Spring in Maine comes with a lot of anticipation and many questions. Like, “When will the ice go out at the lakes?” “Will we get any snow in May?” “Is it too soon to plant my garden?” And, top on the list for outdoor enthusiasts, “When do the Maine ATV trails open?”

According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, “When will the trails open? Conditions around the state are varied and the decision to open trails is managed by the property owner and/or the club or organization who maintains the trail system. Nobody should expect any of the trails to open before May. All signs should have an opening date of May 15 or later.”

As tempting as it is to head out when the snow is clear, the most important thing to do with this news is to NOT go out on the trails. Just don’t. They aren’t ready and if you mess up someone’s land, you risk losing that trail for everyone. JUST DON’T GO ON THE TRAILS.

So, what can you do instead? Besides riding around your own house over and over and wearing out your lawn before it even grows, you could consider the following ideas.

  • Go through your safety checklist, even if you already have. Check your tires, brakes, and battery. Top off your fluids. Wash your ATV. Wax it until it shines. Clean your wheels with a tooth brush. Shine up your helmets.
  • Stay off the trails!
  • Volunteer at a local ATV club. Maybe you can help get the trails opened sooner. At the very least, you will see just how much work goes into our recreational trails each year and it will make you appreciate them even more.
  • Stay off the trails!
  • Go shopping. Is it time to upgrade to a side-by-side? Have you been wanting some new accessories?
  • Stay off the trails!
  • Take a ride in your car with the windows down. Go get an ice cream. Ride a bike really fast. Fly a kite.
  • Stay off the trails!
  • Make sure you are properly insured.
  • And stay off the trails!

Before you know it, the ATV trails will be open, and you can get out there to enjoy the season!