A Great Place for ATVs

By SARAH ROSE FREDLUND
Staff writer Shoshone News Press

WALLACE — Dirt Wheels Magazine named Wallace one of the top 12 North American ATV towns in its March 2010 edition. “Their history is deep-rooted in the mining, logging and railroading industries, and the mountainous terrain is filled with unparalleled scenic views and wildlife,” is how the publication describes the historic area.

High Mountain ATV Association President and Safety Officer Jim Shields said the club was kind of surprised with the ranking from such a prominent ATV magazine, although Dirt Wheels has always done well in promoting the local ATV Jamboree — which will be celebrating its 17th year this summer. “We’re very excited about it,” he said. Shields said ATV riders are able to explore about 1,100 miles of trails in Shoshone County, enjoying how Silver Valley merchants make the area very hospitable.

“There are so many places where you can jump on and go,” he said. “That is a big, big factor.” Jack Rupp, High Mountain ATV Association vice president, said quite possibly one of the exceptional aspects of riding in Wallace and the surrounding areas is not having to trailer the machines around — simply driving straight to the desired destination.

“Wallace has got a bit of notoriety when it comes to the trails,” he said. Shields said there are usually no problems in sharing the roadway with other vehicles, as long as riders obey the laws. The High Mountain ATV Association is also very conscientious when it comes to safety, being one of the first clubs with safety certification and constantly clearing the trail-way with involvement from the Forest Service. Having a well maintained riding route, Shields said, ensures a great time every time. The weather may be the only variable that prevents someone from hopping on an ATV, he said, though it is a sport where one must be prepared by dressing for the situation. “To me there’s never a bad day on the trail,” he said. “You don’t want it rainy, but hey — let’s ride anyway.”

Shields said the High Mountain ATV Association can anticipate more people traveling out to Wallace looking for places to ride, whether it be for a family vacation or a men’s road trip, as curiosity makes people come and find out what makes this place so great.   “I’m sure we’ll see a spike [in visitors] again this year,” Rupp said.

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