Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Off Highway Vehicle Recreation on State Forests in Florida

There are three designated Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) areas on Florida state forests that offer many miles of trails to explore: Clear Creek OHV Riding Area at Blackwater River State Forest, Croom Motorcycle Area at Withlacoochee State Forest, and the OHV trail system at Tate’s Hell State Forest. 

As an OHV rider on public lands you are responsible for knowing all rules and regulations that apply. When you purchase an OHV permit, a complete listing of all rules and regulations will be provided. Rule compliance will help to ensure this riding opportunity continues to exist.

It is important that all riders think "safety first" and abide by all rules. Unforeseen hazards can exist and trail conditions are subject to change. Riding safely within your abilities and following all rules will reduce the risk to yourself and others.

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs), recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs), and off-highway motorcycles (OHMs) are the only unlicensed motor vehicles allowed in designated OHV areas.

The law defines an  all-terrain vehicle (ATV) as any motorized off-highway vehicle:

  • 50 inches or less in width
  • Having a dry weight of 1,200 pounds or less
  • Designed to travel on three or more low-pressure tires

An off-highway motorcycle (OHM) is defined by law as any motor vehicle:

  • Used off the roads or highways of this state
  • Having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider
  • Designed to travel with not more than two wheels in contact with the ground, but excludes a tractor or a moped

A recreational off-highway vehicle (ROV) is defined by law as any motorized recreational off-highway vehicle:

  • 65 inches or less in width
  • Having a dry weight of 2,000 lbs or less
  • Designed to travel on four or more non-highway tires
  • Manufactured for recreational use by one or more persons

The term ROV does not include a golf cart as defined in 320.01 and 316.003 or a low-speed vehicle as defined in 320.01.

NOTE: ROVs (or anything wider than 50” or heavier than 1,200 pounds) are not permitted at the Withlacoochee State Forest/Croom Motorcycle Area.

Fees and Permits For OHVs on State Forests

Florida Forest Service OHV permits [ Adobe PDF Document 128.01 KB ] are required for each off-highway motorcycle (OHM), recreational off-highway vehicle (ROV*), and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) operating on state forests.

OHV permits can be purchased at these locations:

Any OHVs operating on public lands must be titled, as required under Ch. 317, F.S., through the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. To secure an OHV permit an applicant must have proof of title. OHVs from out of state may be exempt from this requirement, provided the state of origin does not require titling and or registration of OHVs.

The OHV permit must be visibly displayed and permanently attached to the left front area of each OHM and ATV. Persons operating OHMs and ATVs without a permit will be subject to expulsion and or fine.

State Forest Rules For OHV Areas 

  • OHV operators under the age of 16 are required to have direct adult (18 years or older) supervision.
  • A person who has not attained 16 years of age must have in his or her possession certification of the satisfactory completion of an approved OHV safety course in this state or another jurisdiction.
  • OHVs must be hauled or trailered to designated staging areas. OHVs must be ridden from the staging areas in low gear and only at walking speed.
  • OHVs must remain on designated roads and trails. Any person found violating these rules is subject to fine, expulsion, revocation of permit, and or impoundment of OHV.
  • Unlicensed vehicles that do not meet the definition for ATVs, ROVs or OHMs are prohibited.
  • Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to one half hour before sunset, except at Croom Motorcycle Area, which closes at 5 p.m. for day use. During hunting season only, licensed hunters with a valid permit may operate their OHVs from one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset.
  • All OHVs are required to have working exhaust systems and USDA (Forest Service) approved spark arrestors. Sound levels will be limited to 96 decibels in the A-scale [dB(A)].
  • All riders must wear Florida Department of Transportation approved protective headgear designed for OHVs. All riders under the age of 16 must wear eye protection, over-the-ankle boots, and a safety helmet that is approved by the United States Department of Transportation or Snell Memorial Foundation. Eye protection is recommended for all participants.
  • OHV operators are required to obey all traffic and information signs. All roads have a maximum speed of 30 mph, unless posted otherwise. No person shall drive any vehicle on managed lands at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under existing conditions or in such a manner that disregards the actual and potential hazards.
  • If parking on the shoulder of the road, please be considerate of other riders and vehicle traffic by making sure they can pass your vehicle.