WASHINGTON — Virginia’s Prince William County is on track for a new dirt bike and ATV course just off Va. Route 28.
The county planning commission approved an application last week that has been in the works for years to allow the Family Off-Road Riders club of Prince William County to clear a main riding course and a kids’ course in Lehigh Portland Park. The course would be just off Route 28 between Fitzwater Drive and the Fauquier County line.
The Board of Supervisors is now expected to approve the permit for an initial five-year lease of the county parkland.
“We enjoy it, it’s a clean healthy activity … We get to take our kids out to go do something and when we get there, we get to participate with them. We’re not sitting on the sidelines just watching them,” club secretary Dave Hagy said.
Hagy said the 141 members of the club sometimes drive more than an hour to reach an open track, although there are some privately-owned tracks that are closer.
The changes on the wooded land that the county eventually plans to turn into a more complete park would maintain some of the oldest trees, while clearing others for a groomed dirt trail and mostly gravel parking lot. Overall, about 14 acres would be cleared.
The group has been working on the proposal for a few years, since losing its previous track because the land was sold in 2015.
In 2000, a county task force determined that Prince William should have a legal, safe site to ride off-road motorcycles and ATVs, which spurred the use of the previous site starting in 2001.
The new facility would only be allowed to have 50 people at any given time and no more than 50 vehicles each day. It will only be allowed to be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the summer months and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. between October and March, with senior members of the club always there to supervise operations.
The county will maintain at least two portable toilets on the site.
Only club members would be permitted to access the gated parking lot and dirt tracks, but membership would be open to the public.