From the Salem, MO. Ranger’s Desk September 2018

Our office just received the updated, 2018 Motor Vehicle Use Maps, or MVUMs. These maps are free of charge and show all of the roads you can operate motorized vehicles on, eg; cars, trucks, tractors, ATVs, UTVs, and motorcycles.

On Labor Day, we were giving these new maps out at the Timber Fun Days and I had several people ask why they can’t drive their ATVs and UTVs down the old “Woods Roads “ and “Logging Roads”. So I got to explain the history of the Mark Twain National Forest and how way back in the 1930s and 40s, when the federal government purchased these lands, every ridge and valley had a road on it. The Forest then had to decide, as it does today, what roads they can afford to maintain and take care of and what roads they could not. The roads that were kept and are open for motorized vehicles to operate on are called “Open Numbered Roads”. The remaining roads that were not needed are not open for motorized vehicles to operate on.

Many of the old woods roads and logging roads are being used by motorized vehicles illegally as they are not a part of the forest’s open road system.  The roads that are open for motorized vehicles use are posted with a numbered road sign that also shows how long the road is. The road will also be shown on the MVUM map.

Now if you are hiking or riding a horse in the forest, and come across a woods road or logging road that is not posted with a number road sign or does is not shown on the MVUM map, you are more than welcome to walk or ride your horse down these paths.

You can find the MVUM maps on line at the web site below under “Maps and Publications” or you can come by the office and pick one up for free.

For more information about the Mark Twain National Forest, or the Salem Ranger District in particular, you can contact us at 573-729-6656 or look us up on the internet at

Get out and enjoy your National Forest!

Thom Haines
Salem Ranger District
Mark Twain National Forest