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Recreational Vehicle Law Tips

For a complete copy of the Roscommon County ORV Ordinance and Brochure with Map click here: https://www.gerrishpolice.org/roscommon-co-orv-ordinancemap/

QUESTION: Where can I ride my ORV in Gerrish Township?

ANSWER: There are NO designated ORV trails within Gerrish Township!

****County roads are now available to travel on with your ORV.

Recently, the County Board of Commissioners enacted an ordinance legalizing this practice with certain provisions by County Ordinance. Click here for a link to that Ordinance.

Below is some helpful information to assist you in safely and legally operating your ORV.


  • ATV: means a 3 or 4 wheeled vehicle designed for off road use that has low pressure tires and has a seat designed to be straddled by the rider, and is powered by a 50 cc to 500 cc gasoline or an engine of comparable side using other fuels.
  • DESIGNATED FOR ORV USE: means posted for ORV use with appropriate signs by the Department of Natural Resources.
  • FOREST ROAD: means a hard surfaced road, gravel, or dirt road, or other route capable of travel by a 2 wheel drive, 4 wheel drive conventional vehicle designed for highway use, except an interstate or County highway.
  • FOREST TRAIL: means a designated path or way capable of travel only by a vehicle less then 50 inches in width.
  • HIGHWAY: means the entire width between the boundary lines of a way publicly maintained when any part of the way is open to the use of the public for the purposes of vehicular traffic.


  • In any court action where competent evidence demonstrates that a vehicle permitted under the Motor Vehicle Code is in collision with an ORV on a roadway, the operator of the ORV involved shall be considered prima facie negligent.
  • The ORV shall only be operated on FOREST TRAILS unless the trails are posted “Open For ORV Use”.


  • To operate an ORV off private property you must first have a valid Operator’s license or in the case of a person less than 16 years of age SHALL NOT operate an ORV under the direct supervision of an adult or unless they possess an ORV Safety Certificate.
  • The owner or person in charge of a 4 wheel ATV shall not knowingly permit the vehicle to be operated by a child less than 12 years of age, unless the child is not less than 10 years of age and is on private property owned by a parent or legal guardian of the child.
  • An ATV may not be operated without a DOT approved crash helmet and protective eye wear.
  • An ATV may not be operated at a speed greater than is reasonable and proper, or in a careless manner while having due regard for conditions existing.

At this time there are no “FOREST TRAILS” or “FOREST ROADS” in Gerrish Township posted “Open for ORV use”.