The Gandy Dancer State Trail is open for non-motorized activities in the summer time. During the winter months the trail is open for snowmobiling and frozen ground ATV use.
The Gandy Dancer's current uses are being reviewed by the Board of Supervisors in both Polk and Burnett Counties. Although the DNR, trail surveys, public comment and national research indicate that shared use trails are not compatible, the Supervisors in both counties are considering adding ATV/UTV use year round. Changing the Gandy Dancer's Master Plan to accommodate motorized sports would negatively affect and displace all other user groups (walking, biking, hiking, cross country running, geocaching).
The Friends of Gandy Dancer is opposed to motorizing the trail year round. Our communities are fortunate to have a protected rail trail corridor free from damage, noise, speed differentials and dust. There are 34 events scheduled on the trail in 2019 and motorizing the trail would put an end to most if not all of these family friendly activities.
To stay up-to-date on action items and trail related news and events, please join Friends of Gandy Dancer on Facebook.
What Recreation Professionals Say About Integrating Hiking & ATVs On Same Trail
DNR Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP)
“Recent reviews of research in the field of recreation conflict revealed that management which aims to avoid recreation conflict is ineffective.”
Rather than such ineffective attempts, SCORP suggests the following management strategy for highly competitive and antagonistic compatibility.
“The most appropriate management action for these activities will generally be segregating uses . . .”
The 2005-2010 DNR SCORP notes that the compatibility between ATV Riding and Hiking is rated as antagonistic at 2.4 on a scale of 0 to 10.