The Handbook of Massachusetts Off-Highway Vehicle Laws
The Official Off-roading Handbook of the Massachusetts Environmental Police - Web Version
Table of Contents
Protecting the Environment
The Tread Lightly! program supports recreationists by encouraging outdoor ethics. The word "tread" helps us remember to:
Travel responsibly on roads and trails or in permitted areas.
- Stay on designated roads. Don't blaze a new trail.
- Travel only in areas open to your type of vehicle.
- Drive over obstacles to avoid widening the trail.
- Cross streams only at designated crossings.
- Comply with all signs, and respect barriers.
- Don't mix riding with alcohol or drugs.
Respect the rights of others, including private property owners and all recreational trail users, campers, and others.
- Slow down around crowds and in camping areas.
- Never cross private land without permission.
- Yield the right-of-way when you meet others on the trail.
- If you meet a horse and rider, turn off your engine.
- Stay clear of wild animals, and avoid disturbing livestock.
- Minimize noise, and avoid creating dust.
Educate yourself by obtaining travel maps and regulations from public agencies, and knowing how to use and operate your equipment safely.
- Get maps that show the area where you plan to ride.
- Learn about regulations governing OHVs in the area.
Avoid sensitive areas such as meadows, lakeshores, wetlands, and streams. Stay on designated routes.
- Avoid sensitive habitats, including living desert soils, tundra, and seasonal nesting or breeding areas.
- Stay out of designated wilderness areas.
Do your part by leaving the area better than you found it, properly disposing of waste, minimizing the use of fire, avoiding the spread of invasive species, and restoring degraded areas.
- Practice minimum impact camping.
- Equip your vehicle with a spark arrestor.
- Before and after a ride, wash your vehicle to reduce the spread of invasive species.