Maine is the biggest of the New England states, and ATV'ers know Maine has thousand miles of trails, from woodsy pine groves, to wide open plains for side by sides and 4 runners,. Rugged mountain paths to fast tracks, Maine's ATV scene is scenic and abundant, and to a great extent - accessible thanks to cooperative landowners. For anyone visiting Maine on an ATV vacation, many lodges throughout the state offer ATV rentals or are ATV friendly.
Most of the hundreds of miles of ATV trails located throughout Maine are on private land and are maintained by local ATV clubs. Because of the collaboration between private landowners, ATV clubs, and the state's official ATV association, A.T.V. Maine (Alliance of Trail Vehicles), Maine has quality and diverse trail riding available for respectful usage.
Maine is currently developing plans to create the biggest trail system and network in the Northeast, and possibly all of the country. Nearby and neighboring states of New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut don't begin to compare with the level and variety of Maine's multi-day riding trails for ATVS and quad racers.
Maine's vast wilderness is owned, in large part, by large timber and paper companies who allow individuals access to the property for recreational purposes. There is a huge network of interconnected forest access trails (990,000-acres) in western Maine, for example, which is available for respectful riding.
ATV'ers should be mindful that without the use of private land, most trails wouldn't exist and riding is a privilege that is granted by the landowner. Also many Maine trails are not open during mud season.
Throughout Maine, there are also state-owned or leased abandoned rail beds that are ideal for three-season ATV'ing. These railbeds include The Aroostook Valley Trail, the Bangor and Aroostook Trail, and the Jay to Farmington Trail which are all owned by the Bureau of Parks and Lands. Three additional ATV trail systems maintained by the ATV Program are Mt. Blue, Turner, and Summerhaven. Remember these trails are also used for mountain biking and equestrian riding, so be respectful and provide safe passage for bikers and horses.
The Bureau of Parks and Lands ATV Program set up a Trails Committee with the purpose of establishing a statewide interconnecting ATV trail system. By coordinating efforts among existing Maine ATV clubs, encouraging new clubs to start up, and working in harmony with landowner concerns, Maine's ATV opportunities should continue to grow and improve.
Maine ATV trail maps are available from ATVMaine by calling 207-287-4958 or 888-386-3288.
Maine has a favorable recreational use statute (Title 14, M.R.S.A. Section 159-A) which was adopted in 2005, that protects landowners, and is known as the "Landowner Liability Law." This tort states that if someone uses or passes through your land for outdoor recreation, you assume no responsibility and incur no liability for injuries to that person or that person's property. Land owners are protected whether or not they give permission to use their land. This is good news for ATV'ers, as it frees landowners from litigation, making them more likely to allow access to their property.
Maine ATV Registration and Reciprocity
Maine no longer has reciprocity with any other state or province for ATV license and permits. To legally ride Maine trails, you need a Maine registration for each vehicle at a cost of $68 each. If you join a Maine ATV club, the fee may be lower.
To register your ATV visit the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website, or for applications and Maine agency locations, call 207-287-5230.
And remember, it is unlawful to operate an ATV on closed trails; this is for the protection of the environment as well as to help continue to build positive relations with Maine landowners. Enjoy the ride and respect the land when you ATV Maine.
Maine ATV Club Trails
Valuable ATV Maine Links
ATV Laws and Rules in Maine