ATV trail ride offers unique Family experience
People prepare to embark on the ATV trail ride last year. This year's trail ride will begin at 7 a.m. Sept. 29 and people are encouraged to sign up by Sept. 28.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 20, 2012) -- Above and beyond the many recreational activities that are available on Fort Rucker from fishing and swimming at Lake Tholocco, to runs and fitness training at the fitness facilities -- outdoor recreation is offering a unique experience for Soldiers and Families to participate in.

People are invited to bring their all-terrain vehicles on the ATV Trail Ride Sept. 29, which offers an opportunity for people get to see a side of Fort Rucker that is rarely seen by most of the population on the installation, according to Mark Yoakum, ODR assistant business manager.

"People [who come on the trail ride] are going to get to participate in something they couldn't normally do on an everyday basis here on the installation," he said. "We're going to be out in the wooded areas on Fort Rucker along creeks and up to the outer boundaries by Highway 27. There are some trails out there that are probably traveled only once a year, so the trails are overgrown."

The trail ride will go from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Yoakum said it's a good chance for people to disconnect from society and just enjoy the nature that Fort Rucker has to offer.

"It's just about being out in nature and being in the woods," he said. "We just want to try and make it fun and exciting. People may see wildlife like deer or even wild hogs. It's really just a leisurely ride, but it all depends on the group that we have."

Depending on the dynamic of the group, Yoakum said that they try to adapt the experience for the type of people that are participating.

"In the past when we've had these trail rides, we had a lot of younger Soldiers that would come out and take part," he said. "Since they were a younger group, they were kind of wild and crazy and loved to find mud holes and enjoyed getting really dirty."

In more recent trail rides, the group dynamic has been an older generation of Soldiers who enjoy taking the ride at a leisurely pace and enjoying what nature has to offer, said the ODR assistant manager.

"We just want to keep it interesting for whatever group we get to come out with us," he said. "There are some areas that have graveyards with Civil War era graves, and depending on whether or not the group is interested, we would go visit some of those sites. There is some pretty good history to be seen out here on Fort Rucker."

Although the ATV Trail Ride typically has participants that are Soldiers or couples, Yoakum said he would like to see more of a Family dynamic for the trail ride.

"It's a great thing for Families to come out and we haven't had many children accompany us on the rides, but we would love to have some," he said. "We would even like to have children bring fun karts or even mini bikes that they can keep up with us on to add more of a Family element to it." He added that people that register to be on the ATV Trail Ride must be at least 16 years of age to operate an ATV.

The cost for registration is $20 per ATV, and Yoakum said that side-by-side ATVs are welcome.

"If people want to bring a two-seater utility vehicle and bring a friend, or if they want to have their child ride with them, I won't charge them for the seat. The cost will just be for each ATV," he said.

Yoakum also said that people who participate in the ride should wear the proper protective gear, which includes helmets, long-sleeve shirts and pants, and boots. People should also make sure to bring refreshments, snacks or even a sack lunch.

"People should come out and enjoy this experience because it's something that they can't normally experience," he said. "ATVs can't be ridden on Fort Rucker so this is a good opportunity to do something different."

For more information or to register, call 255-4305.

Page last updated Thu September 20th, 2012 at 11:51