ATV trails, four wheeler laws and what you can and can not do in Maine

For starters, Maine is one beautiful state to experience all four seasons. Especially when you can access the deeper areas of Vacationland where not everyone gets to easily tour from the highway network.
Maine Images
Maine Four Season Recreation. See Maine On An ATV ITS Trail Ride, On A Snow Sled, Hoofing And Hiking It.

Because Maine is so vast, under populated, unspoiled it appeals to someone not looking to fall into an expensive, crowded coastal tourist trap location.

It just takes a little more effort than the average tourist crunched for time often has to burn on precious vacation time. You saddle up your ATV to hit the trails. To stop for a snack along the way, to gas up and meet others exploring Maine the same way. Feeling the fresh air, colder spots in the low land. Stopping on higher terrains to drink in the view. To be where Maine wildlife live say around Baxter State Park.

More remote areas of Maine are insulated and not isolated in my opinion. The reason for less traffic purely the time to spend of the typical tourist / vacationer. The travel time to discover those special areas of Maine that get return visits from surprised tourists lucky enough to stumble onto them and return for life is what separates the men from the boys. They made the effort. They see and hear and feel the real Maine, not the four color glossy folded up brochure one.

ATV Four Wheelers Hitting The Trails.
Follow The Leaders, ATV Trail Riding In Maine Is Fun! Bring Your Camera.

Time to spend at new destinations in Maine is the currency not every tourist possesses nowadays.

It seems most outside Maine lead over booked lives. This limiting factor helps protect the locations in the Maine deeper regions which don’t see every Tom, Dick and Harry visit round the clock. Where home grown trumps store bought.

So ATV four wheeling, snow sledding ITS trails are a big nature can opener used to gain access to the rural areas of Maine. MOOERS REALTY has pushed the snow sledding in Maine blog post button hard and I am a sled head. I have a snowmobile ITS sled trail crossing my 300 acre northern Maine farm because I love the sport. I own three snow sleds currently. And have have some classic ones over the years, from back when there were fifty flavors of snowmobiles like Sno Jet, Ski Horse. Back when they called them all ski doos.

But snow sleds do less harm to the environment if everyone goes easy. Does not spin, is not so aggressive on squeezing the throttle of the ice rocket. Four wheelers, all terrain vehicles don’t have the cushion of the snow blanket between them and the ground. Maine farmers are not so cranked on opening up their agricultural land for ATV hot shots. It only takes one to spoil the ATV barrel of fun right?

maine atv trail riding
Maine ATV Four Wheeling Using The Network Of Trails To Explore.

 If a Northern Maine potato farmer has $3500 an acre invested and wants to recoup that figure and a profit on top, he does not want blight brought into his crop from the neighboring grower down the road.

That is on the same ATV four wheeler trail. The same Maine farmer does not want cowboy operators doing donuts out in the middle of that prize acreage either. Like snow sledding, any trail use on private property, it is a privilege, not a right.

So the current ATV four wheeler laws in Maine. The all terrain vehicle four wheeler registration is good for a year. The cost for a Maine resident to register their four wheel ATV is $33. For an out of state to register the same ATV the current cost is $68 a year. A week long pass is $53 a year. The ATV registration cycle starts July 1st.

For a definition of what is an all terrain vehicle, we asked the state of Maine to spell it out.

” “All-terrain vehicle” or “ATV” means a motor- driven, off-road, recreational vehicle capable of cross-country travel on land, snow, ice, marsh, swampland or other natural terrain. “All-terrain vehicle” or “ATV” includes, but is not limited to, a multitrack, multiwheel or low-pressure tire vehicle; a motorcycle or related 2-wheel, 3-wheel or belt-driven vehicle; an amphibious machine; or other means of transportation deriving motive power from a source other than muscle or wind. For purposes of this subpart, “all-terrain vehicle” or “ATV” does not include an automobile as defined in Title 29-A, section 101, subsection 7; an electric personal assistive mobility device as defined in Title 29-A, section 101, subsection 22-A; a truck as defined in Title 29-A, section 101, subsection 88; a snowmobile; an airmobile; a construction or logging vehicle used in performance of its common functions; a farm vehicle used for farming purposes; or a vehicle used exclusively for emergency, military, law enforcement or fire control purposes.”

Many Maine towns, plantations and the handful of cities allow certain public ways to be used for ATV use. A “Private Way” means a private road, driveway, or public easement. “Public easement” means an easement held by a municipality for purposes of public access to land or water not otherwise connected to a public way, and includes all rights enjoyed by the public with respect to private ways dedicated to the public. Look for the designated ATV sign and join an ATV club to support the sport that is growing in Maine.
If you don’t belong to a Maine ATV four wheeler club, permission from each and every individual land owner you are thinking of crossing is needed in writing.
That’s a lot of work and planning. The ATV club in Maine has already pieced together the land owners that will allow responsible users to access their land. To see Maine in places only a few us can access. Where cars and trucks are not going to get you there. And when you don’t own a horse or know how to neck rein.
Unless it has tracks on it, no ATV is supposed to be on Maine snow sled ITS trails. The law states “A person may not operate any 4-wheel drive vehicle, dune buggy, all-terrain vehicle, motorcycle, or any other motor vehicle, other than a snowmobile and appurtenant equipment, on snowmobile trails that are financed in whole or in part with funds from the Snowmobile Trail Fund, unless that use has been authorized by the landowner or the landowner’s agent, or unless the use is necessitated by an emergency involving safety or persons or property.
Who can operate an ATV in Maine?
Any person 10 years of age or older but under 16 years of age must successfully complete a training program, with that person’s parent or guardian approved by the department prior to operating an ATV except on:

A. Land on which that person is domiciled;

B. Land owned or leased by that person’s parent or guardian; or

C. A safety training site approved by the department.

A person under 16 years of age must attend the training program with that person’s parent or guardian. The training program must include instruction on the safe operation of ATV’s the laws pertaining to ATVs, the effect of ATV’s on the environment and ways to minimize that effect, courtesy to landowners and other recreationists and landowners and other materials as determined by the department.

Respect where you ride, join an ATV club first, and pitch in beyond your membership dues.

To maintain, help create and improve ATV trails. More on ATV / snow sled trails in Maine. More on the list, Maine ATV clubs. Activities for the local ATV clubs around Maine. And if you live in an area of Maine not served by an ATV club, maybe you should take the bull by the horns and start one. More on starting an ATV club in Maine. Building the trails to ride and open up a new area of Maine. Money, funding for Maine ATV trails. The trails need to be marked consistently and for safety reasons. To help the ATV tourist new to these parts know better how to navigate around them! More on ATV trail building rules.

 Many of the state of Maine public reserve land is able to be used by ATV four wheeler operators.
More on the ATV trails in Maine. This is more on one popular section of ATV trails in the Houlton Maine area where I ride. Mud season is not the time to ride and when the most damage is done to ATV trails. They make the trail warrior look fierce and dirty but leave ruts and holes that need repair plus can cause accidents.
Here is a printable Northern Maine ATV trail map. This link has the names, contact numbers and locations of the northern section of Maine ATV clubs where the best riding is. Less people, no local home owners association or pesky layers of local zoning helps the Maine ATV sport grow in small rural areas of Vacationland. See where wildlife live, get into natural habitats not available by highway motorists to sample in Maine.
Maine ATV Four Wheeling On Trails
Maine Fall Colors, See Them Shine Brightly Four Wheeling From An ATV Seat.
Here is more on

Other Maine ATV trail systems to tap into when you can sneak away to twist the grip, steer the handlebars. Lots of Maine ATV dealers of new and used equipment, all the accessories, all kinds of places to eat and stay in Vacationland too. So don’t worry about buying it all out of state.


Shop local, become a part of the ATV Maine trail riding and maintenance program and we look forward to meeting you in person! Stop in, we are right off the ATV and snow sled ITS trail system in Northern Maine, in Aroostook County!

MOOERS REALTY 69 North Street Houlton Maine 04730 USA | | 207.532.6573