar_2112
    #1
  2. Zecatfish

    Zecatfish XTique Rider

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    Call you local County Court House and ask them about the road.

    I've found several roads on the maps before only to get to them and they're gone, disappeared into the wisps of time and is no longer even a trail.
    It really sucks when that happens and your leading a group and ADV'ers and you end up looking foolish. :huh No one ever believes it was on the map either. :lol3
    #2
  3. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

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    it happens all the time in the country.

    As for whether you can ride it, use your own judgment. When faced in real life by a farmer with a shotgun, what a bunch of ADV types said on the internet is not that important.
    #3
  4. CannonsvilleRider

    CannonsvilleRider Been here awhile

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    If it's not gated or posted, or visibly going into someone's yard, it's fair game.

    I might be able to supply details on the road you are interested in if you PM me details. I was born here in Walton, if I don't know it, someone in my family should.
    #4
  5. rbiked

    rbiked Adventurer

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    you just have to leave the gate as you found it... soo get out and close it after you get though it. if you find one with no trespassing signs and buildings, just off-road around the property or find a different route.
    #5
  6. vanos954

    vanos954 Adventurer

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    If it's fenced off then it is for a reason. I know I wouldn't want someone riding through my backyard just as I'm sure the farmers don't want us riding on their fenced property...posted or not. I figure a fence serves pretty much the same purpose as a no trespassing sign unless you are on some open range and the fence is just a formality. Not much open range in the east though.
    #6
  7. bombarde

    bombarde DL650AK7 - K75

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    Surveyors call some roads "paper streets" because that's the only place they exist.
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  8. Matt Walston

    Matt Walston Adventurer

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    Go check with your planning department and they will be able to tell you if that is a county road. Around here more than one farmer decided to fence off a road that was an annoyance. One even took a load of dirt and dumped it in the road (Just made more fun for me to ride over). If it is the county's road, bring a set of bolt cutters and do a community service. ;-)
    #8
  9. Liza

    Liza Dirty Girl

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    In some places (NH I believe for one) landowners abutting a road are allowed to gate a road to contain livestock. Obviously there are restrictions to that...I don't know the details. In those cases it is prudent to leave the gate as found.

    A call to the town hall, road agent, or whom ever maintains the town maps in that part of the world. Some roads DO yet returned to the abutting landowners, but some action is required by the town to do that and there should be a record of that. Some roads just become unmaintained by the town, but do in fact remain legally passable roads.
    #9
  10. Fireman1000

    Fireman1000 Long timer

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    Ha, I took what I thought was a road yesterday, that ended up being a guys driveway. He was outside cutting his grass when I rounded the corner. I turned the bike off to explain what I was doing, and we ended up talking for 20 minutes or so. Turns out he was an ex motocross rider. He said he's been thinking of getting a DS thumper to goof around on. Small world huh?
    #10
  11. Butters

    Butters Kwyjibo Supporter

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    I'm not sure there is an end-all-be-all logic to gates. Out West, there are MANY public roads/trails that have been gated. As stated above, it is not to keep people out, but livestock in. (Livestock can graze on public lands in many areas) I believe the protocol is to leave the gate whichever way you found it (open/closed). Of course, this refers to unlocked gates. Padlocked gates would indicate private/restricted property.

    With fewer wide open spaces in the East and presumably far fewer areas of public grazing, I would think even an unlocked gate would be indicative of private property.

    Now the fact of the matter is if there are no signs posted, you really aren't trespassing until you stay after you are asked to leave. But whether you want to take the chance that the gun toting property owner is aware of the law is up to you.
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  12. Liza

    Liza Dirty Girl

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    Actually, some states requires explicit permission to access private property regardless of whether it is posted or not (NH for example). Others allow access unless it is posted. YMMV.

    From the State of NH
    #12
  13. Para504

    Para504 Spam, Spam, bacon & Spam!

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    +1
    Thats true in NH. Class 6 roads (non-maintained) are subject to "gates & bars"; however, the intent isn't to restict passage, but rather keep livestock from roaming.

    http://www.nh.gov/oep/resourcelibrary/referencelibrary/c/classviroads/ClassVIHighways.htm
    "The term "gates and bars" is not expressly defined by statute, but the term historically refers to an owner’s right to enclose premises for his or her own benefit – usually to confine livestock. The owner required public travelers to open and close the gates or bars as a condition to travel. The term "gates and bars" first became associated with Class VI highways in 1925, when the legislature enacted Laws of 1925, Chapter 12:1, which provided a town had no duty to maintain any highway that had been closed subject to gates and bars."
    #13
  14. ct-ktm

    ct-ktm Long timer

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    Yeah but there is a big difference between a ohrv and a legal motorcycle.!!!..
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  15. Liza

    Liza Dirty Girl

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    What do you mean? Just because you ride a legal motorcycle doesn't mean you have the right to enter private property without permission, posted or not. It just means you have the right to travel public roads.
    #15
  16. ct-ktm

    ct-ktm Long timer

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    I thought thats what this post was about.??.
    Some of the ding dongs that live at the end of a dirt road and have deciced they don't wanrt peeople to use them..
    I never go on private property..don't have to, there is plenty of state land around here..
    #16
  17. Liza

    Liza Dirty Girl

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    The conversation had turned to trespassing also. I took that as a comment about tresspassing on a legal motorcycle being better than tresspassing on a OHV. :huh Sorry 'bout that. :D
    #17
  18. NYTrainer

    NYTrainer Been here awhile Supporter

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    I have seen abandoned roads that are still legal right-of-ways but have been illegally gated by landowners, so just because there is a gate does not mean that it cannot be accessed. Check with the municipality.

    That being said, I ride with several individuals who believe that ANY trail/dirt road is fair game & have no problem riding around gates and/or fences. Their rationale is, "it is easier to ask forgiveness, than permission". I do not agree.
    Lack of respect for private property is one reason for closure. Ask FIRST!
    #18
  19. BK.RD.RNR

    BK.RD.RNR Torque Stick

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    Well said!
    As far as seeing if you have the right to be there.... I am framiliar with Delaware cty. I've lived in Franklin, Downsville, and Shinhopple.

    In Dutchess and Ulster ctys, I know for a fact you can get on thier cty websites and view the tax maps for specific townships. Public rights of way should be easily discernable, unless they go through state land, and possibly then as well. Good luck.
    #19
  20. bwalsh

    bwalsh Long timer

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    That may be true out west but not here in the East.

    There is also the flip side of that being roads that have been abandoned by the state and reverted back to the adjoining neighbors property=private property.
    Your riding partners show no respect riding past gates. If it were me I'd be finding new individuals to ride with.
    #20