New to ATVing - How do I get started?

Where can I find the ATV regulations? The MN DNR publishes a small booklet called OHV Regulations which covers All-Terrain Vehicles Class I & II, Off-Highway Motorcycles, and Off-Road Vehicles. You can also find the regulations on the Minnesota DNR website at

atv class2Class 2 ATV's width grater than 50 in but not more than 65 in

atv class1Class 1 ATV's width 50 in or less

Do I have a Class I or Class II ATV

The simplest way to describe this is defining your machine by width: Class 1 ATVs have a total width 50 inches or less from outside of tire rim to outside of tire rim. Class 2 ATVs have a total width greater than 5
inches but not more than 65 inches from outside of tire rim to outside of tire rim. Do not get caught up on the terms side-by-side, or UTV. Minnesota Law only describes ATVs by Class 1 or 2. If it's wider than a class 2 ATV, it's considered an (ORV) Off-Road Vehicle. Our local trails are only open to Class 1 and 2 ATVs.

Do I need an ATV Safety Certificate?

Yes, if you were born after July 1 1987, and are age 12 or older, you must have a valid ATV Safety Certificate to operate on public lands, trails, and frozen waters, and when crossing road right-of-ways. We encourage riders that were born before 1987 to read the regulation booklet, attend our Youth ATV Safety Hands-On Class, and start riding on easy flat trails to gain experience as a rider.

Do I need to ride with my lights on?

Yes, by state regulation, if your machine is equipped with headlights and taillight you need to ride with them on.

I need to wear a helmet?

Operators and passengers under age 18 required to wear an approved DOT helmet when operating on public lands, frozen waters and road right-of-ways.

Do I need to ride with my lights on?

Yes, by state regulation, if your machine is equipped with headlights and taillight you need to ride with them on.

Where can I ride?

This is a complex question based on where you plan to ride. You are legal to on all Grant-In-Aid ATV Trails for Class and II machines. In our area, we have 56-mile Emily-Outing ATV Trails that include the Moose River Trails. These trails connect to the Soo Line North Corridor Trail, where you can access hundreds of more miles of legal trails. Additional Grant-In- Aid ATV trails can be found on the MN DNR website at . Riders also comment that our club only maps and signs the Grant-In-Aid trails but there are many more to ride. There are many "user" trails in the area that are not mapped and signed or maintained. These trails may exist on County, State, DOT, or other land managers property that have not authorized our club to tell riders that they are open for ATV riding. We also have two large State Forests in our area, the Land O' Lakes and the Emily State Forests. These State Forests are classified as Limited, meaning limited riding on forest roads and on trails designated and signed to permit specific motor vehicle use and on trails specifically designated and signed for vehicle type. Snowmobile trails are not open to ATV riding unless they are part of a multi-use trail which also allows for ATVs. Yellow with black arrows are ATV directional signs. Orange with black arrows are snowmobile directional signs.

Can I ride on the road?

It depends on the type of ATV, the type of road you are on, and the age of the operator. Bottom line is to check with the local road authority as there may be specific Township, City or County ordinances that allow or prevent lawful riding. On township roads, reduce your speed to 20 mph or less, this reduces dust, noise, is safer for you and residents, and makes adjacent property owners much happier.

When do the trails open?

Like many State ATV Trails, the Emily-Outing ATV Trail can open at the earliest on May 1st, 2020. The opening can be delayed by soil conditions such as late frost out, spring rains, muddy conditions or trail damage. Trail opening dates do include the State Hwy 6 ditch trail. We work with our land managers in Cass & Crow Wing Counties, along with the Minnesota DNR, to decide when trails will open, which can be different each year. Trail Closure information can be found on the Minnesota DNR website: