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For Release: Friday, March 31, 2023

DEC to Reopen State's Mountain Bike Trails on April 1

Mountain Bikers May Resume Using DEC Trails this Saturday

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Cathy Haas today announced mountain bike trails on three DEC-managed properties in Suffolk County will reopen on April 1. The trail closures were in place during small game and deer shotgun hunting seasons to prevent excessive impacts to trails after the annual spring thaw cycle.

DEC properties where mountain bike trails will reopen are:

  • Otis Pike Pine Barrens State Forest
  • Rocky Point Pine Barrens State Forest
  • Eastport Pine Barrens State Forest

Mountain biking is allowed year-round on DEC's Edgewood Oak Brush Plains State Forest, 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.

DEC requires mountain bikers on DEC property to:

  • Ride only on marked mountain bike trails, except on the Otis Pike Pine Barrens State Forest where only established roads may be used;
  • Wear hard-shell helmets and eye protection and yield to official vehicles and equipment, horseback riders, and hikers; and
  • Visit state lands between the hours of dawn and dusk, with the exception of permitted hunting activities.

Spring Turkey Season Trail Closures

DEC will be closing certain properties to all recreational activities except hunting until noon during the month of May to accommodate Long Island's first-ever spring turkey season. DEC Managed Lands Access Permits are not valid for any other activity until noon each day of the spring turkey season on properties/parking areas where firearms turkey hunting is permitted.

DEC-managed properties where hunting spring firearms turkey hunting will be allowed and where trails will be closed from sunrise to noon are:

  • Rocky Point Pine Barrens State Forest - Shotgun and Archery
  • Westhampton Dwarf Pine Plains State Forest - Shotgun and Archery
  • Henrys Hollow Pine Barrens State Forest - Shotgun and Archery
  • Barcelona Neck Cooperative Hunting Area - Shotgun and Archery
  • David A. Sarnoff Cooperative Hunting Area - Shotgun and Archery
  • Otis Pike Pine Barrens State Forest Cooperative Hunting Area - Shotgun and Archery

DEC-managed properties that are not open for firearms spring turkey hunting have no recreational user access restrictions during this season and activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking can continue as usual. Visitors are advised archery turkey hunters may be present at the following properties:

  • Kings Park Cooperative Hunting Area
  • Calverton Pine Barrens State Forest
  • East Bartlett Pine Barrens State Forest
  • Carman's River Pine Barrens State Forest
  • Ridge Conservation Area
  • Fireplace Neck
  • Havens Point
  • Long Beach Bay

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 mountain bikers. 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.

For additional information on three-year access permits and recreational opportunities on DEC-managed properties, please contact the DEC's Natural Resources Department at (631) 444-0270 or visit the DEC's website.

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