FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Fort Rucker's wooded trails open up for a rare riding opportunity during outdoor recreation's ATV and Dirt Bike Trail Ride Feb. 18 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event is open to anyone ages 16 and older -- pre-registration is required and cost is $20 per person, according to Mark Yoakum, ODR assistant business manager.

"Riders are going to get to participate in something they couldn't normally do on an everyday basis here on the installation," Yoakum said. Drivers must complete a safety driving test prior to participating in the trail ride.

"The safety test and vehicle inspection begins at 7 a.m.," he said. "(There's) not a written test -- no prep needed."

Yoakum added that safety and proper riding etiquette help ensure the event can continue to thrive from year to year.

"I cannot stress enough that this foray into these woods is only allowed by very special permission granted to us for this twice-a-year event," he said. "These training areas are where survival, evasion and land navigation are taught -- all very serious skills when a Soldier's life is on the line.

"This is a guided and supervised event," he added. "Keep a safe distance between riders (and) watch out for obstacles in your path."

According to Yoakum, the event, which is held in the spring and fall, provides an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends.

"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."

Riders are required to wear protective equipment during the ride, including helmets, eye protection, foot protection, long sleeves, pants and gloves.

"The trail ride is ever-changing due to weather conditions -- expect mud for this ride," Yoakum said. "Motorcycles were allowed to participate since last spring."

According to Yoakum, the ride will include several stops, and riders are encouraged to bring water and snacks.

"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.