ORV/ATV Riding in Michigan

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Check out the upcoming Free ORV Weekends: June 11-12 and Aug. 20-21, 2016!
The DNR invites off-road enthusiasts to enjoy two Free ORV Weekends this summer. During these weekends, Michigan residents and nonresidents can legally ride DNR-designated routes and trails without purchasing an ORV license or trail permit. Riders save up to $36.25. 

During Free ORV Weekend, Michigan residents and nonresidents can legally ride DNR-designated routes and trails, including the state's five scramble areas, without purchasing an ORV license or trail permit.

Off-Road Vehicle Rules and Regulations

If you are under 16 years old and will be riding on trails or private land in Michigan you must take an approved ORV education course and carry an ORV Safety Certificate with you at all times while riding on public lands.

The ORV Safety Certificate is proof that you have successfully completed all of the components of an approved ORV safety course and allows you to go off-roading. This is not the same as an ORV license.

Licenses and Permits

Individuals riding in any place other than private property (trails or otherwise) must purchase an annual ORV license. Riders using state-designated trails must also purchase an annual ORV trail permit.

For more information about ORV laws, read The Handbook of Michigan Off-Road Vehicle Laws.

Where to ride:

Michigan's public ORV trail/route system provides four types of riding opportunities, including motorcycle trails, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) trails, ORV routes (which are open to ORVs of all sizes including Secretary of State licensed vehicles) and scramble areas.

There are five scramble areas:

  • St. Helen's Motorsport Area
  • Black Lake Scramble Area
  • Silver Lake State Park
  • Bull Gap in the Huron National
  • The Mounds (a Genesee County Park)

Please note that a Recreation Passport is required for entry into Silver Lake State Park. Check with the land owners of the other scramble areas for entry requirements in addition to an ORV license.

In the Lower Peninsula, the ORV trail/route system is the only legal place to ride non-Secretary of State licensed ORVs on public lands other than frozen waters. In the Upper Peninsula, it is legal for ORVs to operate on state forest roads as well as the designated trail system, unless a specific state forest road is posted closed to ORV use.

Silver Lake Off-Road Vehicle Area Information: