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WATVA Comments – WI DNR ATV and UTV Trail Guidelines Document

Photo by Pete Genteman. Mark Geffers at the Dyracuse Recreational Park slow speed trail area.

December 10, 2021

To: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Staff

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Re: Comments – ATV and UTV Trail Guidelines Document

The Wisconsin ATV/UTV Association (WATVA) appreciates the opportunity to submit our comment on the proposed ATV and UTV trail guideline draft.

To make our input easier to review, we have made some general comments regarding important issues.

  • WATVA applauds the Wisconsin DNR effort and active support of numerous modes of recreations as well as recognizing the importance of making motorized recreation available on Wisconsin's public lands.
  • We feel that it is important to accurately represent what it can and should take to create trails, it's not to be taken lightly. There will always be cynics who don't want any ATV or UTV use on public lands, but by using introspective guidelines, it is possible to provide opportunities to use public lands that upholds all the responsibilities that public land managers have, and our sport will be provided for in a way that minimizes impacts to resources and works with the land.
  • With the existing regulations and requirements for trails already in place, the realities of what it takes to create fun filled experiences can be daunting, but this document does accurately represent the work that goes into creating trails. WATVA appreciates the work that the DNR staff put into this document. Developing clear and consistent guidelines for motorized recreational trail systems is important to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for our trail users.
  • However, environmental reviews have become a lengthy process that needs to be shortened and simplified. These reviews protract trail projects to the point that it is frustrating to the volunteers and trail managers that have already spent numerous hours scoping and planning a corridor for travel.
  • WATVA understands the need for guidelines and that changes need to be made to guarantee sustainable ATV and UTV recreation on public properties in the state of Wisconsin, however we hope the DNR favors exploring innovative approaches to offer the most wide-ranging opportunities available to our rider's needs. It seems that we should be looking for simple solutions that will work, that can protect the resources and meet permit requirements while not overbearing the trail developers. We need common sense solutions that need to be tested and can be changed as new problems or solutions are discovered.
  • The guidelines should encourage shorter timelines to complete trail projects, especially simple projects, to better serve the trail user. We feel a goal of the guidelines should be to make the trail related process more efficient, time saving and economical, since they will provide a broad reference for agencies, trail advocates, and policy makers as they embark on various types of trail development projects.
  • From our point of view, the landscape our two registration programs operate in, ATV and UTV, has changed substantially over the period of time that this document has been developed. Some of the major changes include the growth and expansion of the UTV machine along with the changing demographic of the owner/riders. Owners and riders are very diversified as far as gender, age, and economic status. The other dramatic shift or change is the somewhat spectacular growth curve in the total number of ATV UTV route miles that have and are still being approved in cities, villages, townships, and counties across the state. Many of these ordinances have been brought forward and approved by local citizens, many are not necessarily affiliated with organized clubs. We know we have not captured all the approved routes, but our sources tell us we're at or above 42,000 miles of approved routes in Wisconsin.
  • So how does this change the operating landscape for the "Trail Guidance" document? In the past, where trail connections were once sought, often stymied with obstacles such as wetlands, rivers, lakes, and other obstructions, it has become increasingly simpler to petition a local municipality for route approval access that serves to avoid obstacles and red tape. That situation, combined with the many local owners and riders that do not want to trailer their machines to trails every weekend and or they live far from any trails, so they also seek local route access for pleasure riding on hard surface roads (paved and dirt) between their occasional trips to what we'd consider genuine trail systems.
  • One of our main concerns is that this document is heavily laden towards highly developed and possibly overbuilt gravel trails, and we feel more emphasis should be on the development of more Level 3 and 4 challenge type trails. With already having 42,000 miles or routes and 2,000 miles or more of Level 1 and 2 challenge type trails which are more like roads than trails, we need a better mix and diversification of types of trails.
  • WATVA completed a survey with its members and found that most of the results desired a diverse trail that encompasses multiple surface experiences, with scenic natural settings and access that allows the riders to link to their different choices of destination riding experiences. Our observation and suggestion are to use hardened trail surfaces only where necessary, not automatically on the entire trail. Also, to identify specific sections or segments that require more detailed analysis for spots requiring tread way stabilization in the form of added fill material. The intent of hardening is to determine which segments of the trails are capable of sustaining ATV and UTV travel either as is or with modification. This would be a cost-effective method for necessary modifications.
  • The point is, our concern is that the "trail standard" will most likely be similar to a road standard with the related costs and then have a landscape in the end that presents itself for more opportunities for speed and dust, etc.
  • In the last 3 to 5 years, we've heard the request for slower speeds, challenge trails. Examples are the Wood County Park (mostly mud riding), then the Tigerton facility that has designed and built rock and other obstacles that dramatically slow the speeds (and dust) while providing a more challenging adventure for those that seek that experience. With the new addition of a challenge trail at the Dyracuse Park, their rider counts are up significantly since adding that kind of experience.
  • We feel the most wanted and needed experience to be added at select locations where there's a chance the property would possibly allow small segments of this type of trail experience, is not being highlighted and or planned for with the same or equal focus as the other examples in the draft guidelines. Unless this type of experience is included in the guidance, we feel it would quite likely deter those seeking if or how to develop the slower speed, challenge riding experiences. As "Food for Thought" there should be a stronger reference for this type of slow challenge experience and development so land managers or trail planners are clear, that under the right conditions, that there may be a much different alternative to route type construction.
  • Slow speed challenge and technical trail sections should be considered within trail systems or as alternative to the main trail. These sections require more attention from the rider (well designed, low angle, short-radius curves are enjoyable and much more sustainable.)If the proper challenges are provided, the desire for speed becomes less pronounced. Slower speeds also produce less noise and dust. Natural, hilly areas make for the best trails, while long, straight trails can be found to be tiresome. Riders enjoy challenges with a variety of conditions – although not all the trails should be highly difficult, diversity is preferred. On page 9 there is a quote from "One User's Perspective", we feel that statement represents MANY users' perspective, thousands rather than one person.
  • Our intent with these comments is not to derail all the work, effort and tenacity that has been put forth on this guidance document, but the scenarios have changed fairly rapidly in the past few years and we want to make sure that his slower challenging trail type is accounted for accordingly and appropriately.
  • The Wisconsin ATV/UTV Association and its Chapter Clubs, its many businesses and travel partners that provide an invaluable economic stimulus to Wisconsin, thank you for this opportunity to present our viewpoint.

Please feel free to call our state headquarters office for any clarifications or questions you might have about our input or our comments.


Randy Harden - President
Rob McConnell - Vice President

File Name: WI DNR ATV / UTV Trail Guidelines Draft Document
File Size: 2.8 mb
Download File

Fish, Wildlife and Parks Public Input Opportunities | Wisconsin DNR

Check out the public comment page for the WI DNR. Click on the ATV and UTV Trail Guidelines document or submit your own input. 
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ATV/UTV Riders: Think Smart Before You Start During Gun Deer Season

Hunters Reminded To Ride Safely When Using ATVs/UTVs

Contact: DNR Office of Communications
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The DNR reminds hunters to ride safely when using ATVs and UTVs during their hunt this year. / Photo Credit: iStock/bernardbodo

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds hunters to ride safely when using all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility-terrain vehicles (UTVs) during their hunt this year.

Since January 2021, 41 people have died in ATV and UTV-related crashes. Most of the incidents involved people not wearing a helmet or seat belt. There were 38 fatal crashes in 2020.

Hunters using ATVs or UTVs to retrieve harvests or travel off-road to hunting locations should take life-saving precautions such as wearing a helmet and buckling up. Most hunting incidents involving ATVs or UTVs often occur on private lands and are linked by common factors.

"ATVs and UTVs are powerful and potentially dangerous vehicles. Oftentimes, accidents happen by simply going too fast for conditions, not judging the curve correctly or not knowing the terrain," said Lt. Martin Stone, DNR Conservation Warden and Off-Highway Vehicle Administrator. "Safety is part of the fun. Please ride responsibly."

ATV riders at least 12 years old and born after Jan. 1, 1988 must complete a course before operating an ATV on public trails and areas in Wisconsin. UTV operators must be at least age 16.

Complete an ATV safety course either in classroom or online by signing up here.

ATV/UTV Tips For A Safe Ride:

  • Don't drink and ride.
  • Slow down.
  • Some terrain in Wisconsin is too steep for ATV/UTVs. Traverse hills with caution.
  • Display registration ID number on a rear plate for all ATVs and UTVs registered for public use.
  • Always wear a Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved helmet. Hunters are more likely to come across low hanging branches or uneven terrain. Serious injuries and death can occur even at low speeds.
  • Just as with other vehicles, long guns and bows/crossbows must be fully unloaded before transporting them in or on an ATV or UTV.
  • Do not operate in or around waterways or wetlands. ATVs and UTVs are only allowed to cross waterways at bridges, roads or legal fords. Machine use in these areas is illegal and causes serious habitat damage that is very costly to repair.

Hunters using ATV and UTVs can also help protect natural areas by removing mud, dirt and any vegetation from vehicles prior to traveling as they can easily transport invasive plant species or seeds that are harmful to local habitats.

For more information on ATV/UTV laws visit the DNR's ATV/UTV Riding In Wisconsin webpage. 

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Winter Riding Information

We Need You! 

Did you know most of the ATV and UTV trails, summer or winter, are maintained by a local club? Without our grassroots organizations, our states trail program would be vastly different from what we enjoy today.

Image By: Team Winnebagoland
The Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association and local area clubs need your membership! 

Grassroots efforts are the foundation to our ATV, UTV, Snowmobile and other outdoor recreation programs. Without the support by the many men, woman and children around Wisconsin, our trails program would be vastly reduced.

Local chapter clubs work with land managers and law enforcement agencies to help maintain trail systems throughout the state. 

From grooming, to building trails, the efforts put forth by the members directly impact the overall statewide program. 

Without help from enthusiasts, clubs wouldn't be able to perform the duties that support our trail network. Getting involved with clubs can be as simple as supporting them financially or you can offer to help with grooming activities, trail maintenance, fundraising, safety classes, the trail ambassador program or other activities / duties that support the club. 

The Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association also needs members to support the statewide efforts to improve the image of our sport by supporting local, county, state and federal partners and by being the voice of our recreation to lawmakers in various levels of the government. The Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association helps local clubs around Wisconsin with issues such as land access, ordinances, organization and conflict resolution. 

Without our membership, we would be unable to provide the statewide resources that our clubs have utilized time and time again. 

By joining the Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association, you will receive our quarterly print publication Trail Tales as well as important email updates that require immediate attention. 

Our association is proud to have over 100 local chapter clubs throughout Wisconsin. Check out our website at to find your local chapter ATV / UTV Club. 

Where Can I Ride? 

Riding during the winter season in Wisconsin can be a fantastic and rewarding experience. However, the dynamics of the winter climate in Wisconsin means that the riding opportunities are not uniform. Research is needed prior to riding someplace new in Wisconsin during winter.

Counties receiving winter trail funding
The Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association is often asked "where can I ride my ATV or UTV in Winter?" Technically speaking, that's a very challenging question to answer due to all the variables. 

During Spring, Summer and Fall, Wisconsin's ATV / UTV trails are either open or closed. It's pretty black and white. However, when we are dealing with winter conditions, a lot of land managers must deal with additional circumstances that will dictate if a trail is open for ATV / UTV use. 

It can be as simple as the native soils only support travel when the ground is frozen or it can be a complex situation involving politics and issues with other user groups on shared trails.

Regardless of the situations, it's vital that you check with the locals before you head to your riding destination. On page 7, we have provided a simple map showing the counties in Wisconsin that allow some sort of Winter riding opportunities. 

What the map doesn't show are the specific rules for each county. As an example, Burnett County (northwestern Wisconsin) offers 80 miles of frozen ground ATV / UTV trails as well as 122 miles of winter trails, per their web site. For the winter trails, they require a minimum of four-inch groomed surfaces before they are open.

The Dun-Good trails in Marinette County (northeast Wisconsin), are open all year regardless of the surface condition (they do close for a few weeks in spring for the spring thaw). 

As you can see, each trail system can have their own requirements for being open during Winter. 

Riding on frozen surfaces in Wisconsin is a completely different story. Any motorized vehicle can travel along Wisconsin's waterways as long as it's frozen and there is public access to the waterway. However, some local municipals have ordinances prohibiting motorized ice travel. You will want to check with the local municipal to ensure motorized ice travel is allowed. 

Ice travel opens up riding areas to places in Wisconsin that lack off-road trails. However you must use your own judgment when it comes to ice safety. 

Counties Receiving Winter Trail Funding (with links if available) 

Rules & Regulations 

Aside from the regular regulations that apply to ATVs and UTVs, there are some other regulations you should be aware of if you're riding in Winter or on frozen surfaces.

Image by Craig Lehman
Wisconsin has a lot of riding opportunities for ATV and UTV users. With these opportunities, comes regulations and rules. It's important that you become familiar with these regulations prior to heading out on the trails or frozen surfaces. 

Mechanically speaking, your machine must have a spark arrester at all times, even during the winter season. The ATV or UTV cannot exceed 96 decibels. 

First and foremost, ATVs and UTVs are not allowed on snowmobile trails unless they are marked for ATV and UTV traffic. It is extremely important that you check the trail before riding on it as illegal use on a snowmobile trail could threaten the trail from closure if it's abused. This type of behavior also threatens future multi-use trail opportunities. Check with the county or local club to ensure that the trail is indeed open to ATV and UTV vehicles prior to riding.

If you're going to head out on the ice, it's important to keep alert for any ice shacks (fish shanty). Our laws state that you must slow down to 10 miles per hour or less when you are within 100 feet of an ice fishing shanty or person not on a snowmobile, ATV or other motorized vehicles.

ATVs and UTVs that are outfitted with tracks cannot be registered as an ATV, UTV or snowmobile. Therefore they can only be operated on private property or frozen surfaces. 

Some areas may have ordinances regarding the installation of floats on ATVs and UTVs as well as additional permits. Check the local ordinances and make sure to read any signs posted at the entrance or exits of a frozen body of water. You should also check with local law enforcement agencies, DNR offices or bait shops to get the most current information on ice conditions.

Image by Kathi Hlasny

Snowplowing with ATVs and UTVs
Wisconsin allows the use of ATVs and UTVs for snow removal throughout the state under the following restrictions:

  • At a speed not to exceed 5 mph while on a public sidewalk
  • At a speed not to exceed 15 mph while on or adjacent to a roadway
  • Operation is allowed on all roadways where the motor vehicle speed limit is 45 mph or less
  • Operation shall be restricted to the far right hand side of the road
  • Operation is also allowed on roads that are legal and open ATV Routes
  • Operators must be 16 years or older and if born on or after
  • January 1, 1988 must also possess a valid ATV Safety Certificate.
  • Operation is only allowed between October 1 and April 30 for the purpose of removing snow
  • Operators may not travel at a distance greater than 2 miles from
  • Their original starting or loading point
  • Machines must display one or more illuminated, yellow lights that are flashing or rotating and visible for 360 degrees

Other Provisions:
  • A city, village, or town may enact an ordinance authorizing the operation of ATVs with snow removal devices (that are operating for snow removal purposes) on roads where the speed limit is greater than 45 mph, if the road is located within the territorial boundaries of that city, village, or town; regardless of who has jurisdiction over the particular roadway.
  • ATVs/UTVs are required to have their headlamps on at all times while operating on any road. Headlamps must be able to illuminate an object at least 200 feet away. Tail lights must be visible from at least 500 feet away during the hours of darkness. Operators must be certain that their snow removal equipment does not interfere with these legal lighting requirements.
  • ATVs/UTVs must have current Public Use Registration while operating on public roadways, public road right of ways or on public sidewalks.
  • Helmets are required for all operator's under age 18, except while operating on lands under the ownership or management of their immediate family.

For all of the rules and regulations that apply to ATV and UTV operation, please check out the official regulation booklet from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. You can find that booklet at the following website address:

Information posted above was taken directly from the WI DNR 

Safety Information 

Aside from the regular regulations that apply to ATVs and UTVs, there are some other regulations you should be aware of if you're riding in Winter or on frozen surfaces.

Going for a winter ride can most certainly be rewarding for riders. However, with cold weather riding comes additional safety precautions that should be followed to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Proper winter wear
Before we can even talk about safe riding techniques, its important that anyone venturing out for winter riding protects their own body with proper riding attire. 

Staying warm is going to be your main priority to a safe and enjoyable ride. Using loose, light and comfortable layers is a great way to keep warm. Loose fitting and layered clothing actually traps warm air generated by your body. Something to keep in mind is that the first layer of clothing should be a synthetic material that can help draw moisture away from your skin. Next, you should have insulated layer. The outer most laster should protect you from wind and rain / snow. 

Keeping the loose clothing in mind, your feet are going to be prone to frostbite as well. Two layers of loose fitting socks will help. Along with socks, make sure to wear heavily insulated boots as your machine could become entrapped by deep snow. 

Insulated gloves are also going to be important as you will be operating an ATV and / or UTV which requires some level of dexterity with your fingers. If the core temperature of your body starts to drop, blood flow will be restricted to your outer extremities which reduces your dexterity in your finger and toes. Once that happens, your fingers and toes are highly susceptible to frostbite and its important to keep them covered and warm.

Your head protection is also a key element to staying safe. A proper fitting helmet that covers all of your skin around your head and face is the best option for preventing frostbite on exposed skin surfaces.

Snowplowing with your ATV or UTV might require a less intrusive helmet (such as a DOT approved half helmet). Wearing a mask that covers the skin surfaces on your head and fits under a helmet is another great alternative.

Prepping your machine
Special care should be taken with your ATV or UTV when riding in the winter season. Mechanical issues could become life threatening situations as you might be faced with dangerous weather conditions.

Closely follow your manufacturers recommendations towards proper maintenance of your vehicle. Having your local dealership inspect your machine is another great way to ensure you're ready to ride in winter.

Riding on ice
How much ice is needed before it can be safe ice? The answer to this riddle is: there is no such thing as safe ice!

Wisconsin allows ATVs and UTVs to ride on frozen surfaces of any navigable, designated waterways. This makes using ATVs and UTVs for ice fishing very popular.

Before you head out on the ice, you will want to check with local resources on the latest ice conditions. The Internet is a great resource for checking on ice depth and conditions, however you will want to make sure the information you gather is accurate and timely. There are a few great sites that not only give you ice conditions, but user reports on how well the fish are biting!

Studding your tires for better traction can improve your performance on frozen surfaces. Make sure you follow the proper instructions for installation and maintenance on studs. If you do have studs on your vehicle, make sure to stay on the ice. Studded tires can be very harmful to any trail surface, especially groomed snow!

Tracked vehicles can be very useful for winter riding (however they are not allowed on any public trail). Make sure to keep the tracks maintained per the manufacturers guidelines! 

Riding on snow

Riding on snow can be a highly enjoyable experience but also presents its own set of hazards that are unique to winter reason riding. 

ATVs and UTVs work great on packed snow, however can struggle in fresh snow. If you're traveling on an unpacked surface, the snow can accumulate and pack under the frame of the vehicle, eventually lifting it off the ground. Furthermore, if your machine leaves a packed surface it can quickly become stuck in loose snow. 

Properly maintained and treaded tires will greatly help with traction on snow. Make sure you have the proper tires before heading out on a ride. 

A winch can be a valuable asset to have on your machine during winter riding. Making sure the winch is in proper working order and that the cable is functional is critical. Unspooling and inspecting your winch cable is a great way to make sure it will be ready when you need it. Furthermore, spooling your winch cable properly will increase the life of the cable and reduce any chance of a mechanical issue should you need it while out on a trail. Remember to follow the safety guidelines for proper winching as a snapped cable can injure someone.

The Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association always suggests taking a hands on safety course. Understanding how your machine handles (in both dirt and snow conditions) will increase your level of overall safety while riding. Remember, if you have an accident or breakdown in winter, your at a higher risk of weather related exposure injuries.

Winter Trail Riding E-book

To view the information on this page in book format, click the link below.

Download this information in a booklet form by clicking "Download File" below.

File Name: 2019-Winter-Riding-Information
File Size: 4.2 mb
Download File
  39705 Hits

Burnett County Update - Fall Riding Season


(Please read all information below)

Beginning Thursday, September 16, State-funded trails will be CLOSED. HOWEVER, from September 16 through November 30 the Burnett County Forest woods trails and forest roads are open for ATV/UTV use. What this means is that you can ride your registered ATV/UTV on any woods trail, snowmobile trail, and ATV trail that is located on County Forest Lands and is not bermed, gated, or signed as closed; and is at least eight feet wide. (A good rule of thumb is that if you can drive a truck down the trail, then you can take your ATV/UTV down it.) No off-trail use is allowed and operation on private lands is illegal unless you have permission from the private landowner.

It is very important to note that all of these trails are currently multi-use trails. This means that ANY street legal, licensed vehicle can use these trails during this time, (cars or trucks for example). It's also important to note that these trails are no longer being maintained during this time of year. For these reasons, the State-Funded Summer Use ATV Trail System is officially closed, even though you can still ride the majority of these same trails because they are located on County Forest Lands and township roads that currently allow for the use of ATV/UTVs during this time of year.

Remember, it is illegal to ride your ATV/UTV on the Gandy Dancer Trail in Burnett County south of Highway 77 at this time of year.


Use caution and look for signage regarding timber sale activity. Trucks may be crossing trails.

All ATVs and UTVs must display either a Wisconsin registration or an ATV trail pass to ride on our trails. Only machines meeting the state definition of an ATV/UTV are allowed on these trails. Please follow this link for the state definitions and registration/pass information.

Some township ordinances allow for ATV/UTV use of the town roads and others do NOT allow it. It is the rider's responsibility to contact the township in which you plan to ride in and get the current rules pertaining to ATVs/UTVs and the town roads. Please follow this link for contact information for the individual townships for their rules and regulations.

NO OFF TRAIL USE IS ALLOWED - Please stay on the trails. Much of our trail system is on private land, and we appreciate the easements granted by our generous land owners. It only takes one person to have the entire trail system shut down.

Caution: Trail maintenance vehicles may be on the trails at any time.

It is your responsibility to know where you are and whose property you are on. Please be careful, be respectful to other trail users, and ride safely.

To contact Burnett County Forest & Parks, please visit their website at

  1795 Hits

Osseo Area Dusty Riders Receives Yamaha Outdoor Access Grant

Osseo Area Dusty Riders

Brad Van Schoyck, President
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Osseo, WI---August 2, 2021—The Osseo Area Dusty Riders is pleased to announce it has received a Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative grant of $15,000 for resurfacing a one mile portion of the Buffalo River ATV/UTV Trail. The grant was awarded as part of Yamaha's Outdoor Access Initiative promoting safe responsible riding and open sustainable riding areas.

The Osseo Area Dusty Riders identified a three mile section of the Buffalo River Trail located in Garfield Township near Fairchild, WI, that needed resurfacing due to erosion and extremely rough riding due to the undulating surface. Improvements to the trail include grading and compacting, addition of 4 inches of ¾ inch rock and 4 inches of road gravel applied through a paver. According to President Brad Van Schoyck, the cost of the entire project will be $150,000.00 and will need to be completed in phases. The first phase will be completed this year.

President Van Schoyck stated that the project has been a community effort. " In addition to the funds provided by the Yamaha Grant, The Osseo Area Dusty Riders have received a second grant from Polaris, have raised funds through club activities, and have received donations from local business and private club members. We know that we have a lot of work ahead, but we have raised almost $50,000.00 to complete Phase I. We have been working with local townships, Trempealeau County and the State of Wisconsin to assure that the project meets the recognized standards for trail riding."

Local businesses located along the Buffalo River Trail have been impacted by rough trail conditions that have deterred many riders from using the trail. The trail is an important conduit in the ATV/UTV Trail System, as it connects the eastern counties of Buffalo, Trempealeau, and Eau Claire Counties, with the western counties of Jackson and Clark. In addition to the economic impact the trail has on the area, it also offers opportunities for trail riders to access new destinations.

The mission of the Osseo Area Dusty Riders is to provide a positive experience for all ATV/UTV riders who utilize the trails that their organization has adopted. The organization will maintain the trail system, develop and share maps, promote safety and education programs, and provide a conduit of communication between fellow ATV/UTV clubs, government entities, and the general public. Furthermore, the Osseo Area Dusty Riders recognizes areas of need in their community and will support these needs with charitable donations.
  831 Hits

Upcoming WATVA Events

2021 WATVA Events 

Upcoming Regional Meetings 

Northeast Regional Meeting & Ride hosted by the Lakeland ATV UTV Club

Saturday August 7th, 2021. Sign in starts at 9:30 a.m. with the meeting starting at 10:00 a.m.

Woodruff Town Hall, 1418 1st Ave,. Woodruff, WI 54568


Northwest Regional Meeting & Ride hosted by the Great Divide Riders ATV Club

Saturday August 21st, 2021.Sign in starts at 9:30 a.m. with the meeting starting at 10:00 a.m.

Drummond Lake Campground, 52455 Drummond Lake Rd, Drummond, WI 54832 


Southwest Regional Meeting & Ride hosted by the Sauk Ridge Runners ATV Club

Saturday September 25th, 2021.

More information to follow.

Southeast Regional Meeting & Ride hosted by the Kettle Moraine ATV Association.

Saturday October 30th, 2021.

More information to follow. 

Upcoming Events 


Friday, October 8th. Sign in starts at 10:00 a.m. with a lunch at 11:00 a.m. 

Dyracuse Recreational Park, Town of Rome, WI

  2128 Hits

WIDNR: Ride Responsibly This Holiday Weekend

17 Fatal ATV/UTV Crashes So Far In 2021 
It is the responsibility of all ATV and UTV operators to make the sport a safe one. Brush up on safety tips before heading out for the holiday weekend. / Photo Credit: iStock/wundervisuals

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking ATV and UTV operators to ride safely this Fourth of July weekend.

When out with family and friends for off-road rides and adventures, wearing a helmet and seat belt, monitoring speed and brushing up on safety best practices could save your life.

So far this year, 17 people have died in ATV/UTV crashes. Of the 5 fatal UTV crash victims, none were wearing helmets and 4 of 5 did not wear seat belts. Of the 12 fatal ATV crash victims, 10 were not wearing helmets.

"The Fourth of July holiday weekend is often a busy time on our trails and road routes," said Lt. Martin R. Stone, DNR Off-Highway Vehicle Administrator. "This year, 12 of the 17 fatal crashes so far occurred on public roads or routes. We want everyone to stay safe out there; familiarizing yourself with ATV-UTV laws and safe operation practices is a must before you head out."


When used safely, ATVs and UTVs provide fun, family recreation and are a valuable tool for working or exploring the outdoors. However, these vehicles are powerful and can be dangerous and even fatal. It is the responsibility of all ATV and UTV operators to make the sport a safe one.

Follow these tips for a safe ride: 

  • Never consume alcohol or drugs before or during your ride.
  • Wear a seat belt and a Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved helmet.
  • In addition to a seat belt and helmet, wear protective clothing such as eye protection, gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
  • Keep your speed in check for the terrain, visibility conditions and your experience.
  • Remember that some terrain in Wisconsin is too steep for ATV/UTVs. Please be careful while traversing hills or uneven terrain.
  • Know before you go. Review all ATV/UTV laws here.

One of the best things ATV and UTV operators can do to operate safely is to take an online safety course. A list of approved safety education classes is available on the DNR Safety Education webpage.

ATV and UTV operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, who are at least 12 years old for an ATV (and at least 16 years old for UTV) must complete an ATV safety certification course to operate in Wisconsin (exception: on private property owned by operator's immediate family).

Wisconsin law requires every operator involved in a crash incident to report the incident without delay to law enforcement officials. In addition, within 10 days of the incident, the operator must submit a written report to the DNR.

For more information on ATV and UTV recreation in Wisconsin, visit the DNR's website.

  2040 Hits

Burnett County: Summer ATV / UTV Trails Are Currently Open

During the summer season, (which runs through September 15), you may operate your ATV/UTV on State-funded Summer-Use Trails ONLY. Summer-Use Trails are designated with a WHITE blazer.

It is illegal to ride ATVs & UTVs on the Gandy Dancer Trail south of Hwy 77 in Burnett County during this time of year.

All ATVs and UTVs must display either a Wisconsin registration or an ATV trail pass to ride on our trails. Only machines meeting the state definition of an ATV/UTV are allowed on these trails. Please visit the Wisconsin DNR website for more information.

Trails will close in the event of a Red Flag Alert due to fire danger. Always check back for updated information before riding.

Use caution and look for signage regarding timber sale activity. Trucks may be crossing or using trails.

Some township ordinances allow for ATV/UTV use of the town roads and others do NOT allow it. It is the rider's responsibility to contact the township in which you plan to ride in and get the current rules pertaining to ATVs/UTVs and the town roads. Please contact the individual townships for their rules and regulations.

NO OFF TRAIL USE IS ALLOWED. Please stay on designated trails.

Caution: Trail maintenance vehicles may be on the trails at any time.

It is your responsibility to know where you are and whose property you are on. Please be careful, be respectful to other trail users, and ride safely.

Contact Information

If you need any maps, or if you need any other information, please contact Burnett County Tourism at 1-800-788-3164 or feel free to email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To contact Burnett County Forest & Parks, please visit their website at

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Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Update

5-18-2021 – Brushing has started on the Flambeau Trail on trails 118H-121, 118B-107, and 118A-111. Trail users should ride with caution when on these trails as they may encounter heavy machinery at any time. Work is anticipated to finish prior to the weekend. 

The trails are still dusty, but there is some rain in the forecast so conditions should be improving. 

When you are out and about you may notice that the roads and trails are looking pretty clean, due in part to some local OHVers with the Fifield Dirt Devils and the Northwoods Range Rovers who did some litter clean up last month for Earth Day. A big thank you goes out to these clubs and their members for lending a hand in keeping our public lands in great shape. 

All of the reservable sites at Sailor Lake Campground have been reserved for Memorial Day weekend, but there are some first come first serve sites. There are additional camping opportunities for OHVs as well at Solberg Lake Campground near Phillips and Smith Lake Campground near Park Falls.

Brady Howe

Forest Service

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Medford-Park Falls Ranger District

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May 12 Flambeau Trail Update

5/12/2021 – Trails are dry and dusty, but there is plenty of sunshine to go around! Contract trail brushing is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 17 on trails 118H-121 between Riley Lake Road and trail 118C-101. Brushing will also be taking place on trails 118B-107 between Round Lake and trail 118A-111, and on trail 118A-111 between Hwy 182 and trail 118C-101. Trail users are asked to ride with caution, especially when encountering heavy equipment and machinery on the trail. Due to the unseasonably warm and dry conditions forest visitors are also asked to be fire wise and be mindful of not parking a vehicle on dry grass or leaves, having a functioning spark arrester on your OHV or motorcycle, properly disposing of cigarette butts, and when having campfires never leaving them unattended and making sure they are cold to the touch before leaving.

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Polaris donates more than $80,000 to off-road organizations with T.R.A.I.L.S. grants

Polaris has announced the donation of more than $80,000 to off-road and ATV organizations across the U.S. as a part of its ongoing T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant Program.

The nine nonprofit organizations that were awarded a spring 2021 T.R.A.I.L.S. grant received awards ranging from $6,000 to $10,000 each to support the development, improvement and expansion of trails, as well as, help to educate riders on safe and responsible riding practices.

"The receiving organizations and clubs are made up of passionate volunteers and riders who love our sport – they are the heart of the off-roading community with a desire to help create a safe and enjoyable experience for all those looking to get out and ride," said Steve Menneto, president of off-road at Polaris. "Polaris is excited to help support their efforts and show our appreciation for their passion and dedication through the T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant Program."

The Spring 2021 T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant recipients are:
  • American Sand Association (Tempe, Arizona)
  • Osseo Area Dusty Riders Inc. (Osseo, Wisconsin)
  • Heart of Oregon Corps., Inc. (Bend, Oregon)
  • Dexter Rail Riders (Dexter, Maine)
  • Garland Trail Hawks ATV Club (Garland, Maine)
  • Millsfield ATV Club (Berlin, New Hampshire)
  • Minnesota Kitty Cat Racers Association (Lindstrom, Minnesota)
  • Christ Miami Corp. (Miami, Florida)
  • Atlas Foundation (Dearborn Heights, Michigan)

"We're thrilled beyond words at the amazing generosity of Polaris. The funding that we have received has helped put Garland Trail Hawks on ATV riders' radar for a Central Maine riding destination," said Joe Valentim, president of the Garland Trail Hawks ATV Club. "Now that spring is here everyone is getting very excited to get out there. And with this infusion of funding we're excited to start work on this year's improvements."

Since its inception in 2006, Polaris' T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant Program has provided funding to national, state and local organizations in the U.S. to help support the future of ATV, snowmobiling and off-road riding.

The T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant Program focuses on two main objectives: promoting safe and responsible riding and supporting environmental preservations and trail access. Organizations may use funds from the grant to increase and maintain land access through trail development, maintenance projects, safety and education initiatives and other projects.

To date, the program has supported 324 ATV, off-road and snowmobiling organizations with more than $2.7 million in grants.

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Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest set to reopen trails this weekend

Rhinelander, Wis., April 22, 2021—Trails on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest are reopening on Friday to all-terrain vehicles, utility-terrain vehicles, bicycles and horses. The forest had closed trails to such uses last month to protect the saturated ground from rutting and erosion.

"Due to relatively dry spring weather, we've been able open the trails a bit earlier than usual," said Chad Jacobson, recreation program manager. "We're hopeful to see new and returning users come out this weekend and all season long."

There are nearly 300 miles of motorized trails on the national forest. During the early riding season, trails may have debris, patches of soft ground, and other hazards. The forest asks that users ride responsibly for their own safety and to protect the trails.

ATV/UTV routes and other trails designated by towns under state law may have different reopening dates across the Northwoods. Riders and other users should check local regulations for trails they plan to use.

Developed recreation sites and hunter walking trails provide opportunities to explore the forest on foot, mountain bike and horse. Trail maps are available on the forest's website at

At most developed trailheads, beaches, picnic areas and boat landings on the national forest, users must pay a $5 per vehicle daily fee. The forest provides envelopes for making on-site payments, or visitors may purchase an annual vehicle pass for $30 through district offices and local pass sale vendors. Passes currently available for sale are good through March 31, 2022.

"It's the best time of year to get an annual forest pass," said Jacobson. "You get access to the recreation sites opening for spring use, plus the pass will still be good for skiing and snowshoeing next winter."

Veterans, Gold Star Family members, and active military personnel and their dependents are eligible for free access to day-use recreation sites on national forests and grasslands. More information about recreation fees and passes is available online at

The Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, manages 193 million acres of public lands and more than 3,000 world-class outdoor recreation areas, facilities and programs. Visitors may enjoy year-round, fee-free access to 98 percent of national forests and grasslands as well as two-thirds of developed recreation sites.

More information about the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is available on the forest's website at or through social media on Facebook and Twitter.

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Trempealeau County Outdoors: ATV/UTV Safety 4/1/21

On this episode of Trempealeau County Outdoors, Host Drew Douglas talks about ATV/UTV with Conservation Warden Andrew Johnson. Drew also talks with Conservation Warden Meghan Johnson and R.N. Bri Rotering about Trempealeau County crash statistics. We also gain insight into becoming a conservation warden with the Wisconsin DNR.

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WI ATV/UTV Program Receives Kwik Trip Coupons To Promote Safe & Responsible Riding

Rewarding positive safety and image practices with coupons that will be redeemable at Wisconsin's favorite convenience stores.

Sheboygan, WI - The Kwik Trip Corporation will be providing coupons to their stores for ATV / UTV riders engaging in safe, responsible and ethical riding practices during the 2021 riding season. This partnership will also feature other recreations including boating, snowmobiling, off-highway motorcycles (OHM) and four-wheel drive vehicles.

The Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association will be distributing the coupons throughout the riding season as part of their mobile welcome center operations. The mobile welcome centers are deployed in high traffic areas around the state. Riders are encouraged to stop by and learn about our state's laws and ethical riding practices from the volunteer trail ambassador program.

"Our welcome centers allow us to reach out to our rider base on a one on one basis in the field. Kwik Trip will help us reward positive behaviours and encourage others to follow similar riding styles" said Randy Harden, President of the Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association.

The mobile welcome centers offer destination information, safety and regulation information and complimentary vehicle safety checks. They are staffed by over 100 certified trail ambassadors. Along with certified trail ambassadors, there are often local club representatives assisting with local level trail and route knowledge. Credentialed law enforcement officers also help staff the welcome centers.

"Since responsible riding is important to all of us, we jumped at the opportunity to partner with this Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association promotion. Safe riding practices ensure that we will always 'see you next time' at your favorite Kwik Trip store" - Teresa Clark, Kwik Trip.

The coupons will also be distributed throughout the year by over 160 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wardens and 37 county law enforcement agencies. Additionally, coupons will be distributed by 101 agencies on boat patrol and 45 agencies engaged in snowmobile patrols.

This type of partnership gives us the tools and opportunities to connect with riders that we may not have been able to reach without an incentive to reward positive behaviour.

For questions or requests on the welcome centers, please contact the Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 920-694-0583.

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Trail Town

Wisconsin has over 400,000 registered all terrain and utility terrain vehicles. Each vehicle is a potential customer to your business.

Our riders travel throughout Wisconsin for that perfect ride. Often times, the rider is unaware of businesses that welcome our sport.

Often times our riders are looking for a specific parking spot, a wash station or a place to put their safety gear. Our riders are also aware that they may have some dirt on their clothing from time to time, and they don't want to walk into a business that doesn't recognize dirt as part of our recreation.

The Trail Town program was developed to point our riders towards businesses that support the off-highway motorized community.
Our program is published throughout Wisconsin, online and in print, so our riders know where they are welcome to bring their hard earned money. Trail Town is a service that consumers, businesses, manufacturers and tourism partners benefit from.

Your Customers Might be Riding Past You 

If your business is located on or near a trail, there might be potential customers literally riding right by you. Trail Town will help inform riders that you are welcome to ATV and UTV traffic!

Trail Town Services 

Map Listings

Trail Town Certifications will get your business listed in the popular VVMapping map book & GPS products of ATV & UTV trails in Wisconsin. Let riders know where you are and more importantly, that you welcome their business.

Marketing Tools

Trail Town can help bring riders to your location with our print and web marketing tools. Trail Town certified businesses receive special discounts on advertising with the Wisconsin ATV - UTV Association.

Proper Signage

One of the great benefits of Trail Town is being able to display our branded signs. The signs inform the riders from afar that your business welcomes them so they won't second guess stopping and patronizing your business.

WATVA Membership 

Trail Town Certifications include a yearly associate membership to the Wisconsin ATV - UTV Association. Your WATVA membership includes a listing on our web site and Trail Tales magazine. 

Pricing Information

A certification to the Trail Town program costs each location $350. This package includes the certification to the program (if all of the criteria has been met), one 12" by 12" sign, one 5" by 5" window decal and a listing on our digital and print media outlets.

Each location must renew their certification annually. With this renewal, each location receives a new yearly decal for their certification sign and continuation on our digital and printed media outlets.

Dealership certification includes a membership into the Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association. They receive not only a Trail Town listing, but listing with WATVA (online and in print).

Pricing Breakdown 

Business: $350 Dealer: $425
Renew: $175 Renewal: $250

Qualifications & Promotional Products

Trail Town is a program that helps inform the outdoor recreation users of businesses that are open and welcome riders to their locations.

With this program, each business must qualify before being certified as a Trail Town location. Our qualifications are as follows:

  • The business must be a member of the recreations state wide association. Current associations: Wisconsin ATV - UTV Association
  • The business must be on a public trail or route 

If you're looking for custom signs, let us know! We can design and manufacture the right sign for your business.

Trail Town members also receive an additional 10% on advertising with the Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association.

  3203 Hits

Trail Tales TV

2021 Season 

To view our episodes, click the play button below. We record each episode live on Facebook. You can view our upcoming episodes here or on Facebook ( Please note, dates are subject to change.

Episode 1: February 9th, 2021

Hosts: Mike Biese, Adam Harden, Randy Harden

Guests: None

Topics: News and updates, Electric UTV's, UTV weight limit and town road damages.

Episode 2: February 23rd, 2021

Hosts: Mike Biese, Greg Olson, Adam Harden, Randy Harden

Guests: Lt. Martin Stone, WI DNR OHV Program Administrator

Topics: News and updates, two-person riding on ATV's and the new law that surrounds it.

Episode 3:  March 10th, 2021

Hosts: Mike Biese, Greg Olson, Adam Harden, Randy Harden

Guests: None

Topics: Annual Meeting Preview

Episode 4: March 24th, 2021

Hosts: Mike Biese, Greg Olson, Adam Harden, Randy Harden

Guests: Jeff Kobinsky - Chippewa Valley ATVers

Topics: Wisconsin Clubs Overview

  5087 Hits

December 15th Trail Update: Eisenbahn in Washington County Enters Winter Season

Effective December 15th the Eisenbahn State Trail is open in Washington County for ATV/UTV operation. Changes to trail opening/closing will be posted as temp. change. Please remember to always check the Fond du Lac County hotline for trail opening/closings prior to entering Fond du Lac county. Trail will open when the daily high for the day is 28 degrees or less until March 15th, assuming the ground is already frozen. Enjoy, stay safe, legal, and remember the trail is a shared use trail with snowmobiles and non-motorized activities.

Make sure to check out the Kettle Moraine ATV Association's page ( as they post Eisenbahn trail status.

  1453 Hits

December 14th 2020 Trail Updates for Jackson & Burnett Counties

Jackson County Is Set to Open for Winter Riding on December 15th 

Photo by Jackson County Parks & Trails

Originally posted on:

The Jackson County ATV Trails will open TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15!

Snowmobile trails remain closed until we get snow. 

A reminder that only ATVs are allowed in Jackson County during the winter riding season. Get out and enjoy the trails!

More information can be found here:{072A7209-631D-4450-A14C-CA69A56BD820}

Burnett County Frozen Ground System Update


We do not have enough snow cover to open our snow trails, and some swamps are not yet frozen. However, the MAJORITY of the Frozen Ground ATV Trail System is open, with the exception of trail 130 and the portion of trail 151 running from trail 45 to 118 due to swamplands.

Frozen Ground Trails are marked with GREEN blazers and are shown on the back of the snowmobile map. You may also find the map under "Trail Rules, Maps and Licensing Information" on our website. Only registered machines meeting the state definition of an ATV or UTV are allowed on this trail system.

All ATVs and UTVs must display either a Wisconsin registration or an ATV trail pass to ride on our trails. Only machines meeting the state definition of an ATV/UTV are allowed on these trails. Please follow this link for the state definitions and registration/pass information.

Some township ordinances allow for ATV/UTV use of the town roads and others do NOT allow it. It is the rider's responsibility to contact the township in which you plan to ride in and get the current rules pertaining to ATVs/UTVs and the town roads. Please follow this link for contact information for the individual townships for their rules and regulations.

NO OFF TRAIL USE IS ALLOWED - Please stay on the trails. Much of our trail system is on private land, and we appreciate the easements granted by our generous land owners. It only takes one person to have the entire trail system shut down.

Caution: Trail maintenance vehicles may be on the trails at any time. Also please watch for signage warning of logging activity. Trucks may be crossing trails.

It is your responsibility to know where you are and whose property you are on. Please be careful, be respectful to other trail users, and ride safely.

For specific information on our trails, follow these links:
ATV/UTV Trails
Maps, Rules, and Pass & Licensing Information


Trail 130
Trail 151 from trail 45 to 118

Contact Information:

If you need any maps other than what we have here on our website, or if you need any other information, please contact Burnett County Tourism at 1-800-788-3164 or feel free to email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Maps are also available at many local businesses.

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Lancaster Area Chamber of Commerce Warns About Scam (Grant County - Southern Wisconsin)

Thursday, December 10, 2020

The Lancaster Area Chamber of Commerce is warning businesses in the Grant County area about a scam.

A company called Hometown Productions out of Texas recently has been approaching local businesses asking them to purchase ads in a "new ATV/UTV map for Grant County". The maps have contact information for the Lancaster Chamber on them. Hometown Productions has NO affiliation with the Chamber.

Please help the Chamber spread the word to the rest of the County's business owners that if you receive anything from Hometown Productions or a phone call from them, that it is a scam and they are in no way affiliated with the Lancaster Area Chamber of Commerce. We support our Grant County Clubs who do a great job in providing us with a local ATV/UTV map.

  1347 Hits