Connecticut ATV Laws: Where And How To Ride Your ATV Legally

connecticut atv laws

Riding an ATV is a thrilling experience, and it produces a sense of fulfillment; it is also a way to explore a state. Although Connecticut is the third smallest state in the United States, it is one of the best states to explore with an ATV. There are different sights and natural attractions that you will enjoy in this state.

Connecticut ATV laws are: all ATVs in Connecticut must be registered with the state government. ATV owners must have a registration certificate, identification number, and a registration plate for their ATVs. You can ride your ATV with Central Cycle Club Inc and Backyard Adventure UTV Tours.

Connecticut offers a unique and challenging off-road adventure to ATV riders; however, there are limited areas where ATV riding is allowed in Connecticut. Nevertheless, you are still guaranteed a great time when you go ATV riding.

connecticut state street sign

Connecticut ATV Laws

There are two classifications of ATVs in Connecticut. The first is that ATVs are self-propelled vehicles designed to travel over unimproved terrain. The motor vehicle commissioner has been determined as unsuitable for public highway operation and ineligible for regular vehicle registration.

The second classification is more specific and appears in the environmental protection laws; ATVs are motorized vehicles that are unfit for highway operation and are not more than 50 inches wide, have a dry weight of not more than 600 pounds, travel on two or more tires, have an engine piston displacement of 50 cubic centimeters or more, and have a seat or saddle for the operator.

Below are Connecticut ATV laws:

  • Every ATV operator must have a valid registration certificate for their ATV issued by Connecticut for residents. In contrast, non-residents should have a certificate issued by their state of residence, provided the registration grants are similar to that of Connecticut.
  • It is highly illegal to use an ATV to harass tame or domestic animals.
  • ATVs operated exclusively on private property do not require registration of the state.
  • All registered ATVs in Connecticut must display a registration plate and registration number on each side of its front section and midway between the top and bottom.
  • ATV operators must always carry their ATV registration certificate when they are operating their ATV.
  • The officials allowed to enforce ATV laws are law enforcement agents from the Department of Environmental Protection, state police officers, forest rangers, motor vehicle inspectors, state park police officers, uniformed municipal police officers, state forest police officers, and constables.
  • ATV riders must never hesitate to stop when requested or signaled by an authorized enforcement officer; doing so is an infraction that results in fines.
  • It is illegal to operate an ATV at an imprudent or unreasonable speed, under the influence of drugs or intoxicating liquor, and in a negligent manner that can endanger a person or property. Operating an ATV in any of these manners attracts a $250 fine.
  • You must not operate an ATV on a public highway unless you are a licensed motor vehicle operator.
  • You can cross a highway with an ATV; however, the crossing must be done at approximately 90 degrees and at a place where no obstruction can prevent a safe and quick crossing,
  • When crossing a highway, an ATV operator must bring the vehicle to a complete stop and yield the right of way to motor vehicles using the highway.
  • ATVs must be operated with a functioning muffler system, operating brakes, and good rear and front reflecting and lighting devices.
  • When an ATV owner changes his address, he must notify the commissioner of the new address by writing to him; he must also notify the commissioner when a transfer of ownership of a registered ATV is done and when the ATV gets destroyed.
  • If an ATV causes damage to land containing trees, crops, shrubs, or fences, the ATV owner is responsible for that damage.
  • It is illegal to operate an ATV in a manner that causes the exhaust to make unusual or excessive noise.
  • ATVs with a 90 cubic centimeter engine size or less must not have front and rear lighting and should not be operated at night.

Where Can You Ride An ATV In Connecticut?

Connecticut has a beautiful landscape, from its stunning waterfalls and glimmering lakes to its rugged hills and dense forests. Riding an ATV is one of the best ways to explore this state fully.

Previously some state forests were open to ATVs but, due to some reasons, are no longer available for ATV riders. Hence, there is a limited number of places to ride an ATV in Connecticut.

Central Cycle Club Inc

Central Cycle Club Inc has about 30 acres of a maintained motocross track and a peewee track. The track is fast, smooth, and consists of loose dirt, dark loamy soil, trees, small jumps, berms, trees, hardpack, large jumps, dust, mud, rocks, and shades. Entry into this track ground costs $15 per person while riding costs $40; children below age 5 are allowed in for free.

This track is open to members only and has been in existence since 1967. Camping is permitted in all areas of this track; overnight parking is also allowed; however, open campfires are prohibited. Night riding is also prohibited. Dirt bikes, ATVs, and Motorcycles are the only off-road vehicles permitted in this area.

Jeeps, Sandrail 4x4s, SXSs, SUVs, Dune buggies, and UTVs, are not allowed at the Central Cycle Club Inc track ground. Unlike most trails, this track area does not require all vehicles to have a spark arrestor exhaust silencer or an end cap.

guy rides atv on autumnal forrest

Backyard Adventure UTV Tours

Backyard Adventure UTV Tours is a company that provides guided UTV tours on 1000 acres of private land. The trail winds through a mix of logging roads, dense forests, grassy meadows, rolling hills, and shallow stream crossings. There is a golf course and an ice cream shop available.

This area is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. Motorcycles, SUVs, Dirt bikes, Dune buggies, Jeeps, and Sandrail 4x4s are prohibited in this area. However, ATVs, UTVs, and SXSs are allowed only if they are rental vehicles on this land; personal vehicles are not allowed. Camping and campfires are prohibited in this area.

The terrain at this tour ground is mostly hard-packed and has lots of trees; however, it also contains loose dirt, rocks, mud, germs, dust, water crossings, and steep hills. An individual must be 21 years and above, hold a credit card, and have a valid driver’s license before riding an off-road vehicle.

Where Can’t You Ride An ATV In Connecticut?

You cannot ride your ATV on any public highway in Connecticut except to cross; if you do so, you will be fined $78. It is also illegal to ride your ATV on any railroad right of way. You cannot ride your ATV on any fenced posted land or agricultural land without the landowner’s written permission. You must never ride your ATV on a limited-access highway regardless of the circumstances, not even for crossing purposes.

Milford Riders Motorcycle Track, Thomaston Dam, and Pachaug State Forest are not open to ATVs. Some areas were previously open to ATVs but are not permanently closed for different reasons; hence, you cannot ride your ATV in those areas. Those areas are Connecticut River MX and Groton Pits.

Final Thoughts

Connecticut is a great state to ride an ATV; however, you must always remember to ride in the areas open to ATVs and not violate any ATV laws. Due to the size of Connecticut, you might not have the liberty to ride your ATV in a different place because of the limited trails.

Nevertheless, you can still have a great time riding your ATV on any of the designated ATV trails. However, you should ensure you comply with all the ATV laws enforced in Connecticut.

By Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher loves to play with new toys and dive into new hobbies. As a serial entrepreneur, work definitely comes first but there is always room for hobbies.

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