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

texas atv laws

Have you ever thought of going on an ATV ride in Texas, but you do not know if it is possible? If you have ever wondered what riding an ATV in Texas would be like, you should read this blog post. We will look at the ATV laws in Texas and the best places to go ATV riding.

Some Texas ATV Laws are: ATVs can be operated on a public road, street, and highway that is not an interstate or limited access highway to cross, and all ATVs operated on Public lands must display a TPWD OHV decal. You can ride your ATV in Hidden Falls Adventure Park and Mud Buddy’s ATV Park.

There is one essential thing you should take note of when riding ATVs; there are laws. In the same way, there are traffic laws in different cities, there are also ATV laws, and you should abide by them in all ATV operations.

texas lone star state flag

Texas ATV Laws

In Texas, an ATV is classified as a vehicle equipped with a seat not more than 50 inches in width, has three or more wheels, and is designed for off-highway use. All ATV laws in Texas are also the same laws for UTVs, ROVs, and side-by-side. Below are Texas ATV laws:

  • Every ATV operator must undergo an ATV safety course and obtain a completion certificate as proof before operating an ATV.
  • All ATVs in Texas must display a TPWD OHV decal.
  • ATV operators below age 14 can only operate an ATV under adult supervision; the adult must have a safety certificate.
  • If you will operate an ATV on public lands, you must always put on eye protection and a safety helmet.
  • ATVs operated on public land must have headlights and tail lights which must be illuminated in the dark; they must also have a good muffler and brake system.
  • You must get a United States Forest Service qualified spark arrestor for your ATV before operating it on any public land.
  • Before crossing a public roadway with an ATV, you must go straight across at a safe location, stop completely before crossing, have your headlight and tail lights on, and yield to all other traffic.
  • When crossing with an ATV on a divided highway, you must only cross at an intersection.
  • You can only operate an ATV on a public street, highway, or road when the vehicle is used for agricultural purposes only; the ATV must display a triangular orange flag. The operator must have a valid driver’s license.
  • Before selling or disposing of an ATV, you must apply for a title.
  • ATVs used for agricultural purposes should be operated only during the day and must not exceed a distance of 25 miles from the point of origin to the destination.
  • You must not carry a passenger on an ATV that is not designed to carry a passenger.

Where Can You Ride An ATV In Texas?

The best place to ride ATVs is off-road. There are various areas where you can ride an ATV in Texas, including parks, OHV areas, and recreational areas. Below are some of the places to ride an ATV:

Hidden Falls Adventure Park

Hidden Falls Adventure Park is one of the most popular parks in Texas, where you can ride not only an ATV but also Motorcycles, Dirt bikes, SUVs, UTVs, SXSs, and other off-road vehicles. This park offers 240 miles of trails filled with hardpacks, trees, steep hills, dust, loose dirt, and dust.

However, before you can gain access to the park, you need to sign a waiver before checking in. At the office, before entering the park, you would receive a placard that you would have to hang from your vehicle’s rearview mirror. The park is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm from Mondays till Thursdays.

On Fridays, the park is open from 9 am to 9 pm, on Saturday from 8 am to 7 pm, and on Sundays from 8 am to 2 pm. As adults, access to the park for a day costs $25, $45 for two days, $55 for three days. Minors under age 18 will pay a gate fee of $15 for a day, $20 for two days, $25 for three days.

Mud Buddy’s ATV Park

Mud Buddy’s ATV Park is located in the South of Hallettsville in Texas. It offers over 400 acres of ATV trails on private land with large muddy areas. If you want to camp, there are lots of opportunities for camping, and the sites include water and power hookups, as well as lots of areas for tent camping.

Kids below the age of six have free access to the park, but individuals over six years must pay a daily fee of $20 per ride. It also costs $20 to ride an ATV for a day, $7 for an additional rider. For every event hosted during weekends, there is special pricing for admission and event.

The park has 14 cabins available for rentals, and all the cabins do not have showers and restrooms. However, there are public restrooms and a shower facility available.

Blue Creek Bridge OHV Area

Blue Creek Bridge OHV Area is open all year round, and it offers over 275 acres of hard-packed creek bed and trails that are open to all types of off-road vehicles, including motorcycles, ATVs, dirt bikes, UTVs, side-by-sides, dune buggies, SUVs, sand rail 4×4, and Jeeps.

No fee is required to ride or park in this area, but all off-road vehicles must display a current Texas OHV Decal. You would also need a National Park Service ORV permit in addition to the Texas OHV Decal to ride freely in the Blue Creek Bridge OHV Area. To ride any off-road vehicle in this park, the vehicle must have an exhaust cap or a spark arrestor.

atv riding in dunes

General Sam’s ATV and Off-road Park

General Sam’s ATV and Off-road Park is one of the best OHV trails in Texas; there are over 60 miles of wooden riding trails, mud bogs, and sandpits. It is usually open from Thursday by 12 pm till Sunday by 6 pm every week. The vehicles allowed at this park are ATVs, SXSs, UTVs, Jeep, Sandrail 4x4s, Dune buggies, and SUVs; Dirt bikes and Motorcycles are prohibited.

Camping is permitted at this park, and the amenities available are shower facilities, cell phone coverage, restrooms, and an air compressor. The terrain at this park consists mostly of loose dirt and mud; however, there are also hardpack, trees, water crossings, sand, rocks, dust, sand, and gravel pits.

Entry into General Sam’s ATV And Off-road Park costs $20 per person, but children aged 10 and below are allowed free entry. There is no fee for riding at this park. Night riding and trailblazing are allowed in this area. Every rider is required to put on an MX helmet.

Where Can’t You Ride An ATV In Texas?

All ATV operations are prohibited on public highways, streets, and roads in Texas. ATVs cannot be operated on any public property or park in Texas, so it is forbidden to ride an ATV in any public park or government property. It is also prohibited to operate an ATV on a hike and bike trail or a sidewalk in Texas.

You should also know that all the roads surrounding any public park are public, and you should never ride your ATV on them. ATVs are not street legal in Texas, so they cannot be operated on public property.

Final Thoughts

Texas is one of the best states in the United States to ride an ATV; there are many trails and parks with ATV trails where you will have an adventure. However, it is imperative to ensure your ATV operations are legal, and for them to be legal, they must comply with the ATV laws in Texas.

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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