Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team
There’s nothing better than finding an awesome new ATV trail. Whether you’re staying close to home or taking your ATV on a far-ranging trip, here’s a quick guide to help you find places to ride.
Start with public lands and parks. Most states have a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) or another agency that operates the state park system. These agencies often provide a list of trails and other resources for ATV and Off Road Vehicle (ORV) riders. At a national level, you can search federal lands (Opens in a new tab) and national park websites (Opens in a new tab) for areas to ride your ATV. Check the website of your nearest public land or park to see if they have a map of ATV trails.
When in doubt, ask. An internet search for “private ATV park” may help you find local clubs designed just for riding ATVs and other ORVs, but simply asking around may turn up some hidden gems. Ask your local ATV/ORV dealer for tips — there may be some local recreational clubs or landowners that maintain off-the-grid trails and land for ATVs. But don’t rely on hearsay alone for private or public lands — a phone call to the landowner or government agency that maintains the land will help you avoid unsafe areas and make sure you’re not trespassing.
Follow the rules, whether written or unwritten. Written rules are usually posted at a trailhead or on the park website and can include anything from no alcohol or riding after dark to seasonal trail closures. Unwritten rules are about rider etiquette, common courtesy and respect for the great outdoors. Examples include limiting excessive noise from your vehicle, staying on designated trails, giving right-of-way to hikers and horseback riders, and approaching wildlife and livestock in your path with caution. Both written and unwritten rules keep you safe and ensure that everyone can share and enjoy the land. For more safety tips, check out 7 Tips for Safe ATV Rides.
Obey the laws. Most states have regulations about where you’re allowed to ride. For example, many states prohibit riding your ATV on highways or even public roads in general, while some states only regulate ATV use in state parks. Check your state’s ATV regulations (Opens in a new tab)on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) ATV site.
An ATV is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. With this guide, you’ll be blazing new trails on four (or three) wheels in no time.