on ORVs on Michigan County Roads
Back to our ORV Trail Guide (maps, photos & video)
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.