PCAA Frequently-Asked Questions

Q: Where in Wisconsin is Pierce County?

A: Pierce County is located in west-central Wisconsin on the border with Minnesota near the confluence of the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers.

Q: Where in Pierce County can I legally ride my ATV or UTV?

A: In addition to trying to develop a county-wide ATV trail system, one of the goals of the PCAA is to get a network of Town roads throughout the County designated as ATV Routes. As of Nov, 2012, ATV Routes have been approved and signed in the towns of Trimbelle, Ellsworth, El Paso, Hartland, Martell, Gilman, River Falls, Rock Elm, Salem, Spring Lake and Trenton. Portions of the villages of Ellsworth, Plum City and Spring Valley also have ATV routes. See the Maps page for further details. Over time the PCAA hopes to get off the roads and onto trails so that the roads are only used where necessary to interconnect trail segments.

It is also legal to ride ATVs on private property for which you have the landowner's permission to ride.

Q: Can I ride my golf cart, mini Truck or dirt bike on ATV Routes or trails?

A: No. Only ATVs or Wisconsin approved UTV's are permitted on ATV trails and ATV Routes.

According to the State of Wisconsin, the following are NOT ATVs or UTVs and thus cannot be operated on ATV trails or ATV Routes:

 

Q: Is there a speed limit for ATVs on the ATV Routes?

A: Yes. All of the Towns that have adopted an ordinance permitting ATVs on town roads are limiting speeds to 40mph or the posted speed limit, whichever is less. WI state law also says that ATVs must slow to 10mph or less when within 100 feet of a pedestrian or someone not on a motorized vehicle (horseback, bicycle, etc).

Q: Can't I ride my ATV in the ditch or on the right-of-way along side a road like a snowmobile?

A: No. This general allowance does not exist for ATVs like it does for snowmobiles. The only exception is if the right-of-way is posted as an ATV trail or route.

Q: Can I ride my ATV from my house or place of lodging via the most direct route to a designated trail or route?

A: No. There is no residential access allowance that permits you to ride from your house or place of lodging to the nearest trail. You will need to trailer your ATV to an access point on the trail unless you live immediately adjacent to a trail or route and it abuts your property.

Q: Do I have to wear a helmet when riding my ATV or UTV in Wisconsin?

A: See the following table for Wisconsin's ATV and UTV helmet usage requirements. The PCAA strongly encourages helmet use at all times.

Wisconsin ATV and UTV Helmet Usage Requirements
Registration Type Under 12 At least 12, but under 18 At least 18 and older
Public Use
(for riding on areas open to the public)
If you are under age 12, a helmet is required to be worn at all times. You are required to wear a helmet except when traveling for the purposes of hunting or fishing. You are required to wear a helmet under age 18 except when traveling for the purposes of hunting or fishing.
Agricultural Use A helmet is not required on lands owned and controlled by your immediate family, but it is STRONGLY encouraged. A helmet is not required, but it is STRONGLY encouraged. A helmet is not required, but it is STRONGLY encouraged.
Private Use A helmet is not required on lands owned and controlled by your immediate family, but it is STRONGLY encouraged. A helmet is not required if you are operating on lands under the management and control of your immediate family. However, you are STRONGLY encouraged to wear one.
If you are riding on someone else’s property you must wear a helmet unless you are traveling for the purposes of hunting or fishing.
A helmet is not required under age 18 if you are operating on lands under the management and control of your immediate family. However, you are STRONGLY encouraged to wear one.
If you are under 18 and riding on someone else's property you must wear a helmet unless you are traveling for the purposes of hunting or fishing.
Passengers If circumstances (age and property use) would require you to wear a helmet as the operator, then you as the passenger must wear a helmet under similar circumstances. For example, a helmet would be required for a 12-year-old passenger while the ATV was being operated on public property.

 

Q: What are Trail Patrol Ambassadors (TPAs)?

A: TPAs are people that have completed a Wisconsin DNR ATV Safety Instructor course, a Trail Patrol Ambassador workshop, and a background check by the WI DNR. The objective of TPAs is to promote safe and responsible riding habits, patrol the trails, inform and educate riders, and report any improper behaviors to the proper authorities. TPAs have no right of enforcement on any state, county, or local regulations. Additional information on the TPA program is available on the Trail Patrol web site.


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