Mountain bike trails on four New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)-managed properties in Suffolk County reopened on April 6, DEC Regional Director Carrie Meek Gallagher announced today.
The trail closures had been in place due to small game and deer shotgun hunting seasons and to prevent excessive impacts to trails due to the annual spring thaw cycle.
“DEC makes every effort to manage its 16,843-acres of upland properties in the most sustainable manner possible. The annual closure period of the mountain biking trails in the fall prevents conflict between hunting groups and cyclists and the continued closure into early spring allows the trails to stay less rutted, which increases trail safety,” Director Gallagher said.
The DEC properties where mountain bike trail closures have been lifted are:
- Otis Pike Preserve
- Rocky Point Pine Barrens State Forest
- Eastport Pine Barrens State Forest
Mountain biking is allowed year-round on DEC’s Edgewood Oak Brush Plains Preserve, which features approximately 12.3 miles of mountain biking trails and on DEC’s Calverton Pine Barrens State Forest. Trails on these properties are maintained by Concerned Long Island Mountain Bikers (C.L.I.M.B) and DEC.
Bicyclists on DEC property must:
- Ride only on marked bicycling trails, except on the Otis Pike Preserve where only established roads may be used;
- Cyclists must wear hard-shell helmets and eye protection and shall yield to official vehicles and equipment, horseback riders and hikers; and
- Ride only between the hours of dawn and dusk.
DEC Forest Rangers may potentially close trails for limited time periods throughout the year due to poor trail conditions or so that Forest Rangers and other DEC staff can conduct activities such as prescribed fire operations without impacting firefighters and bicyclists.
Recreational activities on most DEC-owned lands on Long Island require an individual to have a NYS DEC – Managed Land Access Permit. Access permits are free and are valid for three years and must be carried at-all-times.
Permits are required for anyone 12 years old or older.
See DEC’s website for additional information on Region 1’s three-year access permits and recreational opportunities on DEC-managed properties, please contact the Region 1’s Natural Resources Department at (631) 444-0270