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

georgia atv laws

Georgia, one of the states in the United States, is known for its abundant farmlands, coastal beaches, and mountains. The capital city of this state is Atlanta which houses the famous Georgia Aquarium. This state provides a wide variety of terrain suitable for ATV riding.

The main ATV law in Georgia is that all ATVs must have an operative brake system, a muffler, functioning head and taillights, and an effective spark arrestor. You can ride your ATV in Fat Daddy’s ATV Park, Oakey Mountain OHV Trails, Sunnyside ATV Paradise, and Rock Creek Trail System. 

There are many ATV laws that should be obeyed in Georgia. However, these laws are established for the safety of the ATV rider and other people as well. Following these laws keeps you from getting into trouble with the law enforcement agency.

downtown atlanta skyline

Georgia ATV Laws

Georgia defines an all-terrain vehicle as a motorized vehicle designed for off-road riding and equipped with handlebars for steering, a seat, and 4 low-pressure tires. Some rules and laws are established that are meant to be abided by all ATV riders and operators.

  • It is illegal to operate an ATV on private property without written permission from the owner of such property.
  • ATVs should only be operated on designated trails, roads, and areas specifically marked for off-road vehicles.
  • To operate an ATV on public land in Georgia, you must have a valid driver’s license.
  • Operating an ATV within any perennial stream is illegal except when directly crossing such a stream. A perennial stream is a stream that usually has water flowing around, a stream whose primary source is groundwater, a stream with a channel located below the groundwater table, and a stream from which rainfall is a water source.
  • You must not operate an ATV under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Operating an ATV in a way that damages or unreasonably disturbs wildlife, the land, or vegetation is illegal.
  • To operate an ATV on a forest or public road, you must be 16 and older, have a license, and comply with all motor vehicle rules.
  • An ATV driven in Georgia must have a muffler, an operative brake system, a spark arrestor, and a functioning head and tail light.
  • It is illegal to create excessive smoke with your ATV in Georgia.

Where Can You Ride An ATV In Georgia?

Georgia is a vast state with many parks and trails for ATV riding. You can be sure to have a great and exciting time riding your ATV in these areas.

Rock Creek Trail System

Rock Creek Trail System offers about 6 miles of smooth and hard-packed ATV trails. Every ATV operating in this area must have an end cap or an exhaust silencer, and the noise limit is 96 decibels. Wearing a helmet while riding an ATV in this park is compulsory.

There are no fees required for parking, riding, entry, or camping at Rock Creek Trail System. The ATV trails are mostly full of hardpack, dust, loose dirt, steep hills, trees, mud, rocks, berms, and some water crossings. You do not require a permit to ride an ATV in this area.

Fat Daddy’s ATV Park

Fat Daddy’s ATV Park is a 500-acre park that is open on weekends. It is usually open by 9 am on Friday and till 5:30 pm on Sunday. This ATV park borders the Satilla River and offers miles of sandhills, trees, loose dirt, woods trails, water crossings, mud pits, berms, small and large jumps, and shades.

Youths below the age of 16 must use a helmet when riding an ATV in this park. Primitive camping is also allowed. You will require a permit which can be obtained at the entrance of the ATV park.

Windy Gap Trail

Windy Gap Trail is a part of the National Forest of Chattahoochee; it offers a challenging ATV trail system consisting of 2 ATV trails. These ATV trails have a rocky section, creek crossing, and gravel sections. They are filled with loose dirt, hardpack, trees, dust, mud, steep hills, rocks, and berms.

The ATV trails in this area are equipped for experienced ATV riders as the terrain is mostly rugged. The Windy Gap OHV Trail System is open from April 1 to December 31. Riding an ATV in this location requires a spark arrestor, and the ATV’s width must not exceed 50 inches.

Highland Park Resort

The Highland Park Resort is an off-road park with about 40 miles of single one-way track and two natural terrain motocross tracks. The trails are usually well maintained and range in difficulty; hence, there is assurance that you will have a good time in this park as an ATV rider.

It is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm except on Thanksgiving and Christmas; night riding is prohibited in this off-road park. Trailblazing is another action that is prohibited at this park. The terrains are mostly filled with trees, small jumps, single tracks, berms, shades, large jumps, and water crossings.

Where Can’t You Ride An ATV In Georgia?

It is illegal to ride an ATV on public lands in cities, towns, and state agencies, except you have a waiver. ATVs are expected to remain in designated areas that are specially marked for off-road vehicles only.

It is also unlawful to operate an ATV on private property in Georgia. You have to have written permission from the property owner that states that you can operate your ATV on that property.

riding atv in mud

Popular Places To Ride Your ATV

There are many areas, parks, and trail systems in Georgia where you can ride your ATV. Some of the popular places are usually packed, allowing you to engage in different ATV activities with other ATV riders. We will look at some of the popular places to ride your ATV in Georgia.

Oakey Mountain OHV Trail

Oakey Mountain OHV Trail is one of the most popular places to ride an ATV in Georgia. It has two separate ATV trails, which are Moates Knob and Oakey Mountain. The trails are rocky, contain a few sharp switchbacks, narrow and steep. To ride an ATV in this area, you will require an OHV trail permit, and your ATV must have a spark arrestor exhaust silencer, and its noise limit must be below 96 decibels.

The maximum width of ATVs allowed in this area is 48 inches. To ride an ATV on this trail site, you will have to pay a sum of $5. The terrain in this area is filled with berms, steep hills, rocks, mud, trees, dust, hardpack, and loose dirt.

Sunnyside ATV Paradise

Sunnyside ATV Paradise is another popular place in Georgia where you can ride an ATV. This park is quite popular and has unique terrains; it features 900 acres of ATV trails. These trails have a proper mixture of swamps, steep hill climbs, mud bogs, and groomed woods. The park’s amenities are a spray wash station, an outdoor shower area, and flush toilets.

When riding an ATV in this park, you must use an MX helmet, and night riding is prohibited. Primitive camping and fishing are allowed at Sunnyside ATV Paradise. There is also a concession stand available that sells cold drinks and hot sandwiches.

Final Thoughts

Riding or operating an ATV is very exciting and gives you a thrill and feeling that you cannot get when riding a normal vehicle. However, it is very necessary that while riding, you abide by every regulation and law of ATV of the state you are riding in. By doing this, you can enjoy your ride without having any issues with the law.

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.