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State forest roads

An unpaved forest road winds into the autumn woods of northern lower Michigan

State forest roads

Three ORVs going down a road in a golden autumn forest

View the map, hit the trail

Ready to ride where there’s plenty of woods and no pavement to be seen? State forest roads are your gateway to outdoor adventure.

Use our maps to see which forest roads are open and closed to ORV use. Add comments to the interactive map by Aug. 31 for consideration in the annual review for next year's maps.

View interactive GIS map

View printable pdf maps

Current road inventory

Thousands of miles of state forest roads are open to ORV use. Mileage is effective April 1, 2022.

Forest roads location Mileage open year-round  Mileage closed or closed seasonally* Total mileage
 Upper Peninsula  5,497.9  96.1  5,594
 Northern Lower Peninsula  6,205.1 1,107.1  7,317.2
 Southern Lower Peninsula 9.4  361.5  370.9
 All locations 11,712.4  1,564.7  13,282.1

*Included in the total road closure mileage are state forest roads that are only seasonally closed to ORV use. These roads are identified on state forest road maps, and the dates these roads are opened or closed for ORV use will be posted at the site.

 

 

Annual review process

The mapping and inventory process is an ongoing effort, with reviews being completed on the ground by DNR staff as well as an in-depth review of public comments. Each year:

  • Comments on current maps are accepted until Aug. 31.
  • Comments on proposed changes to maps are accepted during open comment periods.
  • Approved changes are incorporated into the maps and go into effect April 1.
  • Read the 2021 road inventory review summary

    Types of road proposals

    • Roads recommended to be opened to ORV use. Proposals in this category may include roads added because of new construction or because an existing road was missed in the initial inventory. Other proposals in this category include roads that were previously closed to ORV use, but due to a change in circumstances or public input, are recommended to be opened to ORV use.
    • Roads recommended to be closed to ORV use. Proposals in this category may include newly constructed roads, roads missed in the initial inventory process or roads that were previously open and are now recommended for closure. A recommendation to close roads to ORVs could be for natural resource protection or because of user conflicts.
    • Roads recommended to be closed to all conventional vehicles and ORVs. Proposals in this category may include roads that were previously either open or closed to ORV use and were open to use by conventional vehicles. Closure recommendations could be made due to natural resource damage, for example.
    • Roads recommended to be deleted and removed from the statewide forest road inventory. Proposals in this category include roads that may appear on published DNR forest road maps that no longer exist on the ground. Other proposals in this category include roads that are duplicates of an already existing road that need to be removed. Data cleanup is part of an ongoing effort to ensure accurate forest road maps.

    Additional forest road information

    Public Act 288 and ORV use on state forest roads

    Public Act 288 (PA 288), enacted in 2016, required the DNR to inventory and map all state forest roads. To date, the implementation of the law has resulted in 89% of state forest roads being opened to ORV use (including roads that are open seasonally). The law also allows for the cross-country retrieval of deer, bear and elk using ORVs and horses. See FAQs and closure criteria.

      Public access

      The purpose of state forest roads is to provide the public with access to state forest lands for recreation and to provide the DNR with access for management and land protection. State forest roads may also provide access to private lands on an incidental, nonexclusive, permissive-use basis. People may use state forest roads as long as the DNR allows them to remain open to general public use. Adjacent landowners may use state forest roads; however, unless an easement has been granted by the DNR, state forest roads do not provide legal access to private property, nor is there any guarantee that state forest roads will remain open or be passable year-round.

      Contact

      If you need assistance with interpreting forest road maps, email DNR-GIS@Michigan.gov

      If you have questions or comments regarding state-managed forest roads, email DNR-RoadInventoryProject@Michigan.gov.