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Georgia OHV Trails Rules and Regulations

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US Forest
The Chattahoochee National Forest are in north Georgia. The Oconee National Forest are in central GA. The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests operate under motor vehicle laws set by the State of Georgia.

Off highway vehicles must remain on designated roads, trails or in designated areas marked specifically for off road vehicle use. Some trails are restricted for a certain type of use such as only motorbikes or only four-wheel drive vehicles. These restrictions are set for safety reasons and to meet the special needs of each type of vehicle.

There are opportunities on the National Forests for off road vehicle users who do not have a valid driver's license. To ensure the driver's safety, these areas are specially designated and the driver must be accompanied by a licensed adult. Unlicensed vehicles may also be operated on certain trails and in designated areas, however, these vehicles should not be driven on any public or Forest Service road.

Anyone operating an off road vehicle on a Forest Service road (including dirt/gravel roads) must follow all State vehicle laws and must have a valid driver's license.


Off road vehicles may not be operated in a manner which damages or unreasonably disturbs the land, wildlife, or vegetation. Violators of these restrictions are subject to fines of up to $500 and/or up to six months in prison.

Rules are necessary to make sure your riding adventure on the National Forest is fun, safe, and will continue to provide a quality riding experience. Please help by obeying these rules.

OHV Trail at Dukes Creek
BulletStay on ORV designated trails, roads and areas.
BulletMake sure your vehicle has an operating and effective spark arresting device.
BulletVehicle must not omit a noise while traveling 35 miles per hour or less in excess of 86 decibels at 50 feet or 90 decibels at 50 feet traveling over 35 miles per hour.
BulletConform with State laws and regulations regarding safety equipment for operating vehicles on public roads and highways.
BulletOperate vehicle on forest roads safely and cautiously, respecting the rights of others.
BulletOperate motor vehicle on a forest road with a valid driver's license.
BulletDo not operate motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
BulletDo not shortcut or switch-back on roads or trails.
BulletOperate motor vehicle in designated OHV area or trail ONLY if of legal age to obtain a state drivers license or accompanied by a legally licensed driver.
BulletMake sure vehicle has operable braking system.
BulletDo not operate vehicle from one half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise unless equipped with working head and tail lights.
BulletDo not create excessive smoke.
BulletDo not operate in a manner which damages or unreasonably disturbs the land, wildlife or vegetation.
ATV Driver in Georgia Forest
Off Highway Vehicles are defined as any motorized vehicle that travels off paved roads for recreational purposes. OHV's include motorbikes such as mini-bikes, dirt bikes, enduros and motor cross bikes; 4-wheel drive vehicles, jeeps, land rovers, and pickups; all-terrain vehicles such as the popular 4-wheelers and dune buggies.The forest may be your fun place, but it is also home to wildlife.Please respect their needs. Also, by not observing these simple rules,these trails will be closed.
BulletStay on the trail. Riding off the trail can destroy animal burrows and kill vegetation animals need for food.
BulletSome animals need to store water and energy in their bodies for hot summers or long winters. If you chase or scare animals, it can force them to use up valuable reserves.
BulletKeep your noise level down. Revving engines may frighten animals. Maintain your exhaust system. A properly packed muffler is as important to performance as it is to sound control.
BulletNoise doesn't equal horsepower. In fact, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council, not enough exhaust back-pressure can mean less power and can cause engine damage.
BulletCross streams only at designated spots. Crossing elsewhere can stir up silt, and that's bad for fish.
BulletAlways be courteous when you pass hikers, fishermen, hunters, campers, or horseback riders in the forest. One little blip of the throttle can leave a shower of gravel, cloud of dust and an enemy behind you.
Avoid Wetlands and protect your right to ride. Ground always covered by shallow water or with saturated soil is generally considered a wetland. Certain types of vegetation (cattails or marsh grass, for example) adapted to life in wet conditions are indicators of a wetland area. Most of the ATV trails on the Chattahoochee and Oconee National Forests bypass wetlands or have been designed to bridge sensitive areas. Avoid low spots and watercourses that could lead to wetlands. Stay on the designated trails to help protect the wetland resource.
Wetlands provide: Critical wildlife habitat, erosion and flood control, natural water purification and special types of recreation.
When is a wet spot not a wetland?
A rain puddle on a hard surfaced trail is probably not a wetland. Be slow and careful when riding through a puddle, it could be hiding a layer of slippery slime.
Safety Tips - Safe enjoyment of your off road vehicle and hiking experience depends on taking precautions. Here are some safety tips:
BulletFile a trip plan with family, friends or other responsible person and stick to it so someone will know where you are and who to contact should you fail to arrive home as planned.
BulletBoil or purify all water before drinking.
BulletCarry a first aid kit. Know how to treat minor injuries. Be aware of where the closest hospital is in case of serious injuries or snakebite.
BulletDo not try to climb on or around waterfalls, people have been fatally injured while doing so. Be aware that lichen-covered rocks around waterfalls are slippery.
BulletYellow blazes designate a wildfire management area and should not be confused with trail markings.
BulletWhen riding your OHV, fend off twigs and flying rocks and mud; wear boots, helmets, gloves and eye protection.
BulletBe in shape to take all the punishments a trail will offer. Be prepared to walk out in case of breakdown.
BulletKnow how to make simple field repairs. Carry tools and spare parts.
BulletTravel in a group so help will be there if you need it.
BulletDon't race each other on trails and roads. There are unseen dangers-logs, ditches and other vehicles. Adjust your speed to fit the situation.
BulletCarry a topographic map and compass. Know how to use them and study the terrain before hand.
BulletTake a break from time to time to rest and check your vehicle's chain, tires and fuel level.
BulletObey all rules below and posted at OHV areas and trails.
BulletFile a trip plan with family, friends or other responsible person and stick to it so someone will know where you are and who to contact should you fail to arrive home as planned.
BulletWe ask that you do not ride when it is wet for your safety and to protect the forest environment. Boil or purify all water before drinking.
BulletCarry a first aid kit. Know how to treat minor injuries. Be aware of where the closest hospital is in case of serious injuries or snakebite.
BulletWhen riding your OHV, fend off twigs and flying rocks and mud. Wear boots, helmets, gloves and eye protection.
BulletBe in shape to take all the punishments a trail will offer. Be prepared to walk out in case of breakdown.
BulletKnow how to make simple field repairs. Carry tools and spare parts
Travel in a group so help will be there if you need it.
BulletDon't race each other on trails and roads. There are unseen dangers such as logs, ditches and other vehicles. Adjust your speed to fit the situation.
BulletCarry a topographic map and compass or GPS unit. Know how to use them and study the terrain beforehand.
BulletTake a break from time to time to rest and check your vehicle's chain, tires and fuel level.
BulletObey all rules posted at OHV trailheads.
BulletThe forest may be your fun place but it is home to wildlife. Please respect their needs.
BulletStay on the trail. Riding off the trail can destroy animal homes and kill vegetation that animals need for food.
BulletSome animals need to store water and energy in their bodies for hot summers or long winters. Chasing or scaring animals will force them to use up valuable reserves.
BulletSome trails have been damaged and badly eroded. They are now closed so the land can heal. Please help restore these sites by not riding on them. Avoid wet trails and wheel spinning.
BulletKeep your noise level down. Revving engines may frighten animals. Maintain your exhaust system. A properly packed muffler is as important to performance as it is to sound control.
BulletNoise does not equal horsepower. In fact, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council, not enough exhaust back-pressure can mean less power and can cause engine damage.
BulletCross streams only at designated spots. Crossing elsewhere can stir up silt, and that's bad for fish.
BulletAlways be courteous when you pass hikers, fishermen, hunters, campers, or horseback riders in the Forest. One little blip of the throttle can leave a shower of gravel, a cloud of dust and an enemy behind you.
BulletCarry a little bag and pack out all trash. Learn to use no-trace camping techniques.
BulletCall before you haul: We strongly urge you to check with your local Forest Service office for current information on trail conditions before traveling to these areas.
Check out Georgia Off Highway Vehicles Locations
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