How to Get Ready for Adventure in an ATV Park
ATV parks offer uniquely enjoyable riding adventures. Be prepared to make full use of them with this post.
Pros and Cons of Riding in an ATV Park
Pros of riding in an ATV park
Because they're parks, they are planned to be amazing. This can include amazing landscapes and extensive trails to explore. Depending on the park, you may be able to tackle massive sand dunes, particularly gorgeous mountains, and trails of unprecedented variety and length. Many people have favorite parks they say have given them the most exciting rides they've ever experienced.
It is common for an ATV park to really be a state park that includes full-time or part-time ATV access, so you get to enjoy the beauty these spectacular parks offer on your ATV!
It is also not uncommon for these parks to offer onsite accommodations so you can go straight from your lodging and to your ATV without harshing your outdoor buzz with city life. These parks also often offer other enjoyable outdoor activities such as fishing, camping, hiking, or boating. This makes for an amazing weekend getaway or vacation full of variety for ATV riders and to include everyone in the family even if they don't ride.
Cons of riding in an ATV park
The first con that has already been briefly mentioned is that some state parks that allow ATV use only allow it at certain times of the year. You can't just settle on a park and go without looking into this.
You may have to share the ATV park with other off-road vehicles, if the excess traffic bothers you.
There are rules and limitations to consider that may dampen your fun or make it impossible for you to take the ATV you own. We'll go into that below.
Common Requirements for Riding in an ATV Park
Different parks have different rules, so you'll need to carefully review the rules of each park before committing to one. You don't want to find out after you get there.
ATV parks will have age limits on who can ride an ATV without an adult present. These vary so check the park rules to make sure a minor who wants to avail themselves of the park can do so.
Parks with designated trails will expect you to follow them and probably won't allow you to make your own.
Park trails may have width restrictions that could limit your ability to ride on your ATV, for instance. You'd need to know that ahead of time.
Drinking may be prohibited in the park, even when you're not riding.
You may be prohibited from bringing firearms and/or other weapons in the park.
You will always have to wear a helmet while riding, and you may be required to have a DOT-approved helmet. You may also have to provide proof of safety training.
There may be limits on how loud your muffler is allowed to be.
It is likely you will be required to have a spark arrestor on your ATV to prevent fires.
You will be given certain rules to follow to protect the environment you're riding in. This will likely include littering and firewood laws, maybe more.
Sometimes trails are marked as closed. You may be on an outdoor adventure machine, but the people who designated the trail as closed know that and there is a reason for it. Listen.
How to Prepare your ATV for Riding in a Park
All the checks and maintenance you're supposed to do to your ATV before a ride, even if you normally skimp, do them now. Tire pressure, fluid, filters, nuts and bolts, working lights, the works.
Make sure your ATV conforms to the rules of the park you're going to visit. If it needs spark arrestors, a light is out, or your muffler is too loud, you'll have to fix it.
How to Prepare Yourself for Riding in a Park
Get any safety training you need to match the park's requirements and be prepared to bring proof of any training you have.
Make sure you and every member of your party who will be riding have well-fitting helmets that match the park's safety requirements.
Get yourself and all members of your party prepared to follow speed limits, one-way and two-way designations, and all other rules of the park. Also make sure to just ride smart to avoid injuring yourself or others.
ATV Trail Etiquette
Make sure to follow proper trail etiquette.
- leaving space between you and other vehicles so you have time to maneuver and avoid collisions
- steer clear of riders who aren't riding safely and let riders who are going faster than you pass
- knowing and watching for hand signals
- when overcoming obstacles, being mindful that the rider behind you sees what is going on
- designating a rider order in your party and sticking to it unless stopped
- stopping safely, in designated places if given or in straight places and on the side of the trail
- following trail speed limits and other rules