I’ve spent the last 2 1/2 months hiking almost constantly doing research for the 3rd edition of our book, “Hiking Idaho.” Maybe Idaho is some exception, but I haven’t seen a single mountain biker, although a few trails showed the tracks of one or two bikes. My view is that any environmental effects that I have seen is trivial. On the other hand, ATVs (4-wheelers — those machines that look like toy tanks) have widened many trails so that they are really little roads. Some of the hikes in our previous edition will have to be deleted due to this kind of trail degradation (which is usually coupled with off-trail hill climbing tracks).
Another problem is ATVs in informal RV campsites on public land. It seems in many cases the ATVs are for the kids to ride while mom, dad, or whoever sits in the shade and gets drunk, watches television in the RV, or whatever. The kids usually don’t know anything about nature, and unwittingly tear up the meadows, hills, and ride through the creeks.You know ; out here where i ride on the Central Coast of California; I ride in a National park called Montana De Oro. We have plenty of designated trails for mountainbikes and the Equestrians ride on them too. I slow down and I’m curtious to them when they pass etc.
One thing s , Mountainbikers cant ride some trails that are designated “Horse Trails” That’s okay but; THE HORSES TEAR UP THE TRAILS WAAAAAAY MORE THAN A MOUNTAINBIKE DOES. MY BIKE DOESNT SHIT ALL OVER THE TRAILS Once again you proved my point: mountain bikers ignore the damage THEY do, and just try to rationalize it by finding someone else doing more damage. Of course, that is specious reasoning. NOTHING that equestrians do has any bearing on the damage that mountain bikers do! I am working on creating wildlife habitat that is off-limits to humans (“pure habitat”). Want to help? (I spent the previous 8 years fighting auto dependence and road construction.)