Motor Vehicle Use Maps

Cover of the 2015 MVUM document with image of dirt roadGeorge Washington & Jefferson National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) (11 mb)

The MVUM is a requirement of the Travel Management Final Rule and reflects travel management decisions on each forest. The MVUM displays National Forest System (NFS) routes (roads and trails) or areas designated open to motorized travel. The MVUM also displays allowed uses by vehicle class (highway-legal vehicles, vehicles less than 50 inches wide and motorcycles), seasonal allowances and provides information on other travel rules and regulations. Routes not shown on the MVUM are not open to public motor vehicle travel. Routes designated for motorized use may not always be signed on the ground but will be identified on the MVUM. It will be the public’s responsibility to reference the MVUM to determine designated routes for motor vehicle use.

The MVUM is updated annually to correct mapping errors or discrepancies and update travel decisions. 

The MVUM is a black and white map with no topographic features. It is not a stand alone map and is best used in conjunction with a Forest Visitor Map or other topographic map. The MVUM is free to the public at each local Ranger District office . The MVUM is available on this website and may be printed from your home computer.


Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get a MVUM?

How many MVUM's are there?

How do I print the MVUM?

What does a MVUM show me?

Does the MVUM also show mechanized and non-motorized trails and over-snow uses?

What do you mean by vehicle class?

What do you mean by season allowance?

Are there road and trails route marker signs on the ground?

Where can I get a MVUM?

Paper copies of these maps are available at the Forest Service ranger district offices. Offices are open Monday- Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

How many MVUM's are there for the George Washington & Jefferson National Forests?

There is one map for the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.

How do I print the MVUM?

The MVUMs are formatted as 8.5x11 inch pages and can be printed from most home printers. You can also download and view the maps on home computers using Adobe Reader.

What does a MVUM show me?

  • The map displays all NFS roads, trails and designated areas allowing public motor vehicle use.
  • Motorized use includes but is not limited to Motorcycles, ATV’s, and 4-wheel drive vehicles.
  • Designation details, including vehicle class, time of year, and any motorized access for the purpose of dispersed camping (camping in locations other than campgrounds).
  • The MVUM also shows roads where only highway-legal vehicles are allowed because of user safety considerations.
  • Motor vehicle access may occur on routes not shown on the MVUM for the purpose of limited administrative access by Forest Service personnel; for fire and law enforcement for emergency purposes and; by persons authorized by a written special use permit or contract from the Forest Service.

Does the MVUM also show mechanized and non-motorized trails and over-snow vehicle uses?

No, a visitor use map or recreation opportunity map will provide information on motorized routes as well as non-motorized routes, including mechanized trails, hiking, and horse trails. Over-snow vehicle use is exempted from designations on the MVUM.


What do you mean by vehicle class?
By vehicle class we are referring to certain categories of motorized vehicles. The following are typical vehicle class route designations:
• Roads open to highway legal vehicles only
• Roads open to all vehicles (licensed and unlicensed)
• Trails open to vehicles 50 inches or less in width (ATV, motorcycle, etc.)
• Trails open to all (full size) vehicles (trails may be rugged and narrow- intended for jeeps)
• Trails open to motorcycles only (single track)


It’s important to understand that routes and areas shown open to certain vehicle classes does not mean they are maintained for or suitable for travel using those vehicles. It simply means it is legal to use them. For example, many low standard roads may be open to all motor vehicles. This designation includes passenger cars, although it may not be prudent to drive this type of vehicle on the route due to the condition of the surface or during inclement weather.

What do you mean by a season allowance?
Some routes or areas may be open only during certain times of the year for various reasons such as to reduce wildlife disturbance, protect users from unsafe or impassable conditions and to reduce impacts to other resource values.

Are there road and trail route marker signs on the ground?

Routes designated for motorized use may not always be signed. In some cases, a route marker may exist at the entrance of the road/trail with symbols indicating which classes of vehicles are allowed. Routes designated for motorized uses will be identified on the MVUM. The MVUM is an enforcement tool to ensure individuals are on the correct route. It is the responsibility of the user to determine if they are on a route designated for the motor vehicle being used. MVUM's will be developed for each forest nationwide. It is not only a tool for motorized users, but also a consistent and standardized law enforcement tool

Text from the pdf files:

These maps show the National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and the areas on National Forest System lands in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests that are designated for motor vehicle use pursuant to 36 CFR 212.51. The maps contain a list of those designated roads, trails, and areas that enumerates the types of vehicles allowed on each route and in each area and any seasonal restrictions that apply on those routes and in those areas.

Designation of a road, trail, or area for motor vehicle use by a particular class of vehicle under 36 CFR 212.51 should not be interpreted as encouraging or inviting use, or to imply that the road, trail, or area is passable, actively maintained, or safe for travel. Motor vehicle designations include parking along designated routes and at facilities associated with designated routes when it is safe to do so and when not causing damage to National Forest System resources.

Seasonal weather conditions and natural events may render designated roads and trails impassable for extended periods. Designated areas may contain dangerous or impassable terrain. Many designated roads and trails may be passable only by high-clearance vehicles or four-wheel drive vehicles. Maintenance of designated roads and trails will depend on available resources, and many may receive little maintenance.

This motor vehicle use map identifies those roads, trails, and areas designated for the motor vehicle use under 36 CFR 212.51 for the purpose of enforcing the prohibition at 36 CFR 261.13. This is a limited purpose. The other public roads are shown for information and navigation purposes only and are not subject to designation under the Forest Service travel management regulation. These designations apply only to National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands.


Operating a motor vehicle on National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and in areas on National Forest System lands carries a greater responsibility than operating that vehicle in a city or other developed setting. Not only must the motor vehicle operators know and follow all applicable traffic laws, but they also need to show concern for the environment as well as other forest users.

  • The misuse of motor vehicles can lead to the temporary or permanent closure of any designated road, trail, or area.
  • Operators of motor vehicles are subject to State traffic law, including State requirements for licensing, registration, and operation of the vehicle in question.
  • Motor vehicle use, especially off-highway vehicle use, involves inherent risks that may cause property damage, serious injury, and possibly death to participants. Riders should drive cautiously and anticipate rough surfaces and features such as snow, mud, vegetation, and water crossings common to remote driving conditions. Participants voluntarily assume full responsibility for these damages, risks, and dangers. Motor vehicle operators should take care at all times to protect themselves and those under their responsibility.
  • Much of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests are remote, and medical assistance may not be readily available. Cellular telephones do not work in many areas. Operators should take adequate food, water, first aid supplies, and other equipment appropriate for the conditions and expected weather.
  • ALWAYS REMEMBER TO RESPECT PRIVATE LAND! PROTECT YOUR PRIVILEGE. STAY ON DESIGNATED ROADS, TRAILS, AND IN DESIGNATED AREAS. Read and understand this map in its entirety. If you have questions, please contact the Ranger District for clarification.
  • Road, trail, and area users must comply with this map, as well as all Federal, State, and local laws and regulations. Compliance with these rules is the responsibility of the user.


  • It is prohibited to possess or operate a motor vehicle on National Forest System lands other than in accordance with these designations (36 CFR 261.13). Violations of 36 CFR 261.13 are subject to a fine of up to $5,000 or imprisonment for up to 6 months or both (18 U.S.C. 3571(e)). This prohibition applies regardless of the presence or absence of signs.
  • This map does not display nonmotorized uses, over-snow uses, or other facilities and attractions on the forest. Obtain a forest visitor map for more complete information.
  • Designated roads, trails, and areas may also be subject to temporary, emergency closures, and visitors must comply with signs notifying them of such restrictions. A national forest may issue an order to close a road, trail, or area on a temporary basis to protect the life, health, or safety of forest visitors or the natural or cultural resources in these areas. Such temporary and/or emergency closures are consistent with the Travel Management Rule (36 CFR 212.52 (b); 36 CFR 261 subpart B).
  • The designation "road or trail open to all motor vehicles" does not supersede vehicle size or weight limits imposed through State law.