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OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE RECREATON: Online college-level courses for trail planning, development and management

Map of West Virginia


The Marshall University Recreation and Park Resources program, in cooperation with the Nick J. Rahall, II Appalachian Transportation Institute and with advisory assistance from the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, has developed a series of off-highway vehicle courses. Faculty here at Marshall University have worked with the creators of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System in southern West Virginia from its inception by providing student interns and employees. Developers of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System encouraged the creation of a series of OHV courses within the Marshall University Recreation and Park Resources program.

For information regarding the courses, contact:

Theresa Litteral

GIS Research/Trail System Program Manager
Rahall Transportation Institute
PO Box 5425, Huntington, WV 25703
(304) 634-2281 or (800) 284-9853 or


photo of motorcycles and tents

Photo courtesty of National Off-Highway
Vehicle Conservation Council, Inc.

The Recreation and Park Resources program at Marshall University offers a bachelor of science degree with an emphasis in parks and conservation. Marshall University students will now be able to obtain a minor in off-highway vehicle recreation. The first course in the series was offered on campus in the spring of 2003 and the second course was offered in the spring of 2004. Since then, each course has been offered online.



The first two courses (PLS 450/550 and 451/551) are currently available online and are offered on an alternate semester basis. The third course in the series (PLS 452/552) is currently being prepared to offer online and the fourth course (PLS 453/553) will be online soon thereafter. The rate for undergraduate credit: $186/credit hour; rate for graduate credit: $262/credit hour.


PLS 450/550 - Introduction to Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation
3 semester hours

A course designed to introduce the student to the subject of off-highway vehicle recreation in terms of areas, facilities, vehicle types, use, demand, professional organizations, legislation, and legal issues.

Principal topics will include:

PLS 451/551 Planning and Design of OHV Trails and Parks
3 semester hours

A course designed to guide students through the process of planning, designing, and construction off-highway vehicle trails utilizing state-of-the art procedures and technology.

Principal topics will include:

PLS 452/552 - Construction of OHV Trail Systems
3 semester hours

A course designed to instruct students in contemporary methods and techniques of constructing OHV trails and related facilities.

Principal topics will include:

PLS 453/553 - Operation and Management of OHV Trail Systems
3 semester hours

A course designed to provide participants with background, guidance, and recommended techniques for operating and managing OHV trail systems.

Principal topics will include:

Perceived Demand for OHV Courses

Officials of government and non-government agencies that plan, construct, and manage OHV trail systems and others with OHV interests have suggested that little specific course work related to OHV recreation has been available in higher education and that many employees have little academic background in OHV recreation. Based upon this information, Marshall University recognized a perceived need for post-secondary education opportunities in off-highway vehicle recreation. With support and assistance from the Nick Joe Rahall, II Appalachian Transportation Institute and the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, the effort was begun to create this OHV academic program.

Program Objective

The objective is to provide both university students and professional employees of planning and land management agencies with state-of-the-art courses dealing with the general aspects of OHV recreation and the planning, construction, operation, and management of OHV trails and facilities.

A further objective is to provide a variety of academic options for students at the graduate and undergraduate levels. These options include: For Marshall University Undergraduate Students

For Marshall University Graduate Students

For Distance Learning Students (graduate and undergraduate)


The National Trails Training Partnership

American Trails, P.O. Box 491797, Redding, CA 96049-1797 • (530) 605-4395 • Fax: (530) 547-2035 •

The National Trails Training Partnership is an alliance of Federal agencies, training providers, nationwide supporters, and providers of products and services. Visit the online calendar of training opportunities, access hundreds of trail-related resources, read the news, learn how you can help, and see training resources in your state.

This material is based upon work supported by the Federal Highway Administration under Cooperative Agreement DTFH61-06-H-00023. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the Author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Federal Highway Administration.



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