ATV Riding

I own a Polaris 4-wheeler, and on occasion have riden on state and federal land. Most of my riding consist of private property where I have permission to ride. I recently read an article in the Woods and Water News Publication that was very informative about riding ATVs in Michigan. It seems I have been breaking the law, and have never been aware of the confusing and vague rules concerning ATVs.

First and formost is the fact that the law states that everyone must wear a helmet when riding an ATV in Michigan. It does not matter that you are riding on your own private property-not even in your back yard. You could get a ticket if you ride with a bare head!

Second there is a different set of rules concerning federal, state, and private land usage by 4-wheelers (ATVs.) One of those rules, that I would bet most are unaware of,  is that you cannot ride an ATV on forest roads in the lower peninsula unless the roads are maked OPEN to ATVs. It is just the opposite in the U.P. There the roads you cannot venture on to will be marked CLOSED to ATVs.

A few more of the rules are that you can get a DUI on an ATV. Its a really dumb idea to ride one while drinking anyway! Also you have to be at least 16 years old to legally operate an ATV in the state. You can however operate one if you are between the ages of 12-16 (under adult supervision,) providing you have compleated an approved ATV safety course. The last rule I’ll share is the fact that you cannot go “off roading or mudding” anywhere in the state! You must stay on trails only, no exceptions-not even gas lines or power lines are open to your ATV.

If you want more information try to get you hands on Stephan Kings article in the May issue of Woods and Water News.


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