ATVing in Maine
An amazing network of trails makes it possible for ATV riders to travel throughout much of Maine. Trails include multi-use and multi-use rail trails through scenic recreation and wildlife areas. Be on the lookout for other trail users and wildlife on the trail. Check out our Trail Maps and Club pages to get started on Maine Trails.
Safety Training Courses
- Contact the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Registration Division at (207) 287-8000 or the Safety Office at (207) 287-5220.
General ATV Trail Guidelines
- All trails must be established in accordance with State Laws pertaining to All Terrain Vehicles.
- The trail corridor is a strip or parcel of land in which the trail is to be located.
- The trail will consist of a tread way from which hazardous obstacles such as stumps and large rocks will be removed, severe depressions will be filled in, side brush removed at least one foot outside the established tread way and overhead brush and limbs will be cleared to a minimum of (7') seven feet. All brush, trees, stumps and rocks removed from the corridor should be disposed of in a way not to detract from the aesthetic interest of the trail. The established tread way should be maintained to a minimum of 5 feet wide.
- Marking the trail will be consistent with established Bureau signing guidelines. Signs to be used will be provided by the Bureau. Signs should be installed on posts at eye level beside the trail.
- Trails will be established only on land where landowner permission has been obtained. If written permission is unattainable, oral permission will be accepted with a written affidavit from the club President confirming permission was obtained and the date it was obtained.
- Trails should pass through variable terrain to hold users interest and create a reasonable degree of challenge. Established routes will avoid critical wildlife and ecological areas and areas of anticipated serious user conflict such as tree plantations, dwellings, agricultural land, or other recreational user areas.
- Highway crossings should be avoided whenever possible. When necessary, crossing should be made as near right angles to the traveled roadway as possible at locations providing clear visibility along the highway in both directions, to assure safe crossing. (There is a process where you can have Department of Transportation to install highway signs notifying traffic of the trail crossing. This may be advisable in areas where visibility is bad.
- Trails should be routed in order to avoid steep slopes. Sustained slopes should not exceed 30 percent. Bypass trails should be provided around grades exceeding 25%. Approaches or exits to slopes and grades should be straight for a sufficient distance to make a safe entrance and exit
- If it is necessary to bulldoze or excavate the trail surface, precautions should be taken to eliminate erosion.
- Streams and rivers will be bridged in compliance with all environmental regulations. Bridges will be a minimum of (5') five feet wide and we recommend a minimum of (8) eight feet wide for trails that are also groomed for snowmobiles.
- Trails will not be established in the stream bed, parallel with the flow of current, on dry or wet channels. Crossing fords are allowed, if they are located on a hard rock or gravel bottom so as not to cause sedimentation and if approved by the landowner and appropriate environmental agencies.
- Remember that wetlands are protected and permits may be needed to cross them. Trails across wetlands will only be approved if the trail hardening techniques such as corduroy, turnpike, or puncheon are used to protect the soils.
- Crossing active railroad tracks can only occur at authorized crossings that are clearly approved by the railroad.
- Trails should be maintained sufficiently to allow reasonably safe operation of off road motorized vehicles, considering some operators will be less experienced than others. When an approved trail is abandoned or discontinued, the Bureau should be notified immediately in writing. Trail signs and bridges should be removed completely from trails that have been discontinued or abandoned.
- It is of utmost importance that all trails be monitored on a regular basis in order to insure they are maintained in reasonably safe usable condition.
Our Contact Information:
ATV Program, Bureau of Parks and Lands, 22 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0022.
- ATV Coordinator by E-mail or call 888-386-3288 in state or (207) 287-4958 out of state.