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Marshall University's Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation course is online

West Virginia's Marshall University first introduced the first of their four-course series in 2003.
A partner in the National Trails Training Partnership


The Marshall University Park and Recreation 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, is developing a series of off-highway vehicle courses. The objective is to provide both university students and professional employees of planning and land management agencies with state-of-the-art courses covering the broad aspects of off-highway vehicle recreation, planning and construction of OHV trails and facilities, and operation and management of OHV trail systems.

The Park and Recreation Resources program at Marshall University offers a bachelor of science degree with an emphasis in parks and conservation. Faculty here at Marshall University have worked with the creators of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System in southern Wet 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 Park and Recreation Resources program.

Marshall University students will now be able to obtain a minor in off-highway vehicle recreation. Once all of the OHV courses are approved and operational, they will be modified and offered as distance-learning courses. Individuals will be afforded an opportunity to enroll in these courses and complete course assignments via the Internet. Once these courses are available for enrollment via the Internet, an announcement will be posted on this web site.


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:

  • History and Evaluation of OHV Recreation
  • Equipment and Accessories
  • Participation, Use, and Demand
  • Areas and Facilities
  • Legal, Legislative, and Use Issues

Planning, Design, and Construction of OHV Trail Systems (4 semester hours)
A course designed to guide students through the process of planning, designing, and constructing off-highway vehicle trails utilizing state-of-the-art procedures and technology. Principal topics will include:

  • GIS and GPS Technology
  • Evolution of Planning and Design
  • Procedures for OHV Trail Systems
  • Land Capability Analysis
  • Design Considerations Based Upon Mode of Travel
  • OHV Trail and Facility Planning
  • OHV Trail Design
  • OHV Trail Construction

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:

  • Typical Organization Structure
  • Personnel Qualifications
  • Operational Procedures and Policy Development
  • Protection and Law Enforcement
  • Liability and Risk Management
  • Maintenance of OHV Trails and Facilities
  • User Support Groups and Volunteers
  • Special Events and Activities
  • Education and Training Activities
  • Public Relations and Marketing
  • Review and Evaluation

Raymond L. Busbee, Professor
Park and Recreation Resources
Marshall University Huntington, WV 25755
Phone: (304) 696-2922 FAX: (304) 696-2928

photo of ATVs on trail

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