The Wilton Select Board, background, discusses the ATV access route on Temple Road on Tuesday during its meeting at the Town Office. Despite complaints of noise, speeding and heavy traffic, the board voted to keep the access route. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

WILTON — The ATV access road on Temple Road that connects the Whistle Stop Trail to the Temple trail system will remain in use the Select Board voted unanimously Tuesday.

The vote came after a discussion among the Select Board, ATV club members and residents who live on or around the access road. Roughly 20 people attended the meeting at the Town Office.

Many residents of Temple Road voiced their displeasure with the access road.

“A lot of the reasons I purchased my property was for the peace and quiet,” one woman said. “Unfortunately, our weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day are filled with caravans of ATVs.”

Residents of Temple Road and Depot Street, which runs along the Whistle Stop Trail, told selectmen that incidents of speeding, traveling after dark, insufficient protective equipment and the numbers of ATVs interfere with normal traffic patterns.

The entrance to the ATV access route on Temple Road is seen in May 2023. Despite complaints of speeding, noise and heavy traffic at Tuesday night’s Select Board meeting, the board voted unanimously voted to keep it open. Franklin Journal file

The access road was established in April of 2022. The board first heard complaints from Temple Road resident Michael Hoehne in December of that year.


The board held a public hearing in May of 2023 and voted to keep it open and revisit the issue in a year.

Wilton police Chief Ethan Kyes said the department has not received significant complaints about ATV riders on Temple Road.

Melissa Jones, another resident of Temple Road, said she supports the access route and its impact on commerce.

“I work in retail,” Jones said. “So, I know what all those businesses are going through that are on the Whistle Stop (Trail). They’ve all been through flooding; they’re all trying to reopen.”

Members of the Select Board and business owners like Shelly Gervais, owner of Shelly’s Hometown Market, have previously commented on the impact the access road has had on local businesses.

“I feel that that trail has helped my business immensely,” Gervais said at a public hearing last year.


Stuart Allen of the Jay ATV club said his biggest concern is ATV riders after dark.

“When we started this program with the town of Wilton, we did on the agreement that Wilton was going to police it. That wasn’t up to us,” he said.

Nathan Hiltz of Wilton said a member of Franklin County Sheriff’s Office told county commissioners in July 2021 not to enforce speed limits for ATVs and that the signs are “just a suggestion.”

Sheriff Scott Nichols said in a phone interview that most ATV complaints get directed toward the game warden. The Sheriff’s Office and local police can get involved in instances of speeding and other reckless behavior, but he tries to educate people instead of punishing people.

“I know people are just out having a good time,” Nichols said, “but sometimes their good time interferes with other people’s lives, so I try to educate them.”

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