How to Go 4-Wheeler Riding on the Trails of Kentucky

by Brianna Collins
Proper ATV safety is required by law in Kentucky.

Proper ATV safety is required by law in Kentucky.

Mike Powell/Digital Vision/Getty Images

For ATV riders that are sick of the confines of the course, riding on trails may be an exhilarating way to switch things up. Still, you should keep many things in mind when trail riding on a four-wheeler. By knowing the trails, ensuring that the ATV is in proper running condition, adhering to state laws and following proper trail-riding etiquette, riders in Kentucky can help to ensure that any ride is legal and safe.

Items you will need

  • Map or GPS
  • ATV helmet

Trails

Step 1

Familiarize yourself with the trails you plan to ride, and find out whether they are public or private. For public trails, Kentucky state law requires that you ride your ATV only on trails where the vehicles are permitted. For private trails, ATV operators must have the consent of property owners in order to ride.

Step 2

Bring a map or GPS system if you are unfamiliar with the trail to avoid getting lost.

Step 3

Let somebody else know what trail you plan to ride on. This can help to ensure that help knows where to find you if you get into trouble.

ATV

Step 1

Check your ATV completely before starting out. Ensure that the ATV has more than enough gas and engine oil to get you through the trail and back again.

Step 2

Check all other necessary operational systems next. Polaris recommends that owners check brake fluid levels, tires, wheel-fasteners, steering and suspension prior to every ride. A complete rundown of how to check each system for your particular ATV is often located in the owner's manual for that vehicle.

Step 3

Check to ensure that headlights, taillights and brake lights are all functioning properly, especially if you are riding at night or in an area with other riders.

Laws

Step 1

Always wear a helmet if you are riding for pleasure on public trails, as required by Kentucky state law.

Step 2

Do not ride an ATV with an engine displacement of larger than 90 cc if you are younger than age 16. Do not operate an ATV with displacement of greater than 70 cc if you are younger than 12.

Step 3

Cross public roads only if necessary and if the area is free and clear of traffic. Do not ride along public roads or highways, however, as Kentucky law prohibits this.

Etiquette

Step 1

Be mindful of other people on the trail, including hikers, hunters and other recreational vehicle riders. Many trails in Kentucky are meant to be shared, and ATV riders should make room for other people hoping to enjoy them.

Step 2

Keep to the right on any given trail. This makes room for riders coming from the opposite direction and also gives those riding at a faster pace some room to pass.

Step 3

Slow down if another rider is attempting to pass you. This can help reduce the chance of an accident.

Step 4

Minimize environmental impact as much as possible. Do not litter or purposefully hurt area wildlife, and stick to designated ATV trails.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try to minimize the amount noise your ATV is making and consider how close you are to area residents. Kentucky has strict noise ordinance laws regarding ATVs.
  • Just because you decide to ride safely doesn't mean that other ATV riders will. Always be aware of other riders and avoid those who are riding recklessly.

About the Author

Brianna has been writing professionally since 2009. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and is excited to be part of a community that contributes to the free sharing of information and ideas.

Photo Credits

  • Mike Powell/Digital Vision/Getty Images