ORV Use on the Huron-Manistee National Forests

Release Date: May 20, 2013

Contact(s): Kenneth Arbogast

The MCCC Trail on the Baldwin Ranger District.

 Visitors to Northern Michigan who wish to ride off-road vehicles must be aware that the rules are different in the Huron-Manistee National Forests than on other public roads or lands.


On the Huron-Manistee National Forests, use of ORVs is restricted to designated trails and areas. It is the responsibility of the ORV rider to know whether they are riding in an authorized area or on an authorized trail.  To help visitors locate safe and legal routes for the type of vehicle they drive, the Forest Service publishes a free Motor Vehicle Use Map that is updated each year.


During the past few years, several counties in Michigan’s lower peninsula have passed ordinances that allow the use of ORVs on the right hand portion of county and township roads. Riders should be aware that these ordinances may vary between counties and even between townships within a single county.  Also, these ordinances do not apply to Forest Service roads. 


The Forest Service does not permit ORV use on its roads because of concerns over public safety and resource damage. The language of the state law that permits counties to adopt the new ordinances clearly states that ORVs may not be used on public lands contrary to their management policy.


An ORV rider may find that certain roads are part of the designated trail system. This limited mixed use is permitted to meet resource management objectives that protect sensitive ecosystems and/or critical wildlife habitats, and to provide a safe and legal ORV trail system. These designated segments are the only places where an ORV may travel on a Forest Service road.


For information on trails that are open to ORV use on the Huron-Manistee National Forests or to receive a Motor Vehicle Use Map, please call:


Huron National Forest:

Mio Ranger District: 989-826-3252                           

Huron Shores Ranger Station: 989-739-0728

Manistee National Forest:

Baldwin Ranger District: 231-745-4631                   

Manistee Ranger District: 231-723-2211


-- USFS --