Is it safe to ATV and UTV in Wisconsin during COVID-19?

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You might ask yourself, is it safe to ATV or UTV in Wisconsin during COVID-19? Yes, it is. All-terrain vehicle (ATV) and utility terrain vehicle (UTV) riding are a popular outdoor activity in Wisconsin. During COVID-19 an ATV or UTV are both ways to get out and experience nature away from the crowds.

ATV safe travel with mask COVID-19
Chasing RV Sunshine on our ATV wearing masks

It is very safe to ride and ATV or UTV during COVID-19. Most riders wear face masks for dust and dirt already. The ATV and UTV are large and make the 6 feet social distancing easy. To keep clean hands you can have hand sanitizer (70% alcohol) with.

What is the difference from a ATV to a UTV you might ask? First, an ATV has straddle seating position and is meant for a single-rider.  An UTV allows passengers side-by-side seating and has storage space. The UTV is for work more than recreation. However, sales of UTV are currently outnumbering ATV for family outdoor recreation.

Wisconsin ATV and UTV Regulations:

ATVs must operate on the designated trails and routes. Staying on the trails is a must.  Off-trail riding is prohibited in Wisconsin. There are age limits to who can drive ATVs or UTVs in Wisconsin. ATV and UTV operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 who are at least 12 years old for ATV(and at least 16 years old for UTV) must complete an ATV and UTV safety certification course in order to operate on public ATV/UTV trails and areas in Wisconsin. There is an annual trail closure from March 15 until May 15 to minimize erosion potential on the soft, moist soils.

Outdoor UTV safe travel COVID-19
UTV safe travel during COVID-19

Gas and food is available within the trail system in Wisconsin. You can find most maps online or in paper copies at the local establishments on the trails.  During Covid-19 you can also take a picnic lunch and treat your family to more activities along the trails, such as fishing, bird-watching or a nice hike.  Remember Covid-19 ATV and UTV riding safety is up to you.

There are no current regulation from Covid-19 for ATV or UTV riding.  Here is a link to the Wisconsin UTV & ATV regulations: https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/ATV/documents/LE0500.pdf

When ATV and UTV trail riding, remember these tips:

  • Travel and recreate with minimal impact.
  • Respect the environment and the rights of others.
  • Educate yourself on the area and laws.
  • Plan and prepare before you go.
  • Ride only on “designate d” trails.
  • Be courteous when passing hikers or other vehicles.
  • Allow for future use of the outdoors; leave it better than you found it.

Conclusion:

Always be aware of your environment to have a positive influence on nature and those around you.  We found during COVID-19 ATV and UTV riding is safe and enjoyable recreation for the whole family during COVID-19.

Chasing RV Sunshine went UTVing with friends.  We were on the Buffalo River ATV Trail. https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/parks/buffalo/recreation Check out our UTVing adventure on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Pt6lRpQxUCM

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