Why is Myles Standish State Forest closed to dirt bikes and ATVs?
When OHV's (Off-highway Vehicles including dirt bikes and ATV's) were allowed in the park, they tore trails through every last corner of the forest's 12,400 acres. While MSSF is a park for the enjoyment of all, it is also a nature reserve. MSSF is at the heart of the second largest remaining tract of pine barrens in the world. Several endangered species of plants and animals are only found here.
Riding is not legal anywhere in Myles Standish State Forest. There are legal places to ride. Please ride only where riding is legal.
List of legal OHV riding areas in Massachusetts parks: Find a State Park Riding Trail
Massachusetts DCR Park Rangers were out on a recent day in May 2014.
In the wake of the tragic death of an 8 year old Plymouth boy riding unsupervised, Massachusetts strengthened its laws on ATV riding in 2010, requiring safety courses and supervision for young riders.
According to this 2014 article from the Star Tribune (Minnesota) , "Massachusetts has nation's toughest ATV law." As the article points out, local enforcement is increasing. Plymouth has hired environmental wardens to enforce the law. Massachusetts Environmental Police Officers are also regularly patrolling the State Forest to try and convey the message about safe riding requirements and to enforce the law.
Text of the law. Massachusetts Off-Highway Vehicle Law requires safety gear, training courses, and mandating adult supervision for young riders and increasing penalties for illegal riding and failure to register. Mass Environmental brochure providing summary of new ATV and dirt bike law