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Information on ORVs on Michigan County Roads

Back to our ORV Trail Guide (maps, photos & video)

Public Act 240 of 2008 enabled counties and townships in Michigan to allow ORVs to travel upon roads under the their jurisdiction. Each has to enact an ordinance allowing for this, else their roads remain closed to ORVs. Subsequent legislation has granted this power to all counties within the State.Visual County Locations

State and Federal Highways are not under the jurisdiction of the counties. These are roads such as "M-33" and "US-2" and "I-75". Counties can petition MDOT to open up select portions of State Highways.

Forest roads, on both State and Federal Land, are NOT covered by these ordinances. Some forest roads are graveled or easily traveled by car yet they are not a county road. A good map is the only way to know which is which (our GPS Maps visually show which county roads are open).

There are three National Forests in the State (Ottawa, Huron-Manistee and Hiawatha). Each of these has claimed ownership of some county roads and thus "supersede" the local ordinance. We do not show these county roads as open to ORVs. If you can explain how the USFS can claim a road and a county can claim the same road yet they have different laws applied, we would like to know.

Generally speaking in the counties that allow ORVs on their roads, the rules are:

  • Max speed of 25MPH
  • Operate on the far right of the maintained portion of the road (not the shoulder, not the ditch).
  • Single file.
  • Lights required front and rear.
  • Children 12 and up are allowed if under direct adult supervision; 16 to 18 need a driver's license if not under adult supervision.
  • Helmet and eye protection required
  • ORV Sticker from DNR

Some counties vary from the original legislation, we've attempted to point out those differences in the table below.

The following table lists each county that has adopted an ordinance allowing ORV travel on their roads. Linked is a map that shows open county roads as defined by the county's ordinance as interpreted by VVMapping. No guarantee of accuracy is given or implied.

We believe the information is true and correct as of the date of their publication but have not verified every road depicted. State and Federal highways are included in the maps for reference - they are not open to ORVs. All county roads not included in each ordinance are excluded from the map. Forest roads are also excluded.
The designated ORV System that intersects the county is included on the maps.

Counties/Townships that we do not have a copy of the actual ordinance do not have have a link to our maps. We'll update as often as possible.

News on what's happening these days.

Use Shoulder of Roads: Y = If the road has a shoulder (ie paved road), then you must be on the shoulder; N = Do NOT use the shoulder; blank means no preference defined. Some counties say only on the shoulder, others say not on the shoulder.

 

County
Maps & Info
Roads
Date
County Web Site
Ordinance
Current As Of
County Wide Ordinance
Speed Limit
Minimum Age
Use Shoulder of Road
Special Notes
All
6/3/09
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Y
All
6/13/05
6/1/2014
Yes
20
Y
All
10/28/08
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Y
Some
5/15/09
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
All
10/14/08
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
All
5/14/09
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Bay
Some
6/1/2014
NO
25
12
Townships create their own
Some
3/12/12
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Y
30 minutes before sunrise until 11PM; March 1 through November 30; Residents can get special permit for access to closed roads.
All
4/9/09
4/1/2016
Yes
25
12
All
7/9/09
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Y
All
10/13/08
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Most
10/15/08
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Some
2/16/11
4/1/2016
Yes
25
12
Y
Stay off county roads closed with military gates
Most
9/24/08
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
CR414 only closed during school hours; 15MPH in subdivisions
All
10/27/08
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Some
8/13/09
PDF
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Y
All
3/10/09
4/1/2016
Yes
25
12
All
10/22/08
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Some
8/26/09
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
All
10/11/11
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Hillsdale
Some
9/23/14
4/15/15
Yes
25
16
Must have drivers license; closed roads must be posted closed
All
10/21/08
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
N
Road Commission closed most Primary Roads
Huron
All
6/22/10
6/1/2014
Yes
25
14
Ionia
Most
3/24/15
4/15/15
Yes
25
12
Some
1/7/09
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
All
12/23/08
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Isabella
All
2/23/12
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
All
2/10/09
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
All
12/1/08
6/1/2014
Yes
25
16
N
6AM to 12AM
Most
4/11/13

3/1/2016

Yes
25
12
N
Must have orange flag Dec 1 thru March 31
Lapeer
Most
4/30/14
6/1/2014
Yes
25
16
Must have drivers license
Leelanau
All
9/6/12
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Luce
Most
11/13/08
Unavailable
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
All
10/9/08
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Manistee
Some
6/1/2014
NO
25
12
N
Townships create their own & varies by township; residents can use closed roads to access open roads; April 1 to November 30
Mason
Some
6/1/2014
NO
25
12
Y
Townships create their own; 6AM to 11PM
Some
11/18/08
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Mecosta
All
9/15/11
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Some
12/23/08
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Midland
All
12/20/11
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
All
10/14/08
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
All
6/28/10
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Most
4/28/09
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Y
All
2/22/12

PDF

6/1/2014

Yes
25
12
Oceana
Some
6/1/2014
NO
25
12
Y
Townships create their own
Some
9/11/08
6/1/2014
Yes
20
12
Y
Most
10/21/08
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
All
11/4/08
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
All
4/14/09
6/1/2014
Yes
20
12
Y
Some
5/26/09
6/1/2014
Yes
25
16
Y
All
1/9/09
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Y
All
10/8/08
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Saginaw
All
12/5/13
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Sanilac
Most
6/9/10
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Primary County Roads only for access to Secondary
All
10/31/08
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
St Clair
Some
6/1/2014
NO
25
12
Townships create their own
All
1/1/13
6/1/2014
Yes
25
16
Note Road Commission map shows open roads within most municipalities but were not able to clarify when we called. Our maps show those as not open.
All
4/15/09
6/1/2014
Yes
25
12
Y

Do you know of a township that opened or a county that adopted an ordinance we don't have listed? Please let us know! Staying on top of these changes is difficult at best.

 

Information regarding ORV use in Michigan

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