Motorcyclists fined after riding on closed trail in Heil Valley Ranch

Two motorcyclists were fined this week after riding through trails at Heil Valley Ranch south of Lyons, including the closed Picture Rock Trail.

The motorcyclists were unfamiliar with the area and had asked a rental store for advice on where to go for off-highway vehicle trails, according to Jason Vroman, a senior ranger with Boulder County Parks and Open Space.

While they were aiming to use the off-highway vehicle trails in Lefthand Canyon, they ended up on trails at Heil Valley Ranch, a Boulder County open space. No motorized vehicles are allowed at Heil Valley Ranch.

Boulder County dispatchers received a report of motorcyclists in the area at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Vroman said. Two rangers responded to either side of the park, and one ed the motorcyclists along Picture Rock Trail.

The trail is closed because of muddy conditions, Vroman said.

Each motorcyclist received fines for three violations, which included using a motor vehicle on Boulder County Parks and Open Space property, operating in a closed area and violating resource protection rules. The fines for each total $450.

Vroman said the motorcylists went on 9.5 miles throughout the trail system, though they fortunately stayed only on trails and access roads. The only place where they caused damage was Picture Rock Trail, he said, because of the already poor conditions.

The damage is contained to 200 yards in various parts of the trail and should only take one staff member five hours to repair, Vroman said. The trail‘s opening shouldn‘t be delayed.

Rangers also found some previous damage from other mountain bikers and hikers who had used the closed trail.

Vroman said that while many people called for restitution for the damage caused, the fines issued to the motorcyclists were higher than what restitution might have cost because only a segment of the trail was damaged.