DEEP: Off Road Vehicles - CT State Parks and Forests

All Terrain Vehicle (ATV)
and Other Off-Road Vehicle Use in
Connecticut
Connecticut offers some unique, but limited, opportunities for off-road vehicle use on State property.
Dirt Bikes/Motorcycles
Pachaug State Forest in Voluntown has over 22,000 acres of public land with many miles of roads and trails available for the shared enjoyment of hikers, snowmobilers, motorcyclists, and equestrians. The motorcycle trails encompass state and town roads, so vehicles must be registered, street legal and drivers must be licensed.
Cockaponset State Forest in Haddam and Shenipsit State Forest in Stafford both offer opportunities for dirt bike enthusiasts to participate in privately-organized enduro races once or twice a year.  These competitive events are typically one day in duration and sponsored by a regional motorcycle club.  Motorcycles must be registered, street legal and drivers must be licensed.
Due to environmental impacts and trail maintenance issues, enduros and other organized activities must be approved by the Department of Energy & Environmental Protectionís (DEEP)Parks Division. Applications must be filed with the Park Supervisor for the DEEP facility 90 days prior to the event, or for a new or changed course, 120 days prior to the event.  For more information, please contact the New England Trail Riders Association (NETRA).
Snowmobiling
There are 11 designated areas within Connecticut State Forests where the use of snowmobiles on established trails and forest roads is authorized. More Information
ATV use in Hunting
All ungated roads in Connecticut State Forests and Wildlife Management Areas are accessible to paraplegics using all terrain vehicles with the proper DEEP permits. In order to qualify, applicants must provide documented proof of the disability with its physical limitations in a letter signed by a licensed physician. Applicants should call the Wildlife Division at (860) 424-3011 or (860) 675-8130 for more information.
Other ATV Use
Effective January 1, 2006, except where specifically allowed, riding an ATV on state or municipal property may result in charges of criminal trespass. (Public Act 05-234)
At the current time, Connecticut does not have any public areas open to quads.  Additionally, there are no State managed areas open to dirt bikes although the Army Corps of Engineers facility at Thomaston Dam is available for two wheeled trail bike riding.
For information on how access issues are being addressed, please review the DEEP's policy for the development and use of ATVs on state land
Private Property
Individuals who operate off road vehicles on private land other than their own property must carry written permission from the landowner and all such vehicles must be registered with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Other Available Resources
Connecticut DEEP ATV Policy
Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) - ATV Registration Information
Thomaston Dam  - Facilities for two wheeled trail bikes
CT Trail Users - Organization representing the interests of motorized recreation
Connecticut Riders ATV Club

Massachusetts ORV Program

New Hampshire ATV Program

National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council - info on safety and trail building

New England Trail Riders Association (NETRA) - Motorized clubs throughout New England
Tread Lightly - Environmentally sensitive trail designs and etiquette for all users


If you have questions or need additional information on Connecticut State Parks and Forests, please contact the State Parks Division by e-mail at deep.stateparks@ct.gov or by phone at 860-424-3200.

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