Douglas County received a couple inches of snow this past weekend! Currently ALL of Douglas County trails are open and are in Great Condition and Groomed with a few exceptions.

Please check the attached map for which trails are currently open. It is critical that we respect the landowners who allow us to utilize their property, so please verify that the trail you intend to use is open at this time.

We will provide updates as conditions change. Deer have been reported on trails so keep an eye out while traveling.

Please share this info with anyone that you believe would be interested…our goal is to inform as many trail riders as possible so they can adjust their plans as needed to avoid the closed portion.

I have attached a trail map which outlines the open trails.


  • Trial 5 Groomed
  • Trial 5A Groomed
  • Trail 930 Groomed
  • Trail 935 Not Groomed
  • Trail 835 Groomed
  • Trial 925 Groomed
  • Trial 9 Groomed


  • Trail 35 (WRT) Groomed
  • Trail 35 (WRT Groomed
  • Trail 27B Groomed
  • Trail 27C Groomed
  • Trail41S Groomed
  • Trail 41B Groomed
  • Trail 217 Groomed
  • Trail 727 Groomed
  • Trail 17N Groomed
  • Trail 17S Groomed– Use caution on Creek crossings (South of Lower Eau Claire Lake)
  • Trail 7 Groomed
  • Trail 27 Groomed
  • Trail 3 Groomed
  • Trail 5 Groomed
  • Trail 41 WRT to the warming Shack Groomed(Watch for Logging)
  • Trail 541 Not Groomed (Watch for uneven Trail Surface)

NE Quadrant Open Trails

All Trails Are Open

All Trails have been groomed since the weekend.

Most trails have been re-groomed a second time since the weekend.
Trails are in very good to excellent condition with a good base.
The logging job between Hwy D and Trail 24 is addressing the wet corner between D and 24. This section will be bumpy but is passible just keep an eye out for the logging trucks.
Trail 235 has some large ice chunks through the Box Culvert under the freeway and is a little bumpy.

Caution Watch for logging:
On the west end of Trail 6.
On Trail 4 between Trail 6 and Hwy P.
On Trail 4 between Hwy D and Trail 24.


  • Gandy Dancer Trail Groomed (watch for deer crossing trail between Moen Rd and BB)
  • Saunders Grade Groomed
  • Wrenshall Grade Groomed
  • Trail 0 Groomed
  • Trail 28 Groomed
  • The Cross town connector Groomed
  • 4/41 From the Warming shack west Groomed
  • Trail 4 Groomed

Douglas County Ski Trails

The service roads and parking lots are plowed. The Ski Trails where Groomed Friday January 24th and are still in good condition.

This report was prepared January 31, 2020.

Please enjoy and Ride safe!

Clint Meyer

Park and Recreation Supervisor

Douglas County Forestry Department

9182 East Hughes Ave.

Solon Springs, WI. 54873

Phone: (715) 378-2219

Fax: (715) 378-2807

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

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Gov. Evers Appoints Marcy West to Natural Resources Board

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced his appointment of Marcy West of La Farge, Wisconsin to serve on the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board. 

"With her years of service to the state of Wisconsin and various conservation and environmental organizations, Marcy West will be an excellent addition to the Natural Resources Board," said Gov. Evers. "I am confident she will serve the Board well as she has dedicated her career to the preservation of Wisconsin's one-of-a-kind natural resources."

For the past 23 years, West has served as the executive director of Kickapoo Valley Reserve. Prior to that, she worked as a coordinator for the Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives and as the executive director of the Wisconsin Land Conservation Association Inc. She received her degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point.

This appointment fills a vacancy created by the resignation of Fred Clark. West will serve the remainder of the unexpired term that ends May 1, 2025.

​Want to learn more about the Natural Resources Board? Check out the following link:

  2373 Hits

Large off-road vehicles could force ATV trails to close​


Large off-road vehicles could force ATV trails to close -

A task force is recommending limiting the size of ATVs allowed on the state's trails, but that might not be enough to keep some corridors from closing.

The article above discusses how a wider ATV (or UTV) could be forcing land closures in central Maine.  When the wider UTV was introduced to Wisconsin, WATVA worked with county land managers to determine the 65" width. Based on those early discussions, land managers widened trails and gates to accommodate the 65". Over the past few years, WATVA leadership has talked with land managers and club leadership on the 65" rule. It would be not be in the states favor to increase that, as it would require extensive infrastructure changes on our trail system. 

Lately, there have been a few UTV models that have pushed beyond the 65" rule. Ensure that your machine does not exceed 65" before making a purchase or before heading out on the trail. There have been a few cases of registration paperwork being submitted to DNR that "fudge" registration details to hide the fact the machine is manufactured with a width greater than 65". If you fall into this category, you might receive a letter when it comes time to renew stating your machine isn't compliant and they will not accept any renewal registration for your machine. 

  2172 Hits

2023 WATVA Annual Meeting & Convention March 31st, April 1st and April 2nd 2023

Click the link below to register for the convention! 


Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association 2023 Annual Meeting Registration, Fri, Mar 31, 2023 at 6:00 PM | Eventbrite

Eventbrite - Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association presents Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association 2023 Annual Meeting - Friday, March 31, 2023 | Sunday, April 2, 2023 at Holiday Inn Stevens Point - Convention Ctr, an IHG Hotel, Stevens Point, WI. Find event and registration information.

Silent Auction

Silent Auction Link

Our silent auction is now live! Check it out at the link here:

Friday, March 31st - Reception & Family Feud Gameshow 

Friday night is our welcome reception and early check-in for our WATVA members. Join us starting at 6:00 p.m. in the commons area.

New for 2023, come join our trail ambassador team alpha and team bravo go head to head in a friendly Family Feud gameshow! Hosted by Northwest Regional Coordinator Greg Olson, the gameshow features questions themed after ATV / UTV riding in Wisconsin. 

The gameshow begins at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 1st - General Session

Please note, times and locations are subject to change. 
Expo 4
7:30 a.m. Conference Check-In
Silent Auction Begins
8:45 a.m.Welcoming guest speaker Stevens Point Mayor Mike Wiza, Pledge of Allegiance, Introductions & Workshop Overviews
9:00 a.m.Keynote speaker - Anne Sayers, Secretary of the Dept of Tourism
9:20 a.m.Adam Payne, Secretary of the Dept of Natural Resources
9:40 p.m.
10:00 a.m.Introducing Kristen Almer Co-Founder and Executive Director of the RideSafe Foundation, powered by BRP. Announcement of a new partnership in conjunction with a safety outreach program involving our trail ambassadors, safety instructors and club representatives.
10:20 a.m.Lt Jacob Holsclaw, OHV Administrator Public Safety & Resource Protection WI DNR
10:30 a.m.Rob McConnell & Randy Harden to introduce "Let's Ride - Wisconsin" program.
11:00 a.m.Lt Jacob Holsclaw presents and introduces "Officer of the Year."
12:00 p.m.Lunch & silent auction continues
1:00 p.m.Silent auction concludes
1:15 p.m.Silent auction results posted

Saturday, April 1st Afternoon Workshops

 Please note, times and locations are subject to change.

Expo 4
1:30 p.m. Outdoor Skills Trainers (OSTs) WI DNR - OSTS oversee the safety education programs that include ATV/UTV/OHM/snowmobile courses. These safety specialists are responsible for recruiting, training, and monitoring the services of safety program instructors. Learn about upcoming instructor workshops, mini-academies and/or how to become recertified and why it's important on many different levels. Instructors will work with trail ambassadors in the new "Let's Ride - Wisconsin" outreach program. General overview on laws and OHV Administrator questions.
2:30 p.m."How and What" to look for when purchasing your next ATV or UTV. Everything from what kind of ATV / UTV options you have to the trailer you're going to need to tow it. Accessories? They are everywhere! Learn more about them, including some handy medical gear you might want to have.

Presented by:
Tom Van Zeeland of Team Winnegaboland
Tim Lamers of Chilton Trailers
Amanda Pulvermacher - Trail Ambassador
3:30 p.m.WATVA Annual Meeting

The annual meeting for the Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association. This meeting includes our reports for they previous year, projections for the upcoming year and reports from the various partners. 

4:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 1st Evening Reception / Awards Presentation

 Expo 1 & 2: Saturday evening dinner and presentation of awards for Trail Ambassador program, WATVA awards and DNR Warden of the Year. 

Come enjoy a provided meal and video replay of 2022. This will be a casual and fun evening full of laughs, community and great food. 

Saturday Evening - Trail Ambassador Overview and Questions

Basics of the Trail / Route Ambassador program, overview of duties including patrols, working Welcome Centers, different training options, and roles of club or area coordinators designed to help streamline field day training. Overview and answer questions about the three different levels of the ambassador program.

Trail Ambassador Rescue and Recovery team information.

For those that are already trail ambassadors and would like to become part of our rescue and recovery team, please stop in to learn more about the program and hear about some upcoming exciting trainings.

Trail Ambassador Radios

Learn about a great new partnership with a statewide repeater network allowing our trail ambassadors to communicate throughout the state. Update on radio funding.

Trail Ambassador Tools Update

IAmResponding app, What3Words and updated report form which includes survey tracking for 2023. 

Presented by:
Adam Harden - Deputy Administrator for Trail Ambassador Program

Sunday, April 2nd - Review

It's time to wrap up the weekends activity with a town-hall style review. During this meeting we will discuss what we liked, didn't like and plans for the remainder of the year / next years annual meeting. This session is open to the public as we love to hear feedback on how you enjoyed (or didn't) the annual convention. 

Hotel Information 

The 2023 WATVA Annual Meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Stevens point. 

If you plan on staying overnight, make sure to mention WATVA for a discounted rate!

1001 Amber Ave
Stevens Point, WI 54482

Click here to book your hotel room (don't call, use this link!)

Click the link below to register for the convention! 


Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association 2023 Annual Meeting Registration, Fri, Mar 31, 2023 at 6:00 PM | Eventbrite

Eventbrite - Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association presents Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association 2023 Annual Meeting - Friday, March 31, 2023 | Sunday, April 2, 2023 at Holiday Inn Stevens Point - Convention Ctr, an IHG Hotel, Stevens Point, WI. Find event and registration information.

Event Sponsors

1. Team Winnebagoland- Oshkosh

2. Rob's Performance- Johnson Creek

3. Fuel Powersports- West Bend

4. Cedar Creek- Cedarburg

5. Action Power Sports- Waukesha

6. Milwaukee Powersports- Oak Creek

7. Engelhart's- Madison

8. Zacho Sports- Chippewa Falls

9. Vetesnik's- Richland Center

10. Mad City Power Sports- DeForest

11. 2 Brother's- Onalaska

12. Jay's Powercenter-Reedsburg

13 JC Powersports- Crivits

14. Feldman's Sales & Service- Howards Grove

15. Mittelstaedt Sports & Marine- LaValle

16. Ritchie Implement- Cobb

17. TA Motorsports- Francis Creek

18. Hexco Powersports- Oshkosh

19. Airtec Sports Inc- Eau Claire

  24485 Hits

2019-2020 Legislative Update

After so many meetings too numerous to count, our WATVA leadership team has brought forward numerous registration program updates, corrections, and changes that were asked of us by many different program partners.

On February 20th, our Senate bill was passed. On February 21st, our Assembly bill was passed. We would like to thank those that helped with the call to action and supported us in this bill. We are awaiting the Governors signature into law.

On March 3rd, 2020 our bill was signed into law by Governor Evers. It is now Act 183. ​Please see the file below explaining his partial veto.
File Name: Gov.-Official-Letterhead
File Size: 116 kb
Download File

2019 Senate Bill 583

An Act to renumber and amend 23.33 (9) (bg); to amend 20.370 (5) (ct), 20.370 (5) (cu), 23.33 (1) (ng) 1. b., 23.33 (1) (ng) 1. h., 23.33 (1) (ng) 2. a., 23.33 (1) (ng) 2. b., 23.33 (1) (ng) 2. d., 23.33 (2) (b) 4., 23.33 (3) (em), 23.33 (4) (d) (intro.), 23.33 (6) (a), 23.33 (6) (f), 23.33 (6) (g), 23.33 (6r), 23.33 (9) (bb), 23.33 (9) (bg) (title), 340.01 (2g) and 346.02 (11); and to create 23.33 (1) (fe), 23.33 (1) (jd), 23.33 (1) (jqm), 23.33 (3) (ht), 23.33 (3g) (e), 23.33 (3g) (f), 23.33 (4z) (a) 3., 23.33 (6) (cd), 23.33 (6) (ch), 23.33 (6) (cp), 23.33 (6) (ct), 23.33 (9) (b) 7., 23.33 (9) (b) 8., 23.33 (9) (bc), 23.33 (9) (bg) 2., 23.33 (11m) and 971.19 (10m) of the statutes;

Act 183


Wisconsin Legislature: 2019 Wisconsin Act 183

Relating to: regulation of all-terrain vehicles and utility terrain vehicles, all-terrain vehicle projects, and making an appropriation.

The Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association is requesting a bill that makes adjustments to the state's ATV / UTV program based on the need to adapt and grow the program for expanded trail access.

This legislation enhances the ability to improve, update, and adjust to the evolution and growth of the ATV / UTV registration program in Wisconsin. 

Since the 2012 legislation passed that permanently introduced and registered the Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV aka Side x Side), our organization has been gathering input from our multitude of local clubs, trail ambassadors, associated businesses, tourism affiliates, federal, state, county and local units of government that deal with our recreational industry of ATV UTV owners.

This legislation is a package of multiple upgrades and changes that address the continuing growth of our registration numbers, providing solutions necessary to better manage the registration program into the future.

The following bullet points capture the majority of changes being proposed for our ATV / UTV program (for further explanation, see the additional pages in this document):

  1.  Remove the words "low pressure tire" from the tire requirement found in the definition of an ATV or UTV.
  2. Clarify how to measure the width of an ATV and/or UTV, which is a requirement for the definition of an ATV and/or UTV in statute.
  3. Ease and simplify the registration requirements for municipally owned ATVs and UTVs.
  4. Address and establish rules for auxiliary lighting on ATVs and UTVs based on feedback from users, land managers and law enforcement officers.
  5. Make headlights mandatory for all times of the day on the trail to match the current law that requires headlights being lit on road routes.
  6. Create a statutory requirement that riders must obey regulatory signs (stop, yield, etc.) on the trail.
  7. Open further funding resources from the ATV segregated account for statewide mapping projects by non-profit organizations.
  8. Add $100 per mile for winter trail maintenance funding on trails that allow UTV vehicles in winter.
  9. Summer trail maintenance dollars will be increased by $100 per mile on the UTV side of the program, increasing the total maximum amount for maintenance to increase by 14% or up to a maximum of $800 per mile.
  10. Clarifying where someone can be tried in a court of law for falsifying registration information.
  11. ATVs that are not designed from the manufacturer for passengers are no longer allowed on the trail (it had already been illegal on route systems for some time).

1. Remove the words "low pressure tire" from the tire requirement found in the definition of an ATV or UTV.

Low pressure tires definition in current statute is no longer relevant because of technology changes in ATV UTV suspensions. Tire technology itself has changed dramatically including radial designs with a plethora of different tread options. These facts, along with the reality of the recent trend of having thousands of miles of road route expansions, make low pressure tires a definition no longer needed.Another factor is the multi-passenger UTVs requiring the newest tire technology where as required air pressure is much different than on single passenger ATVs. The simple answer is to stipulate the definition be "tire" which allows the latest tire and design technology to address machine needs based on different uses and models.  

 2. Clarify how to measure the width of an ATV and/or UTV, which is a requirement for the definition of an ATV and/or UTV in statute.

Dating back to 2007 through 2011, a time when we here in Wisconsin were conducting the pilot testing to determine if the UTVs were compatible with our ATV trail footprints, the UTV industry had yet to develop certain standards that we could consider using in our definitions as the legislature made the UTV registration permanent in 2012. One such subject was in defining "where" to measure maximum width of the machines...Since that time, the industry has now caught up, they added a width measurement standard which this legislation adopts for consistency that benefits our riders, dealerships, and law enforcement professionals alike.

 3. Ease and simplify the registration requirements for municipally owned ATVs and UTVs.

​The UTV popularity with its appeal and diversity, including utilitarian work purposes for many local and county governments is addressed with this legislation. It eases the process originally designed more for public trail and route use versus these units serving as work vehicles for these local units of government. If the government entity clearly designates the machine is owned by their government entity, under this change they would no longer be tasked with the registration process and subsequent identification requirements that trail riders are. This streamlined update also allows leased vehicles to be included whether being used for utilitarian, emergency or enforcement purposes. It further clarifies when being used for emergency response uses, the current requirements for passenger restrictions, seat belts, helmets etc. are not required.

4. Address and establish rules for auxiliary lighting on ATVs and UTVs based on feedback from users, land managers and law enforcement officers.

A dangerous trend has developed with the advancement in aftermarket and original equipment auxiliary lighting technology. High intensity lights are being added with no requirement for dimming lights to oncoming traffic. This has resulted in multiple complaints and dangerous situations. Another issue being addressed has to do with a different kind of aftermarket lighting. This language specifies that only emergency response vehicles are permitted to have flashing red or blue lights on trail systems, staying consistent with road route compliance. Currently auxiliary light options are being sold and used with red and blue colors by the general public, this legislation fixes that omission.

Lighted whips are still legal, however they are restricted in color to Amber or white (forward facing). This is to stay consistent with road route laws that already prohibit certain colors of lights.

The following rules language specifies the new lighting requirements:

5. Make headlights mandatory for all times of the day on the trail to match the current law that requires headlights being lit on road routes.

​Because ATV UTV riding networks include thousands of miles of routes that intermix and combine with trail systems, currently riders are required to have headlights lit for routes but not on trail systems. Some trails are under thick tree canopies that make for a darker riding condition. When combined with dusty scenarios, it enhances everyone's safety to require headlights lit on trails as well as routes. This is another example of making the ATV UTV law consistent, whether riding on trails or routes, the law will now be the same.

6. Create a statutory requirement that riders must obey regulatory signs (stop, yield, etc.) on the trail.

​Currently there is no statutory requirement in 23.33 that requires trail riders to comply with stop, yield, or other regulatory sign on our trail systems. The ATV UTV program registration program that started in 1986, never anticipated the growth we've had and continue to experience. Our total number of machines registered is approximately 400,000 strong and still growing. Most riders aren't aware there are no requirements to comply with regulatory signs on trail systems but as we keep expanding, it's high time to correct this omission. In the early years, there was little chance or need to have this provision, that's not the case nowadays. Another adjustment to make the law consistent whether on road routes or trail networks.

7. Open further funding resources from the ATV segregated account for statewide mapping projects by non-profit organizations.

​A major benefit to the business community, as well as the Wisconsin general economy, depends on attracting riders from out of state as well as new riders in Wisconsin coming into this type of outdoor recreation. A major tool that all riders seek are "where the riding opportunities exist" by way of a statewide riding area map. For these specialized maps to be effective, they need to be shipped to tourism centers, registration locations as well other tourist attractions where riders and potential riders can obtain them to make their travel plans accordingly. The state association has been able to secure temporary funding to produce these statewide maps, proving they are a desired and sought-after product. This update allows for a stable funding source for a statewide map using the stability of the ATV UTV registration program, self-funded to promote our own trail networks. This update also updates eligibility for a statewide app which is the current trend in society. As well, the self-funded ATV account would make eligible the acquisition to secure safety and public awareness signage that are currently not being displayed. This update also provides for communications equipment needed to enhance the safety and productivity for the dedicated volunteers doing trail and ambassador work in the back-country of Wisconsin.

8. Add $100 per mile for winter trail maintenance funding on trails that allow UTV vehicles in winter.

​​With the growing popularity of the enclosed cabs on the side x side UTVs, winter trail riding has increased greatly. In some areas of the state, the consumer is purchasing a UTV versus a snowmobile as it can be used year-round. The original UTV laws did not anticipate heated and enclosed cabs or winter use at all. This update adds an increase for the UTV side of winter funding of $100 per mile even if the winter trail is not used in the summer season. Likewise, this update provides for a new type of winter trail that may not necessarily be shared with the snowmobile community, referred to as a frozen ground winter trail. This new opportunity will apply to areas of the state that receive the cold weather but light snow cover.

Click the link below to download a PDF of the flowchart, including a page that will estimate your maintenance dollars per mile with the current system and the proposed system.

Click the image above to view a flowchart showing the proposed funding increases for the ATV / UTV program.
File Name: Flow-Char_20191127-160803_1
File Size: 1.1 mb
Download File

9. Summer trail maintenance dollars will be increased by $100 per mile on the UTV side of the program, increasing the total maximum amount for maintenance to increase by 14% or up to a maximum of $800 per mile.

​Summer trail maintenance dollars will be increased by $100 per mile on the UTV side of the program, increasing the total maximum amount for maintenance to increase by 14% or up to a maximum of $800 per mile. With increased traffic and larger UTVs, this increase is necessary to sustain our ability to maintain our resources.

10. Clarifying where someone can be tried in a court of law for falsifying registration information.

​The original registration program of the 1980s could never had predicted the ever changing and developing ATV UTV industry. Equipment manufacturer's now build many different models and sizes, some designed for use out west in desert and/or wide-open type riding while other models are designed for narrower and smaller trail systems which better describe our woods riding here in Wisconsin. This situation has created confusion for the consumer who can legally purchase a machine that is outside of our state description of what a legal UTV or ATV is, but they later discover they can't ride it when their registration application is eventually returned. In some cases, however, the application / applicant for legal registration omits a certain model designation, yet with other examples of falsified models listed and being sent to the DNR registration bureau. Unfortunately, the state estimates as many as 10,000 machines may have already been registered when the fact is the machine is too wide or too heavy to meet the agreed upon size dimensions our trail footprints are planned around and built upon because of the falsified applications. Eventually the consumer discovers they either purchased a machine that was outside the legal parameters to be registered, only to discover they can no longer register or ride on our trail networks or even worse they are cited when discovered when riding out on the trail networks. The unscrupulous retailer bears no financial recourse under current law, simply because the original registration program is outdated. Under our change, we are clarifying where someone can be tried in a court of law for falsifying registration information.

11. ATVs that are not designed from the manufacturer for passengers are no longer allowed on the trail (it had already been illegal on route systems for some time).

During the bill signing, a line item veto power was executed which changed how the law was worded.

The new law made riding with passengers on an ATV or UTV that was not originally manufactured for passengers illegal on public trails (it was already illegal on roadways). However, the new law does allow passenger use on ATVs or UTVs not originally intended for passengers during an emergency situation for public safety entities. This would help protect those entities from lawsuit's that might arise during these types of operations, which occur throughout the year during rescue missions in remote areas.

Also adding to the confusion was the fact that passenger use on an ATV or UTV that was not originally intended for passengers was already illegal on public road routes and had been illegal for some time.

Sometimes the complexities that surround an issue are not as they first appear. We might think we understand what we're dealing with but when we dig deeper and pull away the layers, we often find something completely different.

To make a situation more complicated, others may disagree with how we want to approach the situation. A proper situation appraisal is an important step because often issues like this are found to have a tangle of divergent elements, varied opinions, different priorities or possibilities for solutions toward different needs.

Below is the wording from Act 183 regarding passenger use on All-Terrain Vehicles:

SECTION 12. 23.33 (3) (em) of the statutes is amended to read:
23.33 (3) (em) With Except as provided in sub. (11m), with a passenger riding in or on any part of a an all−terrain vehicle or utility terrain vehicle that is not designed or intended to be used by passengers while the all−terrain vehicle or utility terrain vehicle is being operated on an all−terrain vehicle route, all−terrain vehicle trail, or roadway as authorized in this section.

Act 183

In a press release after signing Act 183, Governor Evers wrote:

"I have exercised the partial veto in Section 25, relating to being a passenger on an allterrain vehicle or utility terrain vehicle on public and private land. Current law prohibits a person from being a passenger on a utility terrain vehicle, regardless of location, if said vehicle is not designed for passengers. Section 25 would prohibit a person from being a passenger on an all-terrain vehicle or utility terrain vehicle that is not designed for passengers only on an all-terrain vehicle route, all-terrain vehicle trail, frozen water, or an authorized highway. This section would specifically not apply the prohibition to private property.

I am partially vetoing the requirement that the prohibition on unauthorized passengers only applies to designated routes and trails because I object to allowing the potentially unsafe operation of all-terrain vehicles and utility terrain vehicles in undesignated areas and on private land. If an all-terrain vehicle or utility terrain vehicle is not designed for passengers, then it should not be operated with passengers, except for those exceptions provided for in Section 33. The safe transportation of passengers, regardless of location, is essential to the prevention of injuries and fatalities associated with all-terrain and utility terrain vehicle use. 

by Governor Evers

We have included the press release issued by Governor Evers below.

Furthermore, the Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association was recently made aware that this law already existed for any road route (meaning it was already illegal to carry a passenger on any road route in Wisconsin). WATVA was not aware of this law change.

Passenger use on ATV's varies between states. For example, Michigan, Iowa, California does not allow passengers unless the ATV is originally manufactured for a passenger. Minnesota has some restrictions depending on which type of ATV it is (they have Class 1 and Class 2 ATVs).

The ATV Safety Institute advises that adding passengers to an ATV that is not designed for passengers changes the center of gravity and impacts the ability for the rider to safely control the machine. For best riding tips and a guide on safety, please check out the ATV Safety Institutes guide by following the following link:

Last Edited May 26th 2020 at 14:15.

  58090 Hits

Frequently Asked Questions About ATV & UTV Laws

When you register your ATV and / or UTV for the first time, you might receive a handy little booklet from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources which explains the current laws within the state. If you didn't, here is what it looks like:

In the event you were not able to take the time to read over the entire document, here is a post that goes over the frequently asked questions regarding ATV / UTV laws within the state.

  • Every person born after 01-01-1988 must take and pass a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) ATV safety course to legally operate an ATV or UTV on a public trail or route. Yes, this applies to people in their early 30's, it doesn't matter if you have your driver's license or not. The DNR ATV Safety course covers ATV / UTV laws and ethics.
  • You must be at least 16 years old and have a WI DNR ATV safety certificate to operate an ATV or UTV by yourself on any road route. 12-15 year old youths are permitted to ride ATV's (not UTV's) on a road route ONLY IF accompanied by a parent or parent approved adult. However, some municipalities have different age minimums, specific hours of operation, mandatory insurance with some even requiring a valid drivers license. Remember, it's up to the owner / rider to learn and follow municipal ordinances that sometimes differ from Wisconsin state laws.
  • Any person, operator or passenger under the age of 18 MUST wear a helmet that is approved from the Department of Transportation (DOT). A bicycle helmet does not qualify. If you can't find a helmet small enough for your child, they're probably too small to safely be riding on public trails or road routes.
  • Every occupant riding in a UTV must be seated with a seatbelt fastened in a manner prescribed by the manufacturer. No passenger can ride in or on any part of a UTV that is not designed or intended to be used by passengers. You cannot ride in the back storage box areas, sitting on someone's lap or on the roof.
  • Front headlights and rear taillights must be turned on, day or night, while riding on road routes & trail systems. The more visible you are to other vehicles, the safer everyone is. This safety tip applies to both road routes and trail systems.
  • All ATV's and UTV's must display a current registration sticker on BOTH sides of the vehicle as well as on a rear facing plate. The plate must have a white background and use black text. Other details about the plate do apply. 
  • No trail passes are required for in-state registrants. Wisconsin does have a non-resident trail pass (5 day or annual) with a single sticker requirement. The non-resident passes do not require rear facing plates. 
  • Wisconsin has an exhaust sound level requirement (96 dB or less) designed to keep our trails and road routes quiet. Excessive sound levels annoy and curtail access, do your part. 
  • Observe and follow all speed limits, as posted or provided in a municipal ordinance.

This is not a complete list of state ATV / UTV laws, only those that are most commonly asked about.

 Looking to hand this information out at an upcoming meeting? Download the PDF file here!

  83125 Hits

Upcoming & Past Events

​Check out the latest events from the Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association! 

 July 27th 2019

Northland Camp & Conference Center
W10085 Pike Plans Road, Dunbar WI 54119

 Complete: Northeast Regional Meeting & Ride

 Click the link below to register for the Northeast Regional Meeting & Ride.

 August 17th 2019

Barron County ATV Playground
1450 8 3/4 street, Almena, Wisconsin 54805

 Complete: Northwest Regional Meeting & Ride

 Click the link below to register for the Northeast Regional Meeting & Ride.

 August 24th 2019

Grandma Mary's Cafe
175 U. S. Highway 14, Arena, Wisconsin 53503

 Complete: Southwest Regional Meeting & Ride

 Click the link below to register for the Southeast Regional Meeting & Ride.

 September 6th 2019

Dyracuse Recreational Park
1047 County Road O, Nekoosa, Wisconsin 54457

 WATVA Annual VIP Ride

 Click the link below to register for the 2019 VIP Ride.

WATVA 2019 VIP Ride Registration, Fri, Sep 6, 2019 at 11:00 AM | Eventbrite

Eventbrite - Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association presents WATVA 2019 VIP Ride - Friday, September 6, 2019 at Dyracuse Recreational Park, Nekoosa, WI. Find event and registration information.
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ATV / UTV Registration Funding Information

 This information is from our 2019 annual meeting & workshops, presented by Cathy Burrow from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

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2019 WATVA Annual Meeting & Workshops


The Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association annual meeting and workshops are quickly approaching. This year, we plan on offering far more content than in years past. With that, we encourage your club to send three to four representatives to ensure you don't miss a topic!

Did we mention we are giving away over $3,000 to WATVA clubs that attend? Through our dealer and associate business network, we have raised over $3,000 that will be awarded on April 12th during our live game show. There is information in this packet as to which clubs are eligible as well as the application form. Your club must be present to participate to receive any of the funds.

The weekend kicks off with a special training on Friday April 12th for clubs wishing to participate in the trail ambassador club coordinator program. Club coordinators will take the rein and lead club based trail ambassador activities, as well as help coordinate & train new trail ambassadors for their club.

During lunch, we will be having a discussion and presentation on winter ATV / UTV trails in the state. Our goal is to discuss funding topics relating to winter trails, projects associated with winter trails and the overall need (if any) on the topic.

Pre-registration for lunch is required. The cost is $5.00 per person. The lunch choices are (must be chosen during registration): roast beef sandwich, sun-dried tomato basil wrap, turkey and cheese sandwich or a ham and Swiss sandwich. All sandwiches include chips, cookie and choice of an Apple or Orange.

Our Saturday evening dinner presentation will start at 6:00 p.m. and feature our annual recognition awards for outstanding volunteers throughout the state as well as our top performing trail ambassadors. Pre-registration for dinner is required and will feature a Wisconsin picnic buffet (brats & hamburgers). Each plate is $10.00.

With the financial support of Kawasaki Motor Corp., Vern's Kawasaki of Antigo and Ken's Sports out of Kaukauna, we're able to dramatically buy down the cost of the meals, making them even less than you'd pay at a fast food joint so you can stay right on site to participate in the winter trail designation / funding session!!

Venue Information

Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center
1001 Amber Avenue
Stevens Point, WI 54481

For room reservations, please call the hotel at (715) 344-0200 and mention the ATV group for a discounted rate.

Friday April 12th 2019

​5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. - Trail Ambassador Club Coordinator Training

Our trail ambassador club coordinator training is for clubs that are actively involved with the trail ambassador program and meet the requirements for a club coordinator.

7:00 p.m. - WATVA Game Show Premiere

Join us as we randomly select three WATVA clubs to compete for over $3,000 in prize money! Funds were raised by our WATVA dealerships. 

Saturday April 13th 2019

​7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. - Register & Check-in

Saturday kicks off with registration and guest check-in. Check-in is located in the commons, just inside the convention center main entrance.

8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. - Motorized Trails Panel

The shared trails panel will kick off the days workshop. Our panel will discuss topics and issues about trails between the various Wisconsin user-groups (vehicle types, seasons, terrain & trail type, trail desirability). There will be a chance for questions and answers at the end of the panel. Guests include:

  • Governors ORV Council / Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association
  • Governors OHM Council / Wisconsin Off-Highway Motorcycle Association
  • Governors Snow Council / Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs
  • Road Legal 4WD Association

Workshops: Harvest Room 

 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. - WI DNR Recreation Warden Workshop

Did you know the WI DNR has recreation wardens specifically tasked with law enforcement issues for recreation? Learn about the DNR Recreation Wardens with this presentation by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 

11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. - ATV / UTV Program Funding & Status

Does your club work with local, state or federal land managers on trail projects? Have you ever wondered how the registration dollars are used to fund our trail program? If so, Cathy Burrow, Off-Highway Vehicles Grant Program Manager for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will present a workshop featuring how the funding program works and what is the current financial status of the ATV / UTV program.

 Workshops: Stonefield Room

10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. - Trail & Route Signing Handbook Panel: Update & Progress 

In 2019, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will be releasing an updated trail and route signing handbook. This workshop will cover what the changes are and have an open discussion as to the goals and objectives for the new book.

11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. - Dealership Workshop

Hear how Tom Van Zeeland of Team Winnebagoland in Oshkosh is helping support grassroots efforts with their grant program. If you want to learn about ways you can work with your local dealerships, this workshop is for you!

12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. - Working Lunch / Winter Trail Designation & Funding

How many users are enjoying the winter side of our sport? Is there proper funding to sustain the winter trail systems? What's the future for the winterized recreations? These are questions that are being asked to ensure that the winter trail program is where it should be. Join us for a lunch and discussion on how we are working on solutions to help winter trail funding in Wisconsin. Lunch will be held in the Expo center.

Lunch information: Our Saturday lunch includes your choice of a boxed lunch, and a presentation / open topic about winter trails for ATV and UTV vehicles. A lunch ticket is required to attend this workshop.

Lunch options:

  • ​Roast Beef Sandwich w/ Chips, Cookie, Apple or Orange and Soda
  • Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Wrap w/ Chips, Cookie, Apple or Orange and Soda
  • Turkey and Cheese w/ Chips, Cookie, Apple or Orange and Soda
  • Ham and Swiss w/ Chips, Cookie, Apple or Orange and Soda

Lunch Costs: $5.00 per person.

1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. - Tourism: How Clubs and Businesses Can Benefit From the WI Department of Tourism

The Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association has a long history of working with the Department of Tourism to promote our association and sport. Learn how your club can forge a positive working relationship with the Department of Tourism by exchanging information on events and activities.

2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. - Outdoor Skill Trainers Workshop

This workshop is geared towards exploring what the new DNR Outdoor Skill Trainers are designed to do and how they can work with your club on various topics involving education and safety.

3:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. - WATVA Annual Meeting

You're welcome to attend the annual business meeting for the Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association 

1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. - Politics 101: The Do's and Don'ts of Working with Local, State & Federal Agencies

Sometimes working with government agencies can be a challenge. This workshop will be an open discussion on what works, what doesn't work and how clubs can achieve their goals by working with town boards, county boards, state law makers and federal agencies.

2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. - Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative Grant

The Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative is dedicated to those who work and play outdoors including, but not limited to, those who rely on off-highway vehicles (OHVs) to ride, camp, hunt or fish.

Supporting the outdoor enthusiast, the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative's mission is to provide practical support for efforts that promote safe, responsible use of OHVs, educate the public on proper recreational land use and wildlife conservation practices, and protect appropriate and sustainable access to public lands.

Learn more about this program and how your club can apply for funding

2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. - Polaris Industry T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant Program

The first of its kind in the ATV industry, the T.R.A.I.L.S. grant program was launched in January 2006 for ATV clubs, associations and grassroots groups. ATV riders and the trails they use are the lifeblood of the sport and Polaris Industries Inc. aimed to create a program to help.

The T.R.A.I.L.S. program makes funds available to national, state and local organizations in the United States to ensure the future of ATV riding.

The grant program encompasses two main objectives - promoting safe and responsible riding and preserving access. Funds can be used by organizations for trail development and maintenance projects, safety and education initiatives, lobbying and other projects to increase and maintain land access.

Learn more about this program and how your club can apply for funding!

6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. - Trail Ambassador Awards & Banquet 

Our annual awards recognition evening kicks off at 6:00 p.m. with a dinner and presentation on the volunteers that enhanced our recreation program by being ambassadors of the sport.

Meal Information:

Your choice of two: beer brats, ground beef patties or grilled chicken breasts. Served with fresh buns and condiments, home-style baked beans, Wisconsin potato salad, tomatoes, onions, pickles, cheese, coleslaw, potato chips, fresh fruit or fresh vegetables and fresh homemade cookie and bars.

Meal costs: $10.00 per person.

Sunday April 14th

9:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. - Annual Meeting Wrap Up Session

Our wrap up session is an open discussion towards the meeting and topics brought up during the workshops.  

Registration Information 

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Trail Tales TV - Episode 2: Trail Funding (December 1st 2018)

Trail Tales TV - Episode 2: Trail Funding (December 1st 2018)

​For our second episode, we talked about the trail funding program in Wisconsin. You can watch the show live on our Facebook page ( or on YouTube. You can also listen to the audio portion of the show below.

Trail Tales TV - Episode 2 on YouTube

Click the video on the left to view on YouTube.

Artist Name - ttepisode2a

Trail Tales TV - Episode 2 Audio Only (MP3)

​Episode 1 is out on mp3. Click to listen.

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Trail Tales TV - Episode 1 (November 24th 2018)

Thumbnail Video thumbnail

​Our first episode for the 2018/2019 season was a success! It's been a while since we have published a show, however we are back for more content. You can watch the show live on our Facebook page ( or on YouTube. You can also listen to the audio portion of the show below.

Trail Tales TV - Episode 1 on YouTube

​Episode 1 is out on YouTube. Click to watch.

Artist Name - Trail Tales TV - Episode 1

Trail Tales TV - Episode 1 Audio Only (MP3)

​Episode 1 is out on mp3. Click to listen.

Facebook Post 

Click the link on the left to  see the original Facebook video where we streamed the show.

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WATVA Publications

​The Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association has published documents for previous events and meetings. WATVA is making these publications available for the public on this page.

History of ATVs in Wisconsin

​In this document we cover the history and development of not only the ATV, but the trails and economic impact that the recreation has provided to Wisconsin. This document also includes the evolution of UTV riding in the state.

WATVA Presents: History of ATVing

Learn how the history of the ATV program evolved in Wisconsin including the safety enhancement program that aimed at expanding trail access with local area clubs.

How to Start A Club

One of the core missions of the Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association is to help organize like-minded individuals into local grassroots clubs. When a club is formed, we offer as much support as needed. As local clubs can really pull together and increase trail / route access for everyone, it's critical that the core group of individuals has the resources necessary to succeed.  

How To Start A Club

Information from the Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association and NOHVCC on how to start a club.

2017 Trail Desirability Web Survey Results

​In 2017, WATVA conducted an online survey to gather better information as to what type of riding experience the users desired to encounter on our trail systems. The results are posted in this document.

2017 Trail Desirability Web Survey Results

WATVA’s survey was conducted online and shared by our social media platforms. However, as the role of the association is to represent its members, this question is often asked during our meetings and events. Every time we seek input, we receive wide range of answers supporting the data from the survey that our riders seek diversity. Not only diversity, they seek the ability to choose what type of experience to encounter while on the trail.

2017 Winter Riding Information 

​WATVA presented this document to an audience at the Team Winnebagoland dealership during the winter of 2017. Within this document, audience members were given information about winter riding and how to obtain if a trail system was open or closed. Wisconsin has more riding opportunity during the winter months, so long as the county / trail system is open (depending on certain criteria that each county sets).

2017 Winter Riding Information Booklet

The Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association's winter riding information booklet is geared to give a broad overview of hitting the Wisconsin winter trails.
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About the Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association

About the Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association

To further enhance and to expand the vision of the Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association (WATVA), the leadership has recognized the need to provide a tangible set of goals to serve as a guide for the clubs and membership to believe in, to work toward, and to encourage others to join us!

WATVA promotes shared leaderships that strengthen the ability of organizations at the most local level. To best support and offer effective assistance to our members, our focus remains on helping form new OHV groups, offering meaningful help to existing ones, promoting a positive image in all things we do, and by establishing a communications network in which all can share their successes or ask for assistance with particular challenges. WATVA remains committed to provide educational programs and materials for youth and adults alike, to encourage awareness of the impact we all have on the future of the sport and industry of off-highway vehicles (OHV).


Ensure WATVA and its local chapters are widely recognized as a resource and support system for promoting responsible OHV use by providing useful and positive OHV information to area media, lawmakers, land managers, businesses and dealerships, and other sources as it may apply.

Ensure the behaviors of OHVers are that of enthusiasts who are respectful of other trail users; understand industry safety issues and who are environmentally responsible.
Promote the widespread image of OHV recreation as family oriented and as a responsible group maintaining sound community ethics. To assist and encourage community OHV recreational parks and/or trail systems at which safety training and responsible riding habits are a priority program.

Expand and sustain the network of OHV enthusiasts and their supporters who promote the responsible enjoyment of the OHV sport. Establish successful informational and educational displays in dealership showrooms that connect the local and state OHV organizations centering around the Ride Smart program.

Attract, train, involve, support, recognize and retain large numbers of members dedicated to promoting the WATVA's goals and mission. To coordinate and plan regional workshops that address specific needs of the members, OHV enthusiasts, land managers, tourism representatives and other advocates, to increase and maintain OHV riding area opportunities.

Promote balanced safety and environmental education. This includes but is not limited to distributing available materials through community safety programs and various demonstrations that present themselves to our memberships. To always be proactive and aggressive in delivering a consistent message that portrays the OHV sport as mainstream and socially acceptable.

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Privacy Policy

Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association, Inc. operates the website, which provides the SERVICE.

This page is used to inform website visitors regarding our policies with the collection, use, and disclosure of Personal Information if anyone decided to use our Service, the WATVA website website.

If you choose to use our Service, then you agree to the collection and use of information in relation with this policy. The Personal Information that we collect are used for providing and improving the Service. We will not use or share your information with anyone except as described in this Privacy Policy.

The terms used in this Privacy Policy have the same meanings as in our Terms and Conditions, which is accessible at, unless otherwise defined in this Privacy Policy.

Information Collection and Use

For a better experience while using our Service, we may require you to provide us with certain personally identifiable information, including but not limited to your name, phone number, and postal address. The information that we collect will be used to contact or identify you.

Log Data

We want to inform you that whenever you visit our Service, we collect information that your browser sends to us that is called Log Data. This Log Data may include information such as your computer's Internet Protocol ("IP") address, browser version, pages of our Service that you visit, the time and date of your visit, the time spent on those pages, and other statistics.


Cookies are files with small amount of data that is commonly used an anonymous unique identifier. These are sent to your browser from the website that you visit and are stored on your computer's hard drive.

Our website uses these "cookies" to collection information and to improve our Service. You have the option to either accept or refuse these cookies, and know when a cookie is being sent to your computer. If you choose to refuse our cookies, you may not be able to use some portions of our Service.

Service Providers

We may employ third-party companies and individuals due to the following reasons:

  • To facilitate our Service;
  • To provide the Service on our behalf;
  • To perform Service-related services; or
  • To assist us in analyzing how our Service is used.

We want to inform our Service users that these third parties have access to your Personal Information. The reason is to perform the tasks assigned to them on our behalf. However, they are obligated not to disclose or use the information for any other purpose.


We value your trust in providing us your Personal Information, thus we are striving to use commercially acceptable means of protecting it. But remember that no method of transmission over the internet, or method of electronic storage is 100% secure and reliable, and we cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Links to Other Sites

Our Service may contain links to other sites. If you click on a third-party link, you will be directed to that site. Note that these external sites are not operated by us. Therefore, we strongly advise you to review the Privacy Policy of these websites. We have no control over, and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies, or practices of any third-party sites or services.

Children's Privacy

Our Services do not address anyone under the age of 13. We do not knowingly collect personal identifiable information from children under 13. In the case we discover that a child under 13 has provided us with personal information, we immediately delete this from our servers. If you are a parent or guardian and you are aware that your child has provided us with personal information, please contact us so that we will be able to do necessary actions.

Changes to This Privacy Policy

We may update our Privacy Policy from time to time. Thus, we advise you to review this page periodically for any changes. We will notify you of any changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page. These changes are effective immediately, after they are posted on this page.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or suggestions about our Privacy Policy, do not hesitate to contact us.

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Volume 21: Issue 1 - 2016

Trail Tales Magazine

Volume 21: Issue 1 - 2016

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WATVA Where To Ride Planning Map

Purchase the VVMapping Map Book

Printed map book with over 150 pages of color maps from around Wisconsin.

Sold by National Motorsports Services.

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Economic Data for ATVs & UTVs

 The following are economic impact studies that have been conducted to showcase the economic benefits ATVs and UTVs are towards a community.

The Economic Impact of ATV / UTV Riders in Wisconsin (2023)

 The Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association's rider-funded economic impact survey of riders during 2023. Data was gathered statewide by our volunteers and complied and reviewed by Daniel Lee Consulting LLC. 

2024 Economic Report Summary

The summary report for the 2023 economic impact study by the Wisconsin ATV / UTV Association. 
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The Economic Contributions of ATV / UTV Riders in Wisconsin

This study aims to evaluate the economic contributions of ATVing in Wisconsin, focusing on ATV and UTV usage while excluding rental companies and commercial dealerships to ensure a precise representation of recreational riding activity. Commercial registrations constitute a small fraction of recreational riding, less than 0.5% of all registrations, and may exhibit distinct spending patterns.

Comprehensive data on ATV/UTV rider spending was collected through an on-site, in-person survey conducted and funded by the NOHVIS Group in partnership of the Wisconsin ATV Association. Participants were asked to provide detailed spending information by category, offering insights into their economic contributions. While the survey excludes activity by minors, it includes spending made by adults on their behalf, providing a holistic view of economic impacts. Additionally, survey respondents comprise both in-state and out-of-state residents.

Furthermore, this study utilizes the RIMS II input/output economic model by the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis to measure multiplier effects of ATV/UTV rider spending. Through this model, the estimated economic value was expressed by metrics such as employment, labor income, and output in Wisconsin. Moreover, the author estimated state and local government taxes using RIMS II impact results and government tax data. Together, these methodologies offer a comprehensive understanding of the economic implications of ATVing activity in Wisconsin.
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Jackson County ATV/UTV Trail Study Survey Report, 2019 (June 2020/11)

The purpose of this study was to obtain trail surface preferences of ATV and UTV users of the Jackson County trail network and to solicit feedback about their trail experiences.

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Jackson County ATV Trail Users Survey Report (2015)

The purpose of this study was to assess the economic impact of users of the Jackson County trail network and to solicit feedback from riders about their experience. Survey data were collected by intercept interviews with trail users during the 2015 trail season (May 16 to October 15).

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Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account: Prototype Statistics for 2012-2016

Prototype statistics from the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) released by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) show that the outdoor recreation economy accounted for 2.0 percent ($373.7 billion) of current-dollar GDP in 2016 (table 1). In addition, the outdoor recreation economy grew 3.8 percent in 2016, compared to growth of 2.8 percent in the overall economy.

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A Case Study of Cheese Country Trail Users & Economic Impacts in Southwestern Wisconsin (2012)

Motorized trail use is an important activity throughout the Lake States and is an important component of outdoor recreation in Wisconsin. As an enjoyable activity for all ages, it represents a particularly important form of outdoor recreation for older adults. The presence of places to ride and trails that connect communities provides these recreationists with a varied and enjoyable landscape within which to enjoy the Wisconsin outdoors. Motorized use trails also provide important assets for the development of tourism within rural communities.

In this report, we raise issues relevant to motorized recreational use of trails and the communities that find themselves affected by these trail users. We do this from a community development context and focus on the developmental attributes of trail user impacts as an externally driven community economic stimulus. As evidence, we support this with case study research of the Cheese Country Trail in Green, Lafayette, and Iowa Counties of southwestern Wisconsin.

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Economic & Demographic Profile of Wisconsin's ATV Users (2004) (Updated 2022 Projections)

In an attempt to gather more information about Wisconsin's ATV riders, the Department of Tourism partnered with the Wisconsin All-Terrain Vehicle Association (WATVA) and the University of Wisconsinís Department of Urban and Regional Planning to gather marketing and economic impact information. The objectives of the research were: 1) to define an ATV rider (age, educational level, and residence); 2) to describe characteristics of the ATV trip (length of overnight stays, overnight accommodations, and party size), 3) to identify the userís reasons for being in the area and other attractions/activities they will participate in while on this trip; 4) to assess the importance of various aspects of ATV trail riding; 5) to measure user expenditures in the area; and 6) to determine the economic impact of nonresident visitors in the area.

2.2 mb

Using the data from the 2003/4 study, we updated the number for current registrations and inflation. Click the file below to download. There is also a video explaining the then to now economic update. 

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Data: Motorcycling, ATV riding, side-by-side driving among nation's largest outdoor recreation activities

IRVINE, Calif., — Motorcycling, ATV riding, and side-by-side driving are among the country's five largest traditional or conventional outdoor recreation activities, when ranked by economic output, according to data released last week by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

This was the first time that the BEA provided preliminary data on economic contribution in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, demonstrating how important outdoor recreation is to both local business as well as the nation's gross domestic product.

And, it's a growth sector.

According to the BEA release, its Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account "shows that inflation-adjusted (real) GDP for the outdoor recreation economy grew by 3.9 percent in 2017, faster than the 2.4 percent growth of the overall U.S. economy. Real gross output, compensation, and employment all grew faster in outdoor recreation than for the economy as a whole."

The bureau defines "conventional" outdoor recreation as activities done for pleasure, such as camping, hiking, hunting, and fishing, and involving some physical effort.

Sport Economic Output
Boating / Fishing $20.9 billion
RVing$16.9 billion
Motorcycling / ATVing / SxS$9.1 billion
Hunting / Shooting / Trapping$8.8 billion
Equestrian$7.8 billion

 "We have long known that motorcycling, ATV riding and side-by-side driving are major contributors to the economy, to our country's GDP, in so many ways," said Tim Buche, president and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council. "We boost local economies, too, and not just through powersports dealers and retailers. Our enthusiasts book hotel stays, pay park fees, buy food, supplies, and other gear they need for all sorts of great outdoor adventures. All of that makes them, and our industry, a powerful economic engine that merits the attention of policymakers and those who manage public lands."

The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable is a coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations and the Motorcycle Industry Council, the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America and the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association are members. Looking at the BEA's latest report, the ORR noted some additional highlights:
Outdoor recreation accounts for 2.2 percent of U.S. GDP, creating $778 billion in gross output supporting 5.2 million jobs.

Outdoor recreation is responsible for a larger share of GDP than many major industries, including chemical products manufacturing, farming and ranching, mining, and utilities.

"[The] release of state data is a significant step forward for the entire outdoor recreation industry," said Jessica Wahl, executive director of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. "This second full year of national data—together with prototype state-level numbers—proves that our industry is a driving economic force across the country. ORR will continue to work with Congress, federal agencies, state governments and others to ensure that everyone has access to our public lands and waters and that our nation's outdoor infrastructure can sustain and grow healthy communities and healthy economies."

The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. As a not-for-profit national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers, distributors, dealers and retailers of motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, ROVs, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts, accessories and related goods and services, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants.

The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office in metropolitan Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at

The Specialty Vehicle Institute of America is the not-for-profit national industry association promoting the safe and responsible use of all-terrain vehicles through rider training, public awareness campaigns, and state legislation. Additionally, SVIA works to preserve access to off-road riding areas and expand riding opportunities. Accredited by the American National Standards Institute, SVIA develops standards for the equipment, configuration, and performance requirements of ATVs. Based in Irvine, Calif., SVIA is sponsored by American Honda Motor Co., Inc.; BRP, Inc.; Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.; KYMCO USA, Inc.; Polaris Industries Inc.; Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.; Arctic Cat; and Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. Visit SVIA online at For safety information or to enroll in the ATV RiderCourse nearest you, visit, or call (800) 887-2887.

The Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association is the not-for-profit national industry association promoting the safe and responsible use of ROVs (also called side-by-sides or UTVs). Accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), ROHVA develops standards for the equipment, configuration, and performance requirements of ROVs.

Based in Irvine, Calif., ROHVA is sponsored by American Honda Motor Co., Inc.; BRP, Inc.; Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.; Mahindra North America; Polaris Industries Inc.; Arctic Cat; and Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.. For more information visit

The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable is America's premier coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations, made up of 28 members representing over 50,000 American businesses. These organizations represent a sector of the economy that produces $778 billion in economic output, accounts for 2.2 percent of U.S. GDP and supports 5.2 million jobs—all while growing faster than the nation's economy as a whole.
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ATV / UTV Sign References

The information on this page is intended as a reference for clubs and municipalities that are seeking information on ATV & UTV sign topics.

Highway Maintenance Manual (PDF 246 KB)
Section 9: Right-of-Way Use and Permits
Section 10: STH Connections
Subject 11: ATV Routes and Trails

Wisconsin Department of Transportation Resources

If you're looking for guidance on ATV / UTV road signage, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has two pages that explain in detail the rules and sign information needed. 

Motorists and ATV/UTV Riders Urged to Share the Road Safely

Motorists could be sharing the road more frequently in some areas with all-terrain and utility-terrain vehicles (ATV/UTV) under a change in state law granting local authority to allow use on roads within territorial boundaries. The state Departments of Transportation and Natural Resources urge motorists and ATV/UTV operators to stay cautious... Click here to read the full article.

All-Terrain Vehicles and Utility Terrain Vehicles

Wis. Stat. s. 23.33 allows all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility terrain vehicles (UTVs) to operate on state highways in certain cases, which are detailed in items 1-3 below. Each one requires some type of local government ordinance to be enacted before ATV/UTV operation may occur. For the remainder of this webpage, ATVs and UTVs... Click here to read the full article.

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Bayfield County

Enjoy the incredible scenery in Bayfield County, "Home of Wisconsin's National Treasures." Over 180 miles of ATV trails (PLUS hundreds of miles of Forest Roads) provide year 'round fun with frequent opportunities to stop at scenic vistas and great restaurants. Our trails are maintained by dedicated volunteers from area clubs in cooperation with the County Forestry & Parks Dept. and the USDA Forest Service.

​​Check out the official & club pages below.


ATV / UTV | Bayfield County, WI - Official Website

Find out about trails for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility terrain vehicles (UTVs).
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Douglas County

Douglas County has over 100 miles of maintained summer ATV trails. As conditions change throughout the season, be sure to get the latest update on trail conditions by clicking on the links below, or by calling the Douglas County Trail Hotline 24 hours a day 7 days a week at (715) 378-4528.

​Check out the official & club pages below.

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