If you are an off-road rider or go trekking on trails in the woods, you should be careful when you hit the trails. From barbed wire strung across a trail to nails in the dirt, someone or group of people is out to hurt motorcyclists. The latest incidents of these “booby traps” occurred in Idaho, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

With these three incidents – and three others in recent years along trails in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico – the American Motorcyclist Association wants to warn riders of these booby traps on public trails.

These not only cause huge risks that can be fatal to motorcycle riders, but also hikers, mountain bikers, and others enjoying the world outdoors. Not to mention, these devious setups can also harm hundreds of animals who run into them, causing much more damage than just to the intended target.

“This type of activity is extremely dangerous,” says Rob Dingman, AMA president and CEO. “A motorcyclist who hits one of these traps can be seriously injured or even killed. We want anyone with information about these tactics to contact law enforcement immediately.

“The AMA is issuing AMA Action Alerts to riders in areas where these incidents have occurred. But, at the same time, riders everywhere should use due caution on the trails, because we know there are people out there who would do us harm.”

The AMA reports on the latest incidents, and what action to take:


Off-highway riders in Massachusetts found cables strung across trails in four state parks, according to the Massachusetts Environmental Police and the state Department of Conservation and Recreation. Authorities are asking anyone who notices suspicious activity to call the 24-hour Environmental Police line at (800) 632-8075 or the DCR Park Watch Hotline at (866) 759-2824. The New England Trail Riders Association is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators.

New Hampshire

Members of the Mount Moosilauke ATV Club Riders near Warren, N.H., discovered boards with nails in several places along the multi-use trail system. Before anyone was injured, club members removed the boards, along with scattered nails and broken glass. The ATV club is offering a $1,350 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators.


In Custer County, Idaho, riders found a piece of barbed wire strung across a trail about 4 feet from the ground, endangering off-highway-vehicle riders and mountain bikers, according to Sharetrails.org.

In addition to contacting local law enforcement authorities, the AMA asks that you send an email to [email protected] about these incidents, so other motorcyclists can be alerted.