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

michigan atv laws

Michigan is one of the eight states in the United States that makes up the Great Lakes region. Michigan is the only state in the U.S. to consist of two peninsulas, and it has a terrain made up of flatlands and hills in the northern section and low rolling hills in the southern section. If you are looking for a great state to ride an ATV, you should try out Michigan.

Some of Michigan ATV laws include: every ATV owner must obtain a certificate of title for their ATV, all ATV operations are prohibited in public hunting areas, and all ATV operators must wear a helmet. You can ride an ATV in: Tin Cup Spring OHV Trails, Bundy Hills, or Ogemaw Sports.

ATV riding is one of the best ways to take a break from the daily hustle and enjoy some quality time. However, that time will only be enjoyed when you ride in the appropriate location and abide by all ATV laws.

made in michigan

Michigan ATV Laws

In Michigan, an ORV is classified as a motor-driven recreational vehicle that can be operated across various terrains. The vehicle must operate on low-pressure tires, be powered by a 50 to 500 cubic capacity gasoline engine, and have a seat to be straddled by the rider.

Let us look at the ATV laws enforced in Michigan.

  • All ATV owners in Michigan must obtain a certificate of title from the Secretary of State for their ATVs. This law does not apply to non-residents of Michigan.
  • It is illegal to sell an ATV without including the certificate of title. Furthermore, it is illegal to purchase an ATV without a certificate of title and not apply for the certificate within 15 days of purchasing the ATV.
  • All ATVs to be operated on public lands must be licensed with the DNR (Department of Natural Resources). The annual fee to obtain an ATV license is $26.25.
  • To operate an ATV on any state-designated route, trail, or area, you must obtain an ORV trail permit that costs $10.
  • All ATV operators must display their ORV license on their ATV every time, and it must be placed on the bumper, a flat metal surface, or a plate attached to the rear of the vehicle.
  • All ORV permits and licenses are valid from April 1st till March 31st of the following year, regardless of when it was obtained.
  • All ATV operators and passengers are required to wear a USDOT-approved helmet during all ATV operations.
  • All ATVs to be operated in Michigan must feature a throttle, brake system, spark arrestor, functioning lights, muffler, and seats for the rider and passenger.
  • Individuals allowed to operate an ATV must be over the age of 10 years. Children between the ages of 12 and 15 must operate an ATV while under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian.
  • Teenagers below the age of 16 are required to have an ORV safety certificate while operating an ATV.
  • It is prohibited to operate an ATV while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You are not allowed to have an open bottle of alcohol while operating an ATV.

Where Can You Ride An ATV In Michigan?

Michigan is one of the states with the highest number of rivers; it is known as the state with many fishing spots. There are various perfect destinations to ride an ATV in Michigan; you get to enjoy a view of the lakeside, the landscapes, as well as the forested trails. Let us look at some of the best places to ride an ATV in Michigan.

Saint Helen Motorsport Area

This ATV destination is located at 1901 N Saint Helen Road, Saint Helen, MI 48656; it features about 50 miles of ATV trails, consisting of six obstacle courses with large boulders and concrete pipes, as well as several sandy hill climbs. Saint Helen is one of the best choice ATV destinations in Northern Michigan.

Saint Helen Motorsport Area is open all year round and all season. The area is open from 9 am till 5 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The park opens from 9 am till 6 pm on Fridays and closes by 3 pm on Sundays. All types of ORVs are permitted in this area.

Saint Helen Motorsport Area is not only an ATV trail; you can also purchase UTVs, ATVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles, pontoons, trailers, motor parts, and accessories. They offer products from reputable manufacturers, like Yamaha, Arctic Cat, etc.

Bundy Hill Off-Road

The largest private ATV park in the southern part of Michigan is the Bundy Hill Off-Road, and it is located at 9960 E Chicago Road, Jerome, MI 49249. That park is open from Wednesdays to Sundays, from 9 am to 8 pm. This area spreads across 300 acres of rock challenges, mud pits, hill climbs, and wooded trails.

ATV riding in Bundy Hill Off-Road will be enjoyed by both amateur and skilled ATV riders; there are trails suitable for all levels of expertise. A color rating is used to identify the trails at Bundy Hill Off-Road. Red trails are buggy territory designed for experienced riders.

Green and blue trails consist of loose rocks, dirt, and sand with slick surfaces, so to ride in this terrain, your ATV must have strong tires and high ground clearance, and you must be a professional rider. Black trails consist of slick rocks, trees, rocks, and sand, without an ATV with high ground clearance, tall tires, locking devices, and tow points.

Ogemaw Sports and Trail Center

Another popular ATV destination in Michigan is Ogemaw Sports and Trail Center, located at 2374 Lentz Road City, MI 48654. This center is open every day from 9 am to 10 pm. This area features private single tracks, family-oriented motocross tracks, as well as various ATV trails.

Ogemaw Sports and Trail Center offers complete UTV, ATV, dirt bike, and camping facilities. It features a 175-acre campground accessible to all types of off-road vehicles, excluding Jeeps, Dune Buggies, and Sand Rail 4×4. The center consists of miles of trails and tons of hill climbs, the delight of any ATV rider.

All ATV operators are required to put on an MX helmet at all times while in the trail center. It costs $30 to ride an ATV per individual, and for kids below the age of 10, it costs $15. To operate a UTV costs $40.

buggy atv in sandy road

Tin Cup Spring OHV Trails

Tin Cup Spring OHV Trails is open every day for twenty hours; the officials determine the opening and closing hours; so, you should make inquiries before visiting the trail. It is located at King Highway, Luther, MI 48656. This ATV trail is close to the Pere Marquette State Forest.

Tin Cup Spring OHV Trails offers two categories of trails, a 19-mile motorcycle trail and an 18-mile OHV trail. Both trails wind through hardwood forests filled with loose dirt, hardpack, and trees. It is illegal to operate an OHV on a motorcycle trail and a motorcycle on an OHV trail.

Where Can’t You Ride An ATV In Michigan?

Now that you know some places where ATV operations are allowed in Michigan, it is imperative to know where they are prohibited.

It is prohibited to operate an ATV on public hunting grounds during the November deer season, from 7 am to 11 am and from 2 pm to 5 pm. It is also illegal to operate an ATV on private property without the landowner’s permission. Operating an ATV in a cemetery, on a railroad, or at an airport is also unlawful.

Final Thoughts

Michigan is a great state to ride an ATV, and if you locate the best ATV destinations, you will enjoy the best ride ever. However, it is almost impossible to enjoy an ATV ride if it is done illegally; this is why you should know the ATV laws of the area.

Knowing and complying with the ATV laws of a state as well as the designated places to operate an ATV will save you from many issues with law enforcement officers.

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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