ROXBURY — Mud season is underway in Western Maine, thanks to Thursday’s rain and warmer temperatures, prompting a local all-terrain vehicle club to close trails until they are dry and firm enough for knobby tires.

Michael Worthley, president of the Roxbury ATV Riders Club, said late Thursday afternoon that its trails will be off limits until June 1.

“The trails are closed,” he said. “Usually, they’re open by Memorial Day, but we put June 1 just in case they’re not ready. One year we did keep them closed until June 1, and we even canceled our (fundraising) poker run for Memorial Day. So, just to be safe, we’ll do June 1.

“Any club in the state is pretty much the same,” he said. “The state mandates May 15 as opening day, but it’s up to the landowners and the clubs that decide when it is, so that’s why I put June 1. That gives us a three-week leeway. If the trails are dry May 15, we’ll open them.”

The club has placed red signs at trailheads to signify trails are closed. 

“I think in Mexico, some landowners don’t want the trails open until June 1, but I just talked to Gary Wentzell, and if the trails are dry enough, they’ll open them,” he said. Wentzell is a trail master with the Mexico ATV club.

Many Roxbury ATV trails might also be impassable early on because of logging.

In other club news, Worthley said he expects to open two new trails this year. One will be from his residence on Route 120 in Roxbury Pond Village to the Rumford side of Black Bridge; the other from his residence to Upton, but the route has yet to fully plotted.

“They’re logging up in there now and I talked to a couple of them and they said they’d try and help to find us a trail,” Worthley said.

He’s also looking for support from area businesses “to see if they’ll chip in $150 each so we can make a nice new map of our trails.”

Worthley said he is working with different cartography companies to get the Roxbury club’s trails placed on a 12- by 18-inch or 18- by 24-inch map. He said prices are around $2,000 for setup and $1,200 for printing 500 of them.

“So we will be selling business-card-size ads for $150 a spot if your business would like to support our new map,” he said.

The Roxbury club’s website is www.roxburyatvridersclub.com.

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