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West Virginia ATV Laws: Where & How To Ride Your ATV Legally

West Virginia ATV Laws: Where & How To Ride Your ATV Legally

West Virginia is located in the eastern part of the United States and is in the tree-covered Appalachian Mountains. This state is known for its rugged land. It is popular for its wide range of outdoor recreational activities like hiking, skiing, fishing, rock climbing, off-roading, rafting, hunting, and mountain biking.

West Virginia ATV laws include: no ATV should be operated on any interstate highway and road unless when crossing or in emergency cases. You can ride your ATV in the Hatfield McCoy Trail System, Burning Rock Off-road Park, Pinnacle Creek ATV Trails, and Mountwood ATV Trails.

West Virginia is one of the best states for off-road activities; there are many mountains to ride on and a variety of terrains available. So, if you want to travel to any state for a break, with ATV riding in mind, you should add West Virginia to your list of states to visit.

west virginia sign

West Virginia ATV Laws

An ATV in West Virginia is classified as a motor vehicle designed and capable of traveling on unimproved terrain, is 52 inches or less in width, travels on 3 or more low-pressure tires, weighs 800 pounds or less, and has a seat designed for the operator.

Below are the ATV laws in West Virginia.

  • You must not operate an ATV on any interstate highway unless you are a public safety personnel responding to an emergency.
  • ATVs are not to be operated on any road or highway with a centerline or more than two lanes unless you are crossing such road or highway.
  • When crossing a road or highway with an ATV, you must first bring the vehicle to a complete stop and yield to all oncoming traffic; the crossing must be done at an approximate angle of 90 degrees to the highway's direction.
  • ATVs can be operated along the shoulder of a road or highway for about 10 miles at a speed of 25 mph.
  • You must not carry any passenger below 18 years with an ATV except the rider is above 18 years. If the rider is below 18 years, he must possess a level-two intermediate driver's license.
  • It is illegal to use an ATV to carry a passenger when it is not equipped or designed to carry a passenger.
  • Every ATV rider below 18 years should wear a size appropriate protective helmet that is DOT-approved when riding or operating an ATV.
  • When riding an ATV from sunset to sunrise, your ATV must always have illuminated headlights and taillights.
  • All ATVs must have a functioning spark arrestor and muffler installed before they should be operated.
  • It is illegal to operate an ATV under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Children below age 16 should not operate an ATV with an engine displacement above 90 cubic centimeters.

Where Can You Ride An ATV In West Virginia?

If you are an enthusiastic ATV rider looking for the best ATV trail destinations, you should go to West Virginia. It is one of the top places in the United States, perfect for ATV riding, as it has one of the top 3 trails to ride an ATV in the United States. Let us look at some of the places to ride an ATV in West Virginia.

Hatfield McCoy Trail System

Hatfield McCoy Trail System is one of the top 3 off-road trails in the United States and offers 600 miles of trails. There are 10 individual trail systems that range from smooth and hard-packed with shallow stream crossings to steep, chunky, and rugged single tracks.

A Hatfield McCoy Trails Permit and a fee of $26.50 are required to ride on this trail. The terrain on this trail consists of loose dirt, hard-pack, mud, dust, rocks, trees, steep hills, berms, and water crossings. This trail is open to motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, dirt bikes, Jeeps, SXSs, dune buggies, sand rail 4x4s, and 4x4s.

Camping is not permitted in any area on this trail. Night riding and trail blazing are prohibited. All vehicles entering this trail must have a spark arrestor exhaust silencer or an end cap. The noise limit at this trail is 99 decibels, and all riders must wear an MX helmet when riding.

Burning Rock Off-road Park

Burning Rock Off-road Park offers about 100 miles of trail and is open daily all year round. It is open to off-road vehicles like dirt bikes, SXSs, ATVs, motorcycles, and UTVs; others like jeeps, sand rail 4x4s, dune buggies, and 4x4s are prohibited.

The maximum vehicle width at this park is 64 inches, and all vehicles must have a spark arrestor installed. Riders are required to wear either a DOT-approved or Snell-approved helmet when riding.

Entry into this park costs $10 per person while riding costs $20; riders between ages 6 and 15 will pay a fee of $15. The terrain at this park consists of berms, large jumps, small jumps, water crossings, steep hills, trees, rocks, dust, mud, hardpack, loose dirt. Night riding and trail blazing are prohibited at this off-road park.

atv in off road trail

Pinnacle Creek ATV Trails

Pinnacle Creek ATV Trails is one of the individual trails located in the Hatfield McCoy Trail System; it has about 80 miles of trails and is open daily all year round. A staging area provides restrooms, parking space, and a staffed office that sells merchandise and permits. The noise limit at this trail is 99 decibels.

The terrain at this trail is mostly hard-packed and consists of steep hills, berms, loose dirt, dust, rocks, mud, sand, and water crossings. Riding on this trail costs $26.50 per rider, while non-residents will pay $50.

This ATV trail is open to ATVs, SXSs, motorcycles, UTVs, and dirt bikes; others like sand rail 4x4s, jeeps, dune buggies, and 4x4s are prohibited. All riders are required to wear a helmet when riding. Camping, campfires, night riding, and trailblazing are all prohibited. All vehicles entering this trail must have a spark arrestor.

Where Can’t You Ride An ATV In West Virginia?

There are some places in West Virginia where the law prohibits ATVs' operation; it is imperative to know those places as an ATV rider. In West Virginia, you are not allowed to ride your ATV on any interstate highway. You cannot ride your ATV on a public highway or roadway unless crossing from a designated area to another.

Can You Ride An ATV On The Streets In West Virginia?

Previously, riding an ATV on the streets in West Virginia was highly illegal; however, a law was passed as of February 2021, enabling the operation of street-legal ATVs. So, you can ride your ATV on the streets in West Virginia, but you will have to add some modifications to make it street legal.

Also, you must register and license your street-legal ATV. To make your ATV street legal, you must equip it with one or more tail lamps, headlamps, and brake lamps (the tail lamp must be placed in a way that the registration is illuminated). You also need to add some reflectors, amber turn signals, a braking system, and a horn.

Other modifications to be made include rearview mirrors, a windshield (except the rider wears eye protection goggles during each ride), and a speedometer.

Final Thoughts

Riding an ATV is a good way to exercise and relieve stress, but you must be careful when riding an ATV. West Virginia is a good place to go ATV riding; you should consider the ATV laws. As long as you obey the ATV laws and ride in a designated place, you are guaranteed a great and peaceful ride.

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