Maine ATV Trails and Private Landowners

Insights into Maine’s ATV Trails. Part 4 of our interview series with Jim Lane, President of A.T.V. Maine.

If you are from Maine, or are already a Maine snowmobiler, then you likely already understand the very different circumstances of trail systems in the state of Maine, compared to most other states. If you aren’t from Maine, then these Maine ATV Trail Insights are REALLY IMPORTANT. Jim explained why landowner issues are so important to Maine’s ATV industry.

  1. Most of Maine lands, forests, and trails are privately owned, (by large paper companies actually). There are very few public lands, Forest Service lands, etc. in Maine.
  2. This means that most ATV trails (and snowmobile trails) are located on private land, and good relations with landowners is of paramount importance.
  3. This is why A.T.V.Maine exists –  to facilitate trail access and good relations between landowners, the state of Maine, and the ATV-riding  community.
  4. There are over 6,000 miles of active legal trails in the state of Maine. Trails change frequently, and very few maps are available online.
  5. Only a marked trail is a legal trail. It is imperative that ATV vacationers in Maine stay exclusively on marked trails.

In Maine a trail is only legal if meets certain standards:

  1. Moose on the ATV trail near Northern Outdoors Adventure ResortThe trail has to be signed and maintained by a registered ATV Club:
  2. The ATV Club must file specific club paperwork with Maine’s Department of Conservation and Off Road Vehicle Department,
  3. The club must have 3 officer positions: a President, a Secretary/Treasurer, and a Trailmaster. Of these 3 roles, the Trailmaster is the most important.
  4. To be a legal Club, the club must maintain a minimum of 5 miles of trail.
  5. All trails are maintained by private ATV Clubs, not by the state of Maine, Forest Service, or other government entities.
  6. The definition of a trail is: something you have to maintain that is through the woods. As a result, all types of old logging roads, dirt roads, etc. are not considered trails.

A.T.V.Maine offers critical credibility to Clubs and accountability to Landowners about responsible ATV riding and trail use.

For more information about Maine ATV Trails and Tours, or Maine’s newest ATV resort, visit Northern Outdoors.