Recreation Enforcement

Recreation Enforcement

The Ashland County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) Recreation Vehicle Enforcement Patrol consists of:

  • All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and Utility Vehicle (UTV)
  • Snowmobile


ACSO participates in a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that funds the majority of one full-time patrol deputy and most of the equipment.  The deputy’s primary duties are to enforce federal, state, and local laws along with educating the public about the safe operation of the above recreational vehicles.  The deputy also works with the Ashland County Forestry Office to enforce County Forest laws.  The Sheriff’s Office is assisted by the DNR, local law enforcement, and federal agencies in promoting safe operation and enforcement of recreational vehicle laws.  ACSO utilizes and ATV, UTV and a snowmobile along with a patrol vehicle to accomplish these goals.


Ashland County has hundreds of miles of ATV-UTV and Snowmobile trails and routes.  The Dead Horse Trail is within the boundaries of the United States Forest Service (USFS) Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Great Divide Ranger District.  Off-Highway Motorcycles (OHM) are becoming more prevalent within the county but as of now, there are no routes open to OHM.  The only area OHM’s can be operated outside of private property is on the Dead Horse Trail or the Tri-County Corridor. 


Please report any hazardous trail issues to Ashland County Dispatch @ (715) 682-7023 opt 1 so that it can be forwarded to the appropriate service.


While enjoying the trails and routes that Ashland County has to offer please become familiar with the laws for your sport.


  • Take a safety course.
  • Do not operate while impaired by alcoholic beverages or other substances.
  • Wear a helmet and slow down.
  • Ride with a partner, carry a GPS, map, proper gear, mobile telephone, and an emergency kit.
  • Riding on County Forest roads and trails that are not gated and/or signed no ATV or motorized vehicle is permitted.  Riding off a road or trail through the County Forest between trees is not allowed.
  • STAY ON designated trails as not all trails are open to your sport and they may cross private property.  Respect private landowner rights.  The reason we have the trail to use is that private landowners allow the trail to access their property.  Be respectful and use the trails appropriately.


DNR: Regulations – Registration – Safety Courses – USFS and Other information:


DNR Tax Law Lands Open to Public Recreation:

o   Lands enrolled under MFL as “open” to public access allow for hunting, fishing, hiking, sight-seeing and cross-country skiing.

o   Lands enrolled under FCL allow for public hunting and fishing

o   Hunting on Tax Law Land (Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)) Publication

  • Summary of the above FAQ (without written permission from landowner):

o   No motorized vehicles – foot travel only

o   No trapping

o   Tree stands can be used for hunting.  No damage to the trees or land can be caused by you or the stand

o   Tree stands must be removed every night

o   No trail cameras

o   No mountain biking or bicycles



All operators must complete a safety course to operate a recreational vehicle (See DNR regulations for complete information):

  • ATV-UTV: 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).
  • OHM: At least 12 years old and born after January 1, 1998.
  • Snowmobile: At least 12 years old and born after January 1, 1995.
  • Boat: Anyone born after January 1, 1989.




TRAIL SIGNING (Municipalities):



MAPS: Check out the apps for your smart phone: Avenza Maps and Trail Treker


Ashland County ATV-Snowmobile Clubs and Organizations:


Disclaimer: (Updated 12-27-2020) ACSO does not guarantee the links or information provided and has only provided this information in one location as a courtesy.  ACSO does not recommend or promote any organization.