Where to ride

An ORV is a vehicle built primarily for off-road recreation. There are different types of ORVs and each has its own handling characteristics, including motorcycles, ATVs and route vehicles.

Michigan’s designated ORV Trail/Route system covers more than 3,800 miles of trails and routes throughout the state, frozen surface of public waters, several hundred acres of special ORV-use areas and state forest roads (Upper Peninsula only). 

Free ORV Weekends - June 10-11 and Aug. 19-20, 2017
Residents and nonresidents can ride DNR-designated routes and trails during two Free ORV Weekends, taking place June 10-11 and Aug. 19-20. Off-road enthusiasts will not need to purchase an ORV license or trail permit on these two days, saving riders up to $36.25. This opportunity is a great way for ORV enthusiasts to explore Michigan's 3,660 miles of trails and and think about purchasing an ORV license or trail permit for the season. Funds generated are reinvested back into the ORV system.

Michigan’s ORV trail system has three designated types of trails, including:

  • Motorcycle-only trails maintained at a 28” width
  • ATV trails maintained at a 50” width 
  • ORV routes maintained at a minimum 72” width or greater
    Note: Some ORV routes have a restriction to 65” width or high ground clearance see trail maps for locations. 

Riding in the Lower Peninsula
‚ÄčIn the Lower Peninsula, riders can enjoy the 
ORV Trail / Route system, frozen surface of public waters and state forest roads if posted open to ORVs.

Riding in the Upper Peninsula
In the Upper Peninsula, it is legal for ORVs to operate on the 
ORV Trail / Route system, frozen surface of public waters and state forest roads (unless posted closed to ORVs). 

State parks and Rustic Campgrounds
ORVs are generally prohibited in state game areas or state parks and recreation areas, however, there are a handful of ORV-friendly state parks and rustic campgrounds open to riders across the state.

National Forests
In all national forests, motor vehicles can be used only on roads, trails or areas that are designated as open. For more information, contact the local national forest headquarters.

Public roads
Roads, streets and highways maintained for year-round automobile travel (including the shoulder and the right-of-way) are closed to ORV operation unless designated open to ORV use by local ordinance. ORV operators should check with that county’s sheriff, road commission or clerk for local ordinances. It is illegal to operate ORVs on state and federal highways, including the shoulders and rights of way.

Private land
Private land is closed to ORV operation except by the landowner and the landowner's invited guests.

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