The Town of Torbay is dealing with the growing problem of recreational vehicles damaging the hillsides around its beach, and the mayor says it has to stop.

Ralph Tapper said the community has some big plans for creating a state-of-the-art community centre in place of the town depot, creating a proper town centre around it — along with green space.

But he said the town must get the ATV traffic problem under control in the area where the future park is meant to go.

"It's really — over the last couple of years it has worsened. People think there's ATV trails here for their use," said Tapper.

"There's pickup [trucks] and jeeps, the whole works, coming down over those hills. They really leave a mess behind."

Torbay Mayor Ralph Tapper

Torbay Mayor Ralph Tapper says there are too many vehicles tearing through the hillside near Torbay Beach. (CBC)

The hillsides around Torbay Beach are a designated conservation area, but Tapper said few people are aware of that fact.

"There's neighbours that I've spoken to, and they don't know there's a conservation area in their backyard," he said.

Tapper said the town is hoping to change that; new park committees have been set up, signs have been ordered and the trail will be blocked off to keep ATV riders away.

The town will be spreading the word that the beach in Torbay is a gem to be polished, not to be trampled.