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.

​Riders can enjoy Michigan's ORV trail / route system and frozen surface of public waters. ​Throughout the northern Lower Peninula and Upper Peninsula, state forest roads are open unless posted closed to ORVs. ​See maps of forest roads recently opened to ORVs in the northern Lower Peninsula.

Beginning in January 2019, additional forest roads in the southern Lower Peninsula will be available for riders. Get involved with the Road Inventory Project.

Free ORV Weekends - 2018 dates will be announced soon
Residents and nonresidents can ride DNR-designated routes and trails during two Free ORV Weekends each year. 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. 

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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