Thursday, August 16, 2007

Redbird State Riding Area (Indiana)

We've trudged through all kinds of terrain all over the country. Some of us have even gone as far as riding hidden off-road trails in countries with names we can't even pronounce. As enticing as it may be to ride our ATVs in an obscure part of the world exploring another man's natural wilderness, there are awesome ATV off-road trails right here on home ground.

We can remember the Redbird State Riding Area in Indiana that we took to one time some years back. The ATV trail was merely a couple of years old and it was pretty bare back then. An ATV buddy recently took his teenage son who is as freakish about ATV riding as the father is back to Redbird State Park and noted that there were some changes and the facilities have improved tremendously over the years. With funding derived from membership fees and Federal Recreational Fund, they have used it wisely.

Redbird State ATV Park sits right smack in the middle of a former coal mine – which is why the terrain there will be challenging for beginner ATV riders. There are many hilly and steep inclines plus mud puddles there as well…hearing the word mud, remember to bring the winch. At the end of the day, I remember me and the whole gang had a lot of fun riding this ATV Park and wanted to see who got more mud on. It rained pretty badly the evening before, you see. And when rain hits this ATV trail, it hits bad. And the next day, just be ready for a mud bath which…hey, that sounds like fun.

Someone told me that when the mining company shut down, ATV riders soon found the enticing ATV trail and took advantage of the steep hills and twenty years down the road, the Department of Natural Resources took over the 200 acres of land, adds another 400 to it and then turned it into an ATV riding area to the delight of ATVers in Indiana. Although many parts of this Indiana ATV trail is tough to ride, there are parts of the ATV trail which beginners and medium-skilled ATVers can handle. Suffice to say, trail is everything between mild to wild.

At the moment, the ATV trail is open only on weekends from 9am to 5pm when you pay their $10 per person per vehicle fee. Nominal fee to pay for a whole-day of fun. If you'd like to ride at this ATV Park on days other than the ones stated above, you can give them a call at 812-847-9172 to see if alternative arrangements can be made. The usual rules to ATV riding in ATV parks apply. Helmets on, no second-passenger, every ATVer have to sign and obtain their permit (which is just an application form and $10 away), no alcoholic drinks allowed, vehicles must be registered, strictly riding (no fishing, hunting, camping, swimming…etc), spark arrestor is required, mufflers on, boots must be over the ankles, must stay on marked trails, and ATCs are not allowed (3-wheelers).

For more information about Redbird ATV riding area, get in touch with the Department of National Resources at (317) 232-4070 or visit their website at

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