Off-highway vehicle rider on the Rough Rider Trail

In order to legally ride in North Dakota, all riders must be properly registered or permitted, find out more here.

Where to Ride

Registered OHVs literally have thousands of miles of riding opportunities in North Dakota. In general, OHVs may ride on:

  • A paved highway posted with a speed limit not exceeding 55 miles per hour.
  • A licensed driver over 16 years of age may operate a registered Class III OHV on a paved highway designated and posted at a speed not exceeding 65 miles per hour (to operate on these highways, the class III OHV must be able to attain a speed of at least 30 MPH).
  • The highway right of way, the bottom of the ditch or along the outslope. It is illegal to operate on the shoulder or inside slope.
  • A gravel, dirt, or loose surface roadway.
  • Frozen waters where you have legal access (be careful of open water and thin ice).

An individual can operate an OHV on a roadway (paved or loose surface) only if it is equipped with the following equipment, all of which must be in working order:

  • One headlamp
  • One horn
  • One taillamp
  • Speedometer/odometer
  • One brake light
  • One mirror
  • Motor with a minimum of 350 cubic centimeters

If you are operating a Class I OHV, you are not required to have a headlamp, taillamp or brake light, unless you are riding at night. Riders should check with local law enforcement to verify riding regulations. Cities and counties may pass more restrictive ordinances relating to where OHVs may be operated.

Designated Trails

  • Pembina Gorge State Recreation Area: The Pembina Gorge has over 15 miles of trails designed to accommodate non-motorized and motorized traffic, including the three classes of OHVs – dirt bikes, four-wheelers, and side-by-sides – which are 60 inches wide or less.
  • Roughrider OHV Trail: The trail is located 30 miles south of Mandan on Highway 1806; it begins at the Fort Rice Campground, travels north for 16 miles on an old railroad bed, and ends at Little Heart Bottoms.
  • Turtle Mountain State Recreation Area: The hilly terrain and heavy woodland cover provide a unique landscape in North Dakota. This 10-mile trail is open to motorized vehicles like dirt bikes, all-terrain vehicles, and side-by-sides as well as non-motorized trail users and sportsmen. The OHV area trailhead, youth trail, and parking area is located about 6 mile NE of Bottineau and provides enough parking for trucks with large trailers. 
  • Kimball Bottoms Recreations Area: Also known as, The Desert, this 400-acre play area is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is located 8 miles south of Bismarck, ND.
  • Little Missouri National Grassland: In partnership with the US Forest Service, the North Dakota Park & Recreation Department put together a map that illustrates the miles of roads and trails open to scenic touring and motorized recreation in the Little Missouri National Grassland. This map is available for free download through the Avenza App

    Little Missouri National Grassland South Unit Map
    Little Missouri National Grassland North Unit Map

Riding is NOT allowed on:

  • Controlled access highways/interstates
  • Posted or restricted public/private property that is regulated by local ordinances
  • State Parks, State Recreation Areas, Historic Sites or Wildlife Protection and Management Areas (unless otherwise noted)
  • Tree nursery or planting areas
  • Frozen water in a restricted area or where there is no legal access
  • Railroad right of ways
  • Motorized trails designed and leased for snowmobiles (tracked dirt bike are allowed on snowmobile trails, with a tracked dirt bike permit)

OHV Laws

The following resources provide more information on the proper use of OHVs and laws that govern the use and ownership of OHVs in North Dakota.

North Dakota Century Code Chapter 39-29

OHV Brochure