The new Donnely-LaMear Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Trailhead in Park Hills will open to the public on Thursday.
Located just off the Fairgrounds Drive exit off of U.S. 67, the new trailhead will provide visitors access to St. Joe State Park's ORV trail systems.
Entrance to the 2,200-foot long trail from the trailhead location will be available for winter hours Thursdays through Sundays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There are two parking lots located at the trailhead entrance, restroom facilities, and a gate booth with an attendant. The trailhead's hiking and biking trail is already open and accessible free of charge.
Park Hills City Administrator Mark McFarland said that while the ORV trail would be opened Thursday, the city hopes to hold an opening ceremony with state and local officials in the spring.
"We're doing a soft opening right now," said McFarland. "This way, we can work through any issues, and by the time of the grand opening, we'll have all of the kinks worked out."
McFarland noted that ORV trail riders would need to purchase their ORV permits online before entering the park.
"Everybody needs to know they can't pay at our booth," he explained. "They'll have an online ticket that they will come up [to the entrance booth] and show on their phones, and that's what gets them in."
Currently, ORV permits for St. Joe Park are available by online purchase only. Permits may be purchased by visiting the Missouri State Parks website's permit page.
For a complete list of ORV rules and regulations, visit the Missouri State Park's Off-Road Vehicle Riding Rules Page.
The Donnely-LaMear Trailhead was developed through a cooperative effort between the City of Park Hills and the Missouri State Parks.
Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com