ATVs and trails do work

Dear Editor:

My name is Shawn Thompson, born and raised in Listowel. 

I started the North Perth and District ATV Club back in 2022, as current president. 

Despite some opposition who seem to not understand our vision, roles and responsibility to the proposed trails, we know ATV use on trails does work, especially when backed by a club like ours – who are under the umbrella of the Ontario Federation of All Terrain Vehicles.

To clear up some misunderstandings and answer some questions –

We are only seeking a portion of the trail. The map of it can be provided or viewed on the municipal website as a part of the delegations and presentation we did. 

As the trail ends in Henfryn, we will be seeking road allowance through Huron East. 

That road access will be connected to Huron Shores ATV club.

Having a club manage, police/warden the trails will eliminate those who are currently doing so illegally. 

It will be a paid permit system for ATVs.

Speed limits will be a top priority, lowering them to as low as 15kmh through areas like Atwood. 

Maintenance will be done by us, not the taxpayer. Weekly checks will be done. 

Wardens will be out on a daily basis and more frequently on weekends. Anyone caught on the trials without a pass, will be removed. Anyone speeding, trespassing, etc. will be reported to the OPP and met with hefty fines.

There will be plenty of signage. Aside from speed limits, there will be signs signaling operators that pedestrians have the right of way and to watch for them. Hours of operation, 911 emergency signs, etc.

We also carry $15 million in liability insurance.

The sport of ATVing is booming. Many areas, counties, municipalities are allowing the use of them not only on the roadways, but on trials, like we have here. 

Other provinces like Quebec and Eastern Canada have trails that extend from one side of the province to the next. They’ve seen incredible gains in tourism, local economy and overall well-being of residents.

In Ontario alone, over $370 million in ATV related tourism was spent in Ontario. 

These are just a few important things we thought we should mention.

Safety is at the top of our list. Our club and our members are responsible, well-mannered and observant operators. We put pedestrians, like walkers, those with children and – pets, cyclists – first.

Mentioned above is Huron Shores ATV Club, who have been around for the better part of two decades. They have hundreds of kilometers of multi user trails. They have coexisted with walkers, cyclists – everyone gets along and shares a mutual respect. 

They are just one example of many other ATV Clubs who share the trail. 

We completely understand the concerns of those opposed. 

A common concern, next to safety, is “taking away from nature”. That is the opposite of what we want to do. We have plans to plant trees and native flowers, build bird boxes and have a couple rest stops. 

We are also adding to the trails system. We have permission for private property along the trail, these areas would be accessible to anyone who wish to walk or cycle it. Future plans for additions as well. 

This isn’t just getting access to the trails, this is another way for families and whoever enjoys the sport, to get out and enjoy what North Perth has to offer and beyond. Tourism and Economic benefits can also have a positive impact. 

We understand and have read that there was incidents with snowmobiles and an ATV. 

Opponents have used these few bad apples to perpetuate the distrust and paint a bad image towards the majority of responsible and respectful riders. 

We are not just a club looking for a place to ride, we are members of the community. 

We dedicate our time to do volunteer work for the local fair, donations to people in need, keeping our amazing place to live clean, like doing annual roadside cleanups –  to mention just a few of the things we do. 

We want to work with the public, our meetings are open, emails and phones. 

If you wish to contact is with any questions, concerns, ideas, anything – please, feel free. We are here to listen.

Visit our social media page on Facebook – North Perth and District ATV Club,  email: or phone 226-622-1803

Thank you for taking the time to read this.