The Wilton Select Board engages in a discussion with the public on Tuesday, May 7, regarding the ATV access route on Temple Road. Despite heavy criticism, the Select Board voted to keep the access route. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

The ATV access route was established in April of 2022 and runs through Wilton to connect the Whistle Stop Trail to the Temple trail system. The Select Board received the first complaint from Temple Road resident Michael Hoehne in December of that year.

Hoehne complaints ranged from the increased level of traffic on the road, speeding and noise, and called the access route a “disturbance” to the residents on Temple Road.

Hoehne returned to the Select Board with more residents from Temple Road in May of last year, yielding more complaints over traffic and noise. The Select Board held a special public hearing later that month, wherein many Wilton residents and ATV club members from around the county voiced their opinions regarding the ATV access route.

The Select Board voted to keep the access route open, but stated they would return to the issue in a year’s time.

At the Select Board meeting on May 7, members of the public continued to share their displeasure with the ATV access route, with one Temple Road resident stating the level of ATV activity on Temple Road has “ruined” her enjoyment of her home.

“A lot of the reasons I purchased my property was for the peace and quiet,” she said. “Unfortunately, our weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day are filled with caravans of ATVs.”


The end of ATV access route on Temple Road in East Wilton on Tuesday, May 7. From here, ATV operators can have access to Shelly’s Hometown Market as well as the Whistle Stop Rail-Trail. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

Residents of both Temple Road and Depot Street shared with the Select Board incidents of speeding, traveling after dark, insufficient protective equipment, and high amounts of traffic that interfere with normal traffic patterns.

Nathan Hiltz of Wilton shared with the Select Board and the audience several quotes from several law enforcement agencies that express issues with enforcing speed limits on ATV, sharing that one sheriff in Somerset County stated the policy is they “don’t chase after ATVs.”

“I would be very curious if the Wilton police would be willing to say [if] they have a policy,” Hiltz stated. “Do they really understand or agree or disagree with any of these quotes here?”

Kathleen Masterman of Wilton shared that she had watched footage of the Select Board discussing the ATV issue via Mt. Blue TV and she was not pleased with its representation of the town or how the board approached the subject.

“I found it very interesting some of the discussion that I heard that it was indicated that the public’s consideration was not necessary,” Masterman said. “Also, that the ATV clubs could police their own, also that the folks would get used to the noise.”

“I found these to be very callous comments from the board,” she added.


Masterman also commented that the Wilton Police Department has received numerous complaints regarding the ATV access route. Chairperson Tiffany Maiuri addressed this comment, asking Town Manager Maria Greeley if the town had received complaints.

Greeley stated she had not specifically heard about complaints regarding ATV riders on the access route, but the “question has not been asked.”

Wilton Chief of Police Ethan Kyes shared with The Franklin Journal the department has not received significant complaints regarding ATV riders on Temple Road.

Melissa Jones of Temple Road shared that she was very much in support of the access route and it’s impact on commerce along the access route.

“I work in retail,” Jones shared. “So, I know what all those businesses are going through that are on the Whistle Stop [Trail]. They’ve all been through flooding; they’re all trying to reopen.”

“These are all businesses in our town that are relying on someone coming into their business and in purchasing something from them, so I think it’s good for the town.”


Stuart Allen of the Jay ATV club shared that his biggest concern is ATV riders after dark, and there wasn’t much he could do about speeders and the noise.

“When we started this program with the town of Wilton,” he said, “we did on the agreement that Wilton was going to police it. That wasn’t up to us.”

Martha Eastman of the Temple Trail Riders ATV club shared that her club was responsible for signage, and members have done everything in their power to make sure their club members respect the residents on Temple Road.

“We’re trying to work,” she said. “You’re always going to have an idiot, but we try.” Eastman added that she has not received any complaints through the Facebook page.

Despite many negative comments regarding the ATV access route, the Select Board voted to keep the access route open, leaving many residents that attended the meeting dissatisfied.

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