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Course Outline

A trail is not the same as a route and generally will never be on a road or in a ditch. Typically, a trail will involve a road only when you cross the road at marked intersections. The county, city, town, or village may designate corridors on land it controls to be used as ORV trails.

Some trails may be designated for specific vehicles such as Cross-Country Cycles.

Some trails may be designated as multiple-use trails. On these trails, you could encounter other traffic such as horses, motorcycles, other ORVs, and bicycles.

Confidence Markers

In Michigan, confidence markers (signs) tell ORV riders which types of vehicles are allowed to operate on the various ORV trails and routes.

  • To operate on any of these designated trails and routes, an ORV must:
    • Display a valid DNR license and…
    • Be operated only on a trail or route that is designated for that type of vehicle.
  • No person may intentionally remove, damage, deface, move, or obstruct any department-authorized ORV route or trail confidence marker.
  • Leave all confidence markers in place. If you notice a confidence marker is missing or is down, notify your ORV club or DNR office immediately.
  • There are confidence markers for two types of trails and one type of route, which will be detailed on the following pages.

County Road Systems

Michigan counties and townships are allowed to decide if the roads under their jurisdiction are open or closed to ORV operation. You always should check with the local road commission, law enforcement agency, or clerk’s office to find out if the shoulder of the roadway is open to ORVs.

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