Property owner in Turkey Run area says ‘No Trespassing’

November 19, 2017
Notice to Public, Posted Property of Corrigan TLP LLC, Trespassers Subject to arrest and prosecution, Turkey Run

Notice to Public, Posted Property of Corrigan TLP LLC, Trespassers Subject to arrest and prosecution, Turkey Run

Many off-road enthusiasts making plans for an annual event that’s become known as the Turkey Run are rethinking those plans after the land management company, representing the owner of much of the property where the event has traditionally taken place, issued a notice that trespassers will be subject to prosecution.

Molpus Woodlands Group represents Corrigan TLP, the owner of thousands of acres of woodland in Lewis County.

Molpus Woodlands Group arranges hunting leases on those properties, some of which encompass much of the area previously utilized by four-wheeling and off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts on the days after Thanksgiving for the Turkey Run.

During the event, hundreds of people converge in the area of Briery Creek Road, off Ky. Rt. 377, to tackle trails of varying difficulty on their four-wheelers, side-by-sides and other vehicles.

One of the trails, reportedly a challenge to conquer, has become known as Undefeated and is quite an attraction to those who wish to demonstrate their four-wheeling abilities.

Lewis County Sheriff Johnny Bivens said he was contacted by officials with Molpus Woodlands Group who have asked for increased patrols in the area in an effort to enforce laws against trespassing.

“We’ve received calls over the past several years from property owners in that area reporting trespassing, property damage, and littering,” Bivens said. “Many of the people who participate in that event travel here from other areas, and other states, and aren’t aware they may be trespassing on private property.”

Many off-road enthusiasts have gathered for the Turkey Run in the Briery Creek Road area over the past several years.

Many off-road enthusiasts have gathered for the Turkey Run in the Briery Creek Road area over the past several years.

Bivens says he believes many of the issues arise from non-residents who aren’t aware they may be trespassing.

Corrigan TLP owns much of the property in the Briery Creek Road area. The property is managed by Molpus Woodlands Group, the company that placed public notices in several newspapers, including The Lewis County Herald.

“Only individuals who have the proper authorization are allowed access (to the Corrigan owned property),” according to the notice.

The notice further states that, “Individuals participating in unauthorized activities, such as the Briery Creek Turkey Run Fest, on Corrigan property are subject to arrest and prosecution for trespassing as per Kentucky Revised Statutes, Section 511.080.”

The Kentucky law referenced in the notice says that  a person is guilty of criminal trespass in the third degree when they knowingly enter or remain unlawfully in or upon premises.

Bivens said he has also heard from officials with Tennessee Gas Pipeline who have expressed safety concerns. One of the company’s gas pipelines crosses the area encompassed by Turkey Run participants.

Bivens said the officials are concerned about increased erosion in areas around the pipeline resulting from four-wheeling/ATV activities.

“Those officials also reported rifle targets had been placed on exposed sections of the actual gas transmission pipe,” Bivens said. “I can’t imagine anyone discharging a firearm toward a gas transmission line would consider that to be a safe activity.”

At least one property owner on Briery Creek Road has said they will continue the Turkey Run on their own property.

Bivens said he suggests that anyone who may be planning to travel to the area with a four-wheeler in tow to have written permission in their possession from the owners of the property they will be on.

“Except for the county roadway, all property in that area is privately owned,” Bivens said. “If you go onto property that isn’t your own, without permission of the owner, you could be charged with trespassing.”

“Activities such as the Briery Creek Turkey Run Fest, normally held on the Friday following Thanksgiving, are not authorized,” according to the public notice placed by Molpus Woodlands Group.

Rebecca Zornes, who lives near Briery Creek Road, says there is other property in the area where riders have permission to be.

“It’s the Original Turkey Run,” Zornes said, adding she will have maps indicating those locations available for those interested in continuing the tradition. (See accompanying story posted this date.)

Some regional OHV/ATV parks are offering Black Friday specials for those who had planned to participate in the Turkey Run event.

A web page for nearby Daniel Boone National Forest advises those seeking mudbogging, jeep trails, technical challenge routes or extreme riding adventure to visit the GetOutKy.com website to find a trail system that meets your needs.

Maps of property managed by Molpus Woodlands Group may be found online at www.molpus.com.

Molpus Woodlands Group manages over two million acres of timberland nationwide.

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