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Frequently Asked Questions about the Hudson Valley 4-Wheelers

Read about HV4W below, then if interested, fill out a Membership Application Form.

What are the requirements for membership in the HV4Ws?

You must be a registered owner of a four wheel drive vehicle, at least eighteen (18) years of age, hold a valid driver's license, and carry at least the minimum amount of auto insurance required by the laws of the State of New York.

Prospective members must attend two meetings and two trail rides before they are eligible for membership in the club. This gives prospective members a chance to check us out before shelling out any money for dues. It also lets the Club check out prospective members! We are a family-oriented group of responsible 4-wheelers. We will not allow people who do not share these traits to participate in our organization!

Do I have to drive a Jeep to join the HV4Ws?

No, all street-legal 4WD vehicles are welcomed.

How much are the dues?

Dues are $35 per family, payable annually. Depending on which month of the year you become a member, your dues will be prorated for that year.

Once a Member, do I have to attend a minimum number of meetings or rides?

No, you can participate as much or as little as you want to. As long as you are current on your dues, you are considered a "member in good standing".

When and where are the Club meetings held?

Meetings are usually held at 7 p.m. on the 31d Monday of each month at Hudson's Ribs and Fish on Rt 9, just north of Fishkill NY. Meetings normally last about one hour. A typical meeting includes a brief report from each officer, information on upcoming events, and whatever anyone else wants to bring up for discussion.

I've already attended one club meeting, and someone was selling tickets.
What is that about?

To supplement the Club Treasury, the Program Chairman sells "raffle tickets" at each meeting. At the end of the meeting, one ticket is randomly drawn. Whoever's ticket is drawn, that person gets half of the money collected for ticket sales that evening. The other half goes into the Club Treasury.

Where do you go trail riding?

Day rides are usually somewhere in the NY/MA/VT/CT areas on unmaintained town roads or private land. Overnight rides are usually trips down to Rausch Creek Park in PA.

How tough are the trails? My vehicle is stock. Can I participate?

The trails we ride tend to be tougher than a stock vehicle can handle. Most of the members have built up vehicles.

What time do trail rides usually start, and how long do they last?

Day rides usually depart for the trailhead from a designated meeting location at 8:30 a.m. Please be gassed and ready to go at thata time. They usually last until early afternoon, depending on trail length and number of vehicles.

What do I need to bring with me on trail rides?

Most importantly, adequate food and fluids (there ain't no McDonalds on the trails!). It is very important to bring lots of drinking water. Possible extreme temperatures (high and low) will quickly dehydrate you. No alcohol or illegal drugs are allowed, of course. You will also enjoy the ride much more if you bring a good attitude, a sense of humor, and a smile! :)

Should I bring my significant other? How about the kids and the dog?

The HV4W is definitely a family-oriented organization! Spouses, kids, and pets may participate in any of the events.

Hint: If your family only has one trail vehicle, allow (encourage) your significant other to drive part of the time!

What's the chance of my vehicle getting damaged on a trail ride?

Although this depends on the difficulty rating of the trail, and how experienced (and lucky) you are, the chance of your vehicle sustaining some form of damage on any particular trail is very likely! Even on trails rated as easier, you can expect scrapes, scratches, dings, dents, and possibly other stuff to happen to your vehicle. This is not intended to scare anyone off, but our members regularly get questions from guests who want to know how their (fill in your type of vehicle) will do on such and such trail. And then they get upset when their shiny new (fill in your type of vehicle) accidentally slips off of a rock, hits a tree, and gets a dent! Off-highway driving (just like highway driving) is associated with a certain amount of risk and there is no way for anyone to determine whether or not you or your passengers will be hurt, and/or your vehicle damaged. You are solely responsible for the safety of yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle. If you do not feel comfortable with a particular obstacle on the trail, take the by-pass or turn around and go back! If you are totally adverse to any trail damage whatsoever, don't even bother showing up!

Does the club do anything other than have meetings and trail rides?

Yes, we do maintenance on our trails as needed. As part of the December club meeting, we usually have a Christmas Party and a summer picnic.

Tread Lightly! Principles

The Hudson Valley 4 Wheelers proudly subscribes to the principles of Tread Lightly! If you do not share these following goals, we request that you ride with another group. For more information, visit Tread Lightly!

Travel Responsibly on land by staying on designated roads, trails and areas. Go over, not around, obstacles to avoid widening the trails. Cross streams only at designated fords. When possible, avoid wet, muddy trails. On water, stay on designated waterways and launch your watercraft in designated areas.

Respect the Rights of Others including private property owners, all recreational trail users, campers and others so they can enjoy their recreational activities undisturbed. Leave gates as you found them. Yield right of way to those passing you or going uphill. On water, respect anglers, swimmers, skiers, boaters, divers and those on or near shore.

Educate Yourself prior to your trip by obtaining travel maps and regulations from public agencies. Plan for your trip, take recreation skills classes and know how to operate your equipment safely.

Avoid Sensitive Areas on land such as meadows, lakeshores, wetlands and streams. Stay on designated routes. This protects wildlife habitats and sensitive soils from damage. Don’t disturb historical, archeological or paleontological sites. On water, avoid operating your watercraft in shallow waters or near shorelines at high speeds.

Do Your Part by modeling appropriate behavior, leaving the area better than you found it, properly disposing of waste, minimizing the use of fire, avoiding the spread of invasive species and repairing degraded areas.

If you liked the above, fill out a Membership Application Form.