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Getting ready for a trip to the Hatfield and McCoy trails this Memorial Day weekend and I've heard a few stories of DNR giving riders a hard time (enforcing rules to the fullest).

There will be a group of 5 rides going with the drivers all in excess of 40 years old. We like to have fun but don't act like idiots on the tails. We enjoy taking a few beers along with us but don't drink heavily. I've been told that DNR is stopping people and checking coolers and giving breathalyzer tests. I've also heard its an automatic fine if caught riding with your helmet off. Are they really that strict at Hatfield and McCoy???

We are all experienced operators and have very expensive highly modified rides. The thought of DNR harassing us or possibly trying to impound our vehicles has us all concerned. If I can't go out in the woods and relax with friends, drink a few beers (NOT IN EXCESS) then what is the point.

I'm just curious if anyone has heard about DNR cracking down at Hatfield and McCoy????
 

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Don't ride without a helmet, wear your seatbelts, don't exceed manufacturers recommended riders, and don't let them see a beer can...and wave when they go by.

All of the above when not followed gives them reasonable suspicion to stop you.

So then know your rights. Keep you cooler locked and don't open it, don't submit to a breath test or any other sobriety test unless you're arrested. Not detained but arrested. and then only if you were on the public hwy since you are not required have a drivers license to ride on the trail there is no implied consent to a breathe test. So you cannot lose your license due to refusal. Your lawyer might tell you not to submit regardless.
 

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I've been going there the last 4 years. We typically have a large group of 30, so we commonly split into 4 smaller groups. None of us have ever been stopped or checked for anything. I would say you will have no issues. Enjoy your trip.
 

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We have a group of 10 to 12 that ride there in sept every year, awesome place!

I have spoke to a few officers at the trail heads from time to time!

There have told me that they do check helmets and belts on SxS

I'm a hotdog rider of many years, 48 years to be exact ....

And Hatfield McCoy is a great place to ride, but the steep drop offs call for full
Use of all of your faculties ! so we do any drinking at the end of the day!

They rarely have people get hurt that go over the edge, they just pick up the pieces !

We helped two different couples last year that has accidents !!!

They're good folks! Hey, be safe and enjoy ....
 

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In my personal experience with one...I come up on one who had just checked a SXS and was pulling off, he waived me over... Yes I had cooler on back of my SXS,he asked did I have any alcohol inside,I said no (told a story cause I did).he kinda leaned in to see if he could get a wiff if I had been drinking in which then I think its probable cause to look inside then but I hadn't had anything to drink yet... I didn't even have seatbelt on or helmet strapped... Talked to him a few mins and he asked to see permit...asked me to buckle helmet,I said yes sir..Never mentioned seat belt...I then went on my way...But I have read stories where they have did this and that and read where they did nothing...I guess it depends on who it is and or there mood...But some friends of mine that live there said there are more patrolling now than before...Me I was gonna use the "Im lost" approach because only the warning signs are at trailheads and if a Outlaw trail comes out on one you don't know until you see the trail numbers...Then you can still say you don't know what they mean because you was riding Outlaw Trails and come out on a HT, even though you are riding HT ...If it makes since to help CYA...
 

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Couple guys had their permits checked on the last trip, they were respectful with the rangers, and they didn't even ask about beer and what was in the cooler, etc.

I would imagine at this point, they can probably pick out the possible trouble makers... not profiling of course, but you know.

I'd wear a helmet, unless you are way up on the mountain. Rangers seem to be near the trailheads, I've only seen them in pickup trucks, so they don't really have access to remote trails. I've heard stories of them on atv's, but never saw any. I've been down 8 or 9 times now. I've never been checked, talked to a couple rangers, but they didn't even ask to see my permit.
 

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PS...If I was a ranger, I'd look for beat up sxs with big coolers in the back, no helmets, or Big Rebel flag waivin totally covered in mud blasting country rap music... just sayin. Don't draw attention to yourself if you don't want the fuzz sniffin around.
 

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We just got back Sunday from our sixth trip we have never been stopped we run in groups of 6 to 10 none of us drink on the trail. IMO It's too damn dangerous to be intoxicated, when you ride as hard as we do, 100ft dropoffs on switch backs.... all of us always wear Helmets as well.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Last 2 times ive been to the lower 3 hatfield trails i have seen dcnr and state police back there. The first time One of the guys in our group didn't have a pass and he got a big fine. The cop asked us about our coolers and we said no we didn't have any alcohol and that was it. I personally don't drink and ride but i know others do. The next time was on indian ridge near the mud pits and he was checking people coming out of them. We ended up just turning around because we had a new guy who forgot to put his pass on the helmet and left it at the campground. I feel like as long as you are wearing a helmet and have a pass you are good. Thats all the cop really cared about.
 

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Maybe 30 trips there the past 6 years and we only been stopped and checked for stickers once. We always wear helmets and we keep our drinks inside coolers in our boxes. Don't draw unnecessary attention to yourself and you will be fine.


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In my personal experience with one...I come up on one who had just checked a SXS and was pulling off, he waived me over... Yes I had cooler on back of my SXS,he asked did I have any alcohol inside,I said no (told a story cause I did).he kinda leaned in to see if he could get a wiff if I had been drinking in which then I think its probable cause to look inside then but I hadn't had anything to drink yet... I didn't even have seatbelt on or helmet strapped... Talked to him a few mins and he asked to see permit...asked me to buckle helmet,I said yes sir..Never mentioned seat belt...I then went on my way...But I have read stories where they have did this and that and read where they did nothing...I guess it depends on who it is and or there mood...But some friends of mine that live there said there are more patrolling now than before...Me I was gonna use the "Im lost" approach because only the warning signs are at trailheads and if a Outlaw trail comes out on one you don't know until you see the trail numbers...Then you can still say you don't know what they mean because you was riding Outlaw Trails and come out on a HT, even though you are riding HT ...If it makes since to help CYA...
Like I said know your rights! Reasonable suspicion is reason to stop you, like not wearing a helmet or seatbelt, or empty beer cans. Probably cause is reason for arrest, you still have the right to say no to a search. If your cooler is locked, and you don't grant permission to look inside, they need a warrant to do so, and it's not to likely they would do that to count beer cans. If your cooler is not locked, they likely will violate your fourth amendment protected rights, and then it's up to you to defend yourself in court. Not saying don't obey the law, just saying know your rights and protect yourself.

All that being said WV and HM want us there. They don't want a reputation of harassment. Be smart and respectful and they'll treat you likewise.
 

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About 4 years ago at RockHouse, we were stopped by a Ranger, but he was wanting us to help him get a horse off the trail system. He told us if we didn't help, he'd have to put it down. Of course he said that in a joking way with a little smile. We tried walking up to it as it had a halter, but it was way too spooked and I didn't feel like getting hurt or hurting the horse.

Funny though, a few buddies ended up going to local s-club later that night. Behind the bar was a tv showing a loose horse running through town lol.

Anyways, the guy was very nice.
 

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I've been going to HM since 2002. I've never seen a DNR officer ever on the trails. BUT we go on a Monday through Thursday trip. We hardly see anybody on the trails during the week. That's just the way I like it. We also wear our helmets and wear our seatbelts. Oh, and we leave the beer back at camp for the bonfire.
 

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trail buster
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The easiest answer here is to wear your helmet and don't drink on the trails. What's so hard about that? It's the rules and (now) enforced by DNR. Save the drinking for the camp fire after the ride!
Seems pretty simple, but a lot of people have trouble comprehending some basic, common-sense guidelines.
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Like you I have no idea why some would call this harassment.
There is a place in Louisiana called muddy bottoms. They have no drinking signs that they do not enforce and they also let you ride with no helmets. They have tons of accidents and have had several deaths. However it is redneck heaven and they stay packed.
On the trail or on the road, drinking and driving is proven to reduce driving skills and if you are a no brainer I guess a helmet would not help save something that was never there.
Just a little joking but I want to come home safe and sound. Mother nature has enough curve balls that can take you out so I want to increase my odds of survival. I save the drinking for the camp fire.
No hate just my 2c.:big-grin
 

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The easiest answer here is to wear your helmet and don't drink on the trails. What's so hard about that? It's the rules and (now) enforced by DNR. Save the drinking for the camp fire after the ride!
Seems pretty simple, but a lot of people have trouble comprehending some basic, common-sense guidelines.
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Like you I have no idea why some would call this harassment.
There is a place in Louisiana called muddy bottoms. They have no drinking signs that they do not enforce and they also let you ride with no helmets. They have tons of accidents and have had several deaths. However it is redneck heaven and they stay packed.
On the trail or on the road, drinking and driving is proven to reduce driving skills and if you are a no brainer I guess a helmet would not help save something that was never there.
Just a little joking but I want to come home safe and sound. Mother nature has enough curve balls that can take you out so I want to increase my odds of survival. I save the drinking for the camp fire.
No hate just my 2c.:big-grin
Agreed. Gas and beer just don't mix.
I'm all for having a hellacious good time on the trail, and back at camp. Just not mixing the two.
 

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The only ones thinking this is harassment, are the ones that are going to break the rules everywhere they go...not just HMT Personally I have ridden all the HMT trails and have never been hassled by anyone, and enjoy seeing the rangers West Virginia needs the atv business in these depressed counties. so if you get into trouble there you have really been doing something wrong
 
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