It only comes twice a year! Free Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Weekend returns to Michigan state trails this month.

With over 4,000 miles of state-dedicated ORV trails and routes, Free ORV Weekend means the required ORV licenses and trail permits that are typically needed to take advantage of these routes are waived, though all other ORV rules and laws still apply, including age restrictions.

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This year Free ORV Weekend takes place on August 20 and 21 meaning trails are open and accessible to all Michigan and out-of-state residents. In addition to the thousands of miles of state-designated ORV trails, there are 6 scramble areas that are open to the public.

If you’re not an ORV person, like me, or you’re just starting to get into the ORV lifestyle this is the perfect way to find a new favorite place to ride to “try before you buy” and purchase a yearly ORV permit.

However, the Michigan DNR encourages all riders to consider purchasing an ORV license or permit as the fees collected go towards helping the state maintain and expand Michigan trails ORV trails. The annual cost is $26.25 for an ORV license and $10 for a trail permit.

Over the last year, we’ve seen several communities throughout west Michigan expand routes to ORV riders, particularly on city streets. Both the cities of Allegan and Fennville have adopted new rules for ORV and golf carts meaning you're likely to see them the next time you run out to grab a few quick groceries!

Throughout the year Michigan State Parks celebrates Free ORV Weekend, Free Fishing Weekend, and Three Free Weekend (ORV, fishing, park entry) to encourage Michiganders to get outdoors and take advantage of all our beautiful Mitten has to offer.

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