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ORV trails closed until spring arrives

Mother Nature has made it difficult for outdoors enthusiasts to take advantage of all her offerings.

Heavy rains and wet conditions prompted Wayne National Forest officials to close to motor vehicles traffic the entire Hanging Rock Off Road Vehicle area off of State Route 650 .

"It probably will be closed until towards the end of March or when it dries up a little bit," said Tom Eaches, recreation director for Ironton district of Wayne National Forest. "We want to protect the main road and the side roads that have been repaired recently but it is really for public safety."

The former strip mine area that includes more than 26 miles of trails and 50 fishing ponds in the 5,000-acre area will remain open to foot traffic. It is always a popular destination but ATV riders make the most use of it.

Eaches said the forest officials are just trying to think about the future.

"We just want to try and protect the roads this winter so that when we are ready to open back up this spring they will be ready to go," Eaches said.