• Steven E. Overmyer

ATV Etiquette to Keep In Mind on the Trail

For many ATV owners, the best place to be is out on the trails. If you can relate, try to remember that the way you behave when offroading on public land can make a huge difference. Being reckless can upset fellow riders, compromise nature and wildlife, and even lead to the trail eventually being shut down to the public. Don’t be that guy - a few simple rules of etiquette can make all the difference.

Stick to the trails

Before you head out to your favorite offroad park, make sure you’re only utilizing designated trails that are specific to ATVs. There’s plenty of public land with free access to ATV trails, but that doesn’t mean you have free reign over it. As tempting as it might seem to wander off the trails, doing so is disrespectful to nature and wildlife - and can even be illegal. You also shouldn’t ride down any trails that are too narrow for your ATV to fit through easily. If you want to trek across private land, you have to get permission first from the owner.

Be mindful of wildlife

Some of your favorite trails are actually home to many different animals, so be careful not to be destructive. If you see any animals, don’t compromise their health by feeding them, and make sure you maintain a respectful distance. Don’t harass or chase down any animals; you’ll not only be a jerk, but you’ll also likely be the reason that the trail gets shut down for future use.

Pick up your trash

This one should be common sense; you’ve been taught not to litter since you were a kid. Bring along a garbage bag to put your trash in, and never leave it strewn across the land. If you see an area with excess litter, take a few moments to pick it up. If you can’t respect the trails that you ride, they probably won’t be open to ride for much longer.

Be polite when crossing paths

You’re going to encounter other offroading enthusiasts on the trails, and when you do, don’t make a bad impression. Always be the first to pull aside and offer the right-of-way, and if they’re following behind you, use the appropriate hand signals to indicate where you’re going. If you see someone having trouble on the side of the trail, stop and offer assistance. Be aware that you might also come across hikers or cyclists, and if you see a horseback rider, remember that horses are easily scared. Pull over to the side of the trail and allow them to pass without any trouble.

Stay aware of your surroundings

ATV riders aren’t the only ones wandering about in the wilderness. There may be campers or hikers in the area, and if that’s the case, you should be as respectful as possible. If people are nearby, shift to a lower gear so you’re not being too noisy and stirring up unnecessary dust. Many people seek out nature for the peace and quiet, so try not to be too loud by revving your engine and shouting to your companies.

When it comes to ATV riding, a little etiquette can go a long way. If you’re looking for a new offroad park to explore, check out Crossbar Ranch in Davis, Oklahoma. With thousands of acres packed with trails and wildlife, you’ll have plenty of terrain to explore. No ATV? No worries. Crossbar Ranch has plenty available to rent.

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