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DO THEY GET COLD FEET?: Ducks paddle upstream at Third Dam in Logan Canyon. / Photo by Mike Sweeney

Today's word on journalism

Friday, January 20, 2006

Variations on "truthiness":

"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."

-- Mark Twain, author, newspaperman and humorist (1835-1910)

MENTORS WANTED: Media professionals in all fields wanted to serve as email mentors for journalism students. If interested, send email slugged "Mentors" to Ted Pease (

A guide to 4-wheeling adventures close to home

By Ashley Schiller

December 20, 2005 | Some days I can almost hear the peaks shadowing Utah State University begging me to come explore them. But some research is necessary when you experience nature dirt bike or 4-wheeler style.

The majority of the surrounding mountains are part of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, and only certain areas are legal for off-highway vehicle (OHV) riding.

It's important to stick to the designated riding areas in order to protect the privilege of riding, said Lisa Perez, conservation education coordinator of the Logan Ranger District of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest.

"The majority of riders, if they see a sign or know the rules, will follow the rules," she said, adding that those who ignore the designations jeopardize the sport for everyone.

Detailed maps featuring which trails are legal and when they are open can be obtained at the Wasatch-Cache National Forest office located near the mouth of the canyon at 1500 East and U.S. Highway 89 in Logan. Here's a quick guide to some popular riding spots recommended by the Wasatch-Cache National Forest office and local OHV enthusiasts.

Left Hand Fork

Directions: Drive toward Hyrum and turn left onto Highway 242. Look for the turnoff to Left Hand Fork on the left side of the road.

Reason You Need to Ride It: The trail is connected to dozens of backcountry roads, one of which leads to the top of Logan Peak, an excellent place to take a breather and view the entirety of Cache Valley.

Also accessed from the fork is the Shoshone Trail System, Perez said. The area connects to dozens of routes winding through Cache and Rich counties. A map detailing the Shoshone Trail System can be picked up at the Logan Ranger District office.

Richard Hollow

Directions: The trailhead stems out of Left Hand Fork.

Why You Need to Ride It: Tim Wolford from Providence describes the trail as having "lots of stream crossings. It's quite technical in areas. It's really tough to beat Richard Hollow." The trail comes out at White's Bed Ground, where there are some spectacular waterfalls, Wolford said.

Right Hand Fork

Directions: The trail can be accessed from Highway 89 through Logan Canyon. Turn right onto a paved road about eight miles into the canyon.

Reason You Need to Ride It: The trail connects to Left Hand Fork and has dozens of small runs just off the main road. Local resident Bevan Erickson described his experience on the Cache Trails Web site =: "I found a legal trail up by the corrals that took me all the way over to Temple Fork. It started single track for the first mile or so, then turned into double track once you hit the second meadow. It was absolutely gorgeous," he said. Wolford said he also enjoys riding the trails in Right Hand Fork. Little Bear, a nice wide trail, and Turkey Trail, a single-track aimed at motorcyclists, are also accessible from Temple Fork. Another trail, Steel Hollow, leads the rider toward Ephraim's Grave, he said.

Willard Peak/Inspiration Point

Directions: Go South on Main Street in Mantua until you come across Willard Peak Rd.

Reason You Need to Ride It: The view is unbeatable, said Tim Peterson of Logan, who describes it as one of his favorite rides. "It's not really hard or technical. It's just fun. It's a fun place to take people up, especially on the 4th of July. You can see literally thousands of fireworks," he said. The view stretches all the way from near Preston down to Salt Lake County.

The USU Forestry Camp Area Trail (New in 2005)

Directions: Drive as if you were going to Tony Grove but turn right and go over the bridge rather than turning left into the grove. Turn onto West Hodge's Road and drive up to the parking and unloading area.

Reason You Need to Ride It: It's new and needs test riders! The trail connects to several popular routes such as Worm Fence, Little Bear and Sinks Road.

Providence Canyon

Directions: Canyon Road in Providence leads right up to the canyon.

Reason You Need to Ride It: The canyon provides a rocky, technical feast for experienced riders. Peterson said the trails are "really hairy, but nothing that's not doable." The trail is very rocky and loose, Wolford said. "It puts you in the forest quicker than any other canyon because it's so steep."

Beaver Mountain

Directions The road to Beaver Mountain branches off Highway 89.

Why You Need to Ride It: There is a massive trail system taking off from Beaver Mountain and leading up into Idaho, Wolford said. "You can do as long of a ride as you want to, 150 miles a day even," he said.

Vehicle Registration and Regulations: According to the Utah State Parks homepage, all off-road vehicles must be registered with the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles. A current registration sticker must be visible on the vehicle. Information about how to register can be found here.

The Web site also outlines age restrictions. Children under the age of 8 may not drive an OHV. Persons between 8 and 15 may drive after receiving an OHV education certificate issued by the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation. Call 1-800-OHVRIDE to find the nearest training range. There are 30 throughout the state. Persons 16 and older with a valid driver's license may also to drive. Helmets are required for any rider under the age of 18.

Tracks? For the rider who prefers racing-style riding, Cache Valley is unfortunately not abundant in tracks ... in fact, the closest track is located down in Ogden, said Renegade Sports employee Tyler Egbert. There was once a track located near Newton, but it was closed and is now used for farming, he said.

Be safe and enjoy your ride.


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