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.

  123620 Hits

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.

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.

File Name: Jackson-County-Trail-Study-Survey-2019-FINAL-Report
File Size: 1.8 mb
Download File

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).

File Name: Jackson-County-ATV-Trail-User-Report-FINAL-V1-3-003-004
File Size: 2.9 mb
Download File

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.

File Name: Department-of-Commerce-Survey-Motorized-Recreation
File Size: 293 kb
Download File

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.

File Name: 2012-Cheese-Country-Trail-Survey-Results
File Size: 2.1 mb
Download File

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

In an attempt to gather more information about Wisconsinís 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.

File Name: 2003ATVReport
File Size: 2.2 mb
Download File

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 mic.org.

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 svia.org. For safety information or to enroll in the ATV RiderCourse nearest you, visit atvsafety.org, 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 rohva.org.

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.
  8464 Hits

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.

  10488 Hits

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).
  1278 Hits

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.

  2182 Hits

Buying & Registering Your First ATV / UTV

If you're in the market for buying your first ATV / UTV, there are a few things you're going to want to consider before you take the first step into the off-road motorized recreation world. By now, you've probably searched the internet for the best models and found some helpful posts online. Keep in mind that asking "what's the best ATV / UTV" in a group of people will give you more answers than what you're looking for. In the end, it all depends on what you're looking for and what fits your needs. 

ATV... UTV... What's the difference?

It wasn't long ago that we only had one choice for what to ride. An All-Terrain Vehicle, or ATV. It actually started back in the 1980's with the introduction of the three wheeler. WATVA put together a history of ATVing book that you can access here.

For Wisconsin, we have laws that actually define what an ATV and UTV are. This helps manage what goes on our trails, as our trails are built for and designed for specific vehicles. Let's take a look at the definitions of an ATV and UTV for Wisconsin:

All-Terrain Vehicle

The definition of All Terrain Vehicles is found in state laws [§340.01(2g)]. A vehicle must meet each and every legal specification in order to be eligible for registration with the Department of Natural Resources.

Here is the definition of an ATV in Wisconsin:

  1. ​​Commercially designed and manufactured;
  2. A motor-driven device;
  3. Travels on three or more low pressure or non-pneumatic tires;
  4. Dry weight of 900 pounds or less;
  5. Width of 50 inches or less; and
  6. Equipped with a seat designed to be straddled by the operator

Utility Terrain Vehicle

State laws [§23.33 (1)(ng)] require a vehicle to meet one of two definitions before it can be registered as a UTV. A vehicle must meet each and every legal specification in order to be eligible for registration with the Department of Natural Resources.

Here is the definition of a UTV in Wisconsin:

  1. Commercially designed and manufactured;
  2. Four or more low pressure or non-pneumatic tires;
  3. Dry weight of 2,000 pounds or less;
  4. Steering Wheel;
  5. One or more tail lights;
  6. One or more brake lights;
  7. Two headlights;
  8. Width of 65 inches or less;
  9. Seat belts for every occupant; and
  10. Roll bar or device that protects occupants during a

Vehicles that would not qualify as an ATV because of their weight can be registered as a UTV if they meet all of the following specifications: ​

  1. Commercially designed and manufactured;
  2. Three or more low pressure or non-pneumatic tires;
  3. Dry weight more than 900 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds;
  4. Width of 50 inches or less; and
  5. Equipped with a seat designed to be 2 straddled by the operator

Registration Requirements

 Unless specifically exempt, ALL ATVs and UTVs operated in Wisconsin must:
  1. display current Wisconsin registration decals, or
  2. possess a temporary operating receipt or
  3. possess a copy of a signed registration application from a dealer.

Exception: ATVs / UTVs displaying valid non-resident trail passes.

Displaying Your Registration:
Machines registered with the DNR are issued two decals. The decals must be displayed on both sides of the machine, in a position which is forward of the operator and visible to law enforcement. Until decals are received by mail, operators must possess the temporary operating receipt issued for the machine. Operators should carry all necessary registration cards and paperwork with them for display to a law enforcement officer upon request.

Rear Registration ID Plate Requirement
All ATVs/UTVs required to register for Public Use shall have a plate attached to the rear of the vehicle. Private and Private-Agricultural registrations do not need a plate. The plate may be constructed by the owner or commercially purchased. Plate specifications must be:
  1. Minimum of 4 inches high and 7 1/2 inches wide.
  2. The plate must be white in color and display the four-number and two-letter registration ID in black characters for the ATV/UTV issued by the department. The minimum 4" x 7 ½" area must be white and must only contain the registration ID characters. Plates may be larger than the minimum size and the area outside the minimum white area may contain other graphics or colors. The registration ID numbers are located on the registration decals and registration certificate card.
  3. The registration ID numbers shall be a minimum of 1 1/2 inches in height, and a minimum of a 3/16-inch stroke (width).The plate may be made from any type of material, but must be visible and in a legible condition at all times.

In addition to the plate, when received, Public Use registration decals must be affixed to each side of the vehicle in a place that is forward of the operator and clearly visible to law enforcement.

  31902 Hits

Annual Meeting 2018 Photos

 What a fantastic annual meeting! Check out some of the photos.

  2070 Hits

WATVA Leadership Team


 Randy Harden

Vice President

 Rob McConnell

Rob also serves as the Southern Regional Coordinator.


Photo Coming Soon

Mike Biese


 Greg Olson

Greg also serves as the Northwest Regional Coordinator.

Projects Manager

 Hank Wozniel

NE Regional Coordinator

WATVA Home Office

NW Regional Coordinator

 Jeff Jordhiem

Board Member

 Lee VanZeeland

Trail Tales Editor

 Ann Harden

Customer Service Manager

 Tanya Hermann

Membership Manager

 Kym Henrickson

Website Editor / IT

 Adam Harden

  11305 Hits

[2013] Assembly Bill 261 - Remove Agricultural Registration

This bill allows, but does not require, a person who operates an ATV or UTV exclusively for agricultural purposes or exclusively on private property to register the ATV or UTV.

Continue reading
  1720 Hits

[2011] Assembly Bill 327 - Age Restrictions and Safety Certificate Requirement Regarding the Operation of ATVs

This bill allows a person under the age of 12 to operate an ATV any place that any other person may operate an ATV provided that the person under the age of 12 is operating a small ATV and he or she is accompanied, and not just supervised, by his or her parent or guardian or a person who is at least 18 years old who is designated by the parent or guardian (accompanied by a parent or designee).

Continue reading
  1512 Hits

[2009] Assembly Bill 356 - Modifying the Definition of an ATV to 50 inches

This bill increases the maximum width of an ATV to 50 inches.

Continue reading
  1658 Hits

[2017] NRB 2B3 - Amendment to the Recreation Portion of the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest Master Plan

The existing master plan for the NHAL was approved in 2005. Since that time, several trends in recreation participation, along with changes to the use and management of surrounding public lands, have placed different and new demands on the property. To adapt to these changes and to ensure that the Department of Natural Resources continues to provide high-quality experiences to visitors, changes are proposed to outdoor recreation opportunities provided at the property.

Continue reading
  1552 Hits

[2017] Assembly Bill 64 - Restoration of the Safety Enhancement Program

AB64 included the langage to restore the funding meachanism for the Safety Enhanacement program, among other things.

Continue reading
  1689 Hits

[2017] Assembly Bill 442 - ATV Route Signage Requirement Change for Municipalities

An Act to renumber 23.33 (8) (e); to renumber and amend 23.33 (8) (b); and to create 23.33 (8) (b) 2., 23.33 (8) (e) 2., 23.33 (8) (e) 3. and 23.33 (8) (e) 4. of the statutes; Relating to: all-terrain vehicle route signage. (FE)

Continue reading
  1640 Hits

[2017] Senate Bill 392 - Local Control Over Highways Under 35 mph Regarding Routes

This bill authorizes a municipality to enact an ordinance to authorize the operation of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility terrain vehicles (UTVs) on certain highways within the territorial boundaries of the municipality.

Under current law, no person may operate an ATV or UTV upon any interstate highway or, unless authorized by the Department of Transportation, any other freeway. A person may operate an ATV or UTV on any other highway only under certain limited circumstances.

Under this bill, a city, village, or town may enact an ordinance to authorize the operation of ATVs and UTVs on a highway that is not part of the national system of interstate and defense highways, that has a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less, and that is located within the territorial boundaries of the city, village, or town regardless of whether the city, village, or town has jurisdiction over the highway.

Continue reading
  1880 Hits