CONNECTICUT ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE LAWS
The following officials may enforce the laws applying to snowmobiles and ATVs: any law enforcement officer of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), motor vehicle inspector, state police officer, uniformed municipal police officer, constable, state park police officer, state forest police officer, or forest ranger. No one may refuse to stop his snowmobile or ATV after being requested or signaled to do so by (1) any authorized enforcement officer or (2) the owner or the agent of the owner of the property on which it is being operated. Failure to stop as required is an infraction that can result in a fine, fees, and other assessments totaling $78 if the violator chooses to mail in the fine (CGS § 14-386).
The law prohibits someone from operating a snowmobile or ATV (1) at an unreasonable or imprudent rate of speed for existing conditions, (2) in a negligent manner so as to endanger any person or property, or (3) while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug. Violations can result in fines of up to $250 per offense (CGS Sec. 14-386a). In practice, the Superior Court judges have established a total amount due for such offenses of $188. In addition, the vehicle owner is responsible to the owner of any land where trees, shrubs, crops, fences, or other property has been damaged as a result of the snowmobile or ATV traveling over the land, or where consequential damage has resulted from such travel. Proof of the snowmobile’s or ATV’s registration number is considered prima facie evidence in any prosecution for damages that the owner was the operator.
A snowmobile or ATV cannot be operated:
1. on any public highway, except, if operated by a licensed motor vehicle operator, it may cross a highway if the crossing is made at an approximately 90-degree angle and at a location where no obstruction prevents a quick and safe crossing, it is completely stopped before entering the traveled portion of the highway, and the driver yields the right-of-way to motor vehicles using the highway;
2. in a manner that the exhaust makes an excessive or unusual noise;
3. without a functioning muffler meeting statutory requirements for vehicle mufflers, properly operating brakes, sufficient and adequate front and rear lighting and reflecting devices, except that and ATV with an engine size of 90 cubic centimeters or less must not be equipped with front and rear lighting and cannot be operated at night;
4. in a manner that would cause harassment of any game or domestic animal;
5. on any fenced agricultural land or posted land without the written permission of the land owner or his agent, or, in the case of state-owned land, the written permission of the state agency or institution with control over the land, or, in the case of land under the jurisdiction of a municipality, the written permission of the municipality; or
6. on any railroad right-of-way (CGS § 14-387).
A snowmobile or ATV cannot be operated on a limited access highway under any circumstances, even for crossing purposes.
A snowmobile or ATV may be operated (1) on the frozen surface of any public body of water, although any such operation is subject to any applicable constraints imposed pursuant to state law regulating recreational activities in watersheds and reservoirs (CGS § 25-43c) and a municipality, by ordinance, may regulate the hours of operation on public waters within its borders and (2) on any abandoned or disused railroad right-of-way or in any place or upon any land specifically designated for operation of snowmobiles or ATVs by statute, regulation, or local ordinance.
Violations of any of the above operational requirements are infractions. The total amount due in fines, fees, and assessments is currently $78 except for operating an ATV with an engine of less than 90 cubic centimeters after dark ($166) and harassing game or domestic animals ($102). These amounts apply if the violator chooses to mail in the fine to the centralized infractions bureau. Violators are also responsible to land owners for direct or consequential damage to property and the registration number is considered prima facie evidence in a damage action that the owner was the operator.
Where to Ride ATVs, UTVs and/ or Side by Sides in Connecticut
Please Note: While searching for locations to ride ATVs, UTVs, and/or Side x Sides in Connecticut we came across the following places. The following places to ride all terrain vehicles, utility vehicles, and side by sides in Connecticut is a list we have come up with by researching, we are not affiliated with any of these places and/or locations and highly recommend contacting and confirming information before planning a ride. We make every effort to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and true. However, we cannot be held responsible for inaccurate information provided by outside sources.
Currently, Connecticut offers limited access to ATV and UTV trails on public land, the good news is you can enjoy off-road adventures on your own land or you can travel to a nearby state to check out an assortment of trails. With that said here are a few locations in Connecticut that you may be able to ride your ATVs, UTVs, and/or Side x Sides.
Turkey Hill Marsh
Located at 251-277 Filley rd Haddam, CT 6438 (inside Cockaponset State Forest)
Marsh trails, bring a buddy and a winch/strap for recovery just in case. STAY ON THE DIRT ROAD; DO NOT wander into the forest lands, they are strictly off limits! Turkey Hill Road leads into Jericho Rd. Jericho Road in Haddam, CT has a small field of obstacles and dirt but fun to mess around in.
Located at Cedar Swamp Rd Chester, CT 6412
Lots of mud and some rock crawling. If your vehicle is stock or does not have a winch, would highly recommend you bring a friend with a winch just in case you get stuck.
***Stay on the dirt roads! DON’T wander into the forest lands, it’s strictly off limits!***