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Off-highway Vehicle Touring

Not all roads and trails are created equally. Some roads are for cars and trucks, but not off-highway vehicles. Some trails are for off-highway vehicles, but many are not. Know where you are going and under the use of the road or trail before you go.

Stay on open forest roads

  • Travel only on off-highway vehicle designated routes. Cross-country travel is prohibited. Obtain a Motor Vehicle Use Map for specific information on your forest.
  • Comply with signs and barriers, and leave gates as you found them.
  • Wilderness areas are off-limits to all motorized vehicles.

Protect the environment

  • Minimize erosion by staying on trails and not cutting switchbacks.
  • Avoid wet, muddy areas as they are more susceptible to erosion. Meadows, lake shores, stream banks and vegetation are easily damaged.
  • Do not ride on snow-covered roads!
  • Teach new riders trail etiquette—lead by example.
  • Don’t litter. Pack out more than your share.

Ride safely, stay in control

  • The forest is for everyone. Be considerate of hikers and equestrians.
  • Yield right-of-way to other trail users. Horses spook when they see an unfamiliar object, especially one which moves quickly and quietly.
  • Control your speed at all times and approach turns in anticipation of someone around the bend. Reckless riding and high downhill speeds are not appropriate.
  • Wear your helmet and protective gear.

Plan your trip

  • Be prepared for sudden changes in weather.
  • Don’t ride alone. Tell someone where you plan to go and then stick to your plans.
  • Don’t take unnecessary chances—help for emergencies may be miles away.
  • Make sure you have a first aid kit and other safety gear with you when riding in the forest.

Follow vehicle regulations

  • Children under 8 years of age may not operate all-terrain vehicles or motorcycles. An operator under 16 must have constant supervision by an adult over the age of 18.
  • No passengers are allowed on all-terrain vehicles, unless vehicles are designed to carry passengers.
  • All vehicles must be registered and licensed. Non-street legal "red sticker" vehicles have a limited operating period on the forest.
  • Obey all traffic signs. State traffic laws apply to all national forest roads; violations are reported to the state department of motor vehicles.
  • Within campgrounds and other recreation sites, use cars, motorbikes, motorcycles, or other motor vehicles only for entering or leaving, unless directed otherwise.
  • Park only in designated parking areas.
  • Do not block, restrict, or interfere with the use of roads, trails and gates.
  • Spark arresters, mufflers, and brakes are required for motorized vehicles.
  • Don’t drink and ride. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on all trail systems or in recreation areas. 

Remember: You are responsible for your own safety and for the safety of those around you.