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Old 09-07-2012, 10:05 PM   #1
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forbidden state land

I was driving on the highway yesterday and saw what looked like trails 1ooft from the highway and.I know its.on the edge of state land is that illegal to drive on?
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:27 PM   #2
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Probably. You need to find out who owns the land. Usually you can contact the county recorder or whoever handles the real estate taxes in your area and find out who it belongs it. From your brief description, my first thought is that it is some kind of right of way or easement for the state land, probably for a utility or pipeline.

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Old 09-08-2012, 01:39 PM   #3
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Worth the risk? I might check it out soon but I don't wanna go solo
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:57 AM   #4
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Only you can answer whether it is worth the risk to you or not. A lot depends on how the locals, especially the cops, feel about people trespassing, and the trespassing laws in your state and/or the jurisdiction where the land is located. Also, are you sure this is state land and not federal land? In some places it's just a ticket, some places it means going to jail, your ride impounded, and having to post bail, and in some places they hold you in jail until you can see a judge, usually the next day, and they impound your ride. So, is it worth it?
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:47 PM   #5
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Id want to know for sure if its ok to be there.
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:42 AM   #6
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Tread lightly for all our sake.
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:56 AM   #7
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Id want to know for sure if its ok to be there.
The only way to be sure any more, is to ask the land owner.
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Old 09-15-2015, 06:51 AM   #8
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The only way to be sure any more, is to ask the land owner.
Just like hunting or fishing...always better to ask first.
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Old 09-15-2015, 01:05 PM   #9
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Just like hunting or fishing...always better to ask first.

You do not want to meet up with a angry landowner that is questions you on why you are trespassing on his place. They may be upset at the previous trespasser and take their anger out on you.
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Old 09-16-2015, 06:25 AM   #10
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NOTHING more fun than showing up to ask permission and getting run off because of a previous trespasser.
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Old 10-26-2015, 03:05 PM   #11
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Newb here and I had this same question this weekend. I was in Wisconsin this past weekend and saw two tire paths heading off into the trees. This was near a populous area in Lake Geneva. I started down them expecting to find no trespassing signs, fences etc. I never did and as I went further it was clear trucks, ATV's etc were back here frequently based on paths, obstacles etc. I had discovered what appeared to be a well known place to wheel but there were no signs to indicate this at all.

I could not see a house in sight or determine who owned this so I could ask no one.

Eventually I found a barb wire fence where you could tell everyone stopped.

Is there a general legal rule? Like if the land is not owned by anyone you can be there? Again I took my chances as clearly others had been there recently but on this morning no one around and I had a blast as my first ever off road experience.
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Old 10-26-2015, 03:15 PM   #12
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Newb here and I had this same question this weekend. I was in Wisconsin this past weekend and saw two tire paths heading off into the trees. This was near a populous area in Lake Geneva. I started down them expecting to find no trespassing signs, fences etc. I never did and as I went further it was clear trucks, ATV's etc were back here frequently based on paths, obstacles etc. I had discovered what appeared to be a well known place to wheel but there were no signs to indicate this at all.

I could not see a house in sight or determine who owned this so I could ask no one.

Eventually I found a barb wire fence where you could tell everyone stopped.

Is there a general legal rule? Like if the land is not owned by anyone you can be there? Again I took my chances as clearly others had been there recently but on this morning no one around and I had a blast as my first ever off road experience.

Land not owned by anyone??? Homesteading has not been legal in the United States since 1976, therefore if land does not have legal ownership by a business or private individual then the state or federal government owns it.
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Old 10-26-2015, 03:33 PM   #13
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I guess that was my question, I am not sure who I could have verified with, there was no one close and literally zero signage I could find anywhere. So I don't really no if it was private or the state or federal govt. own it. It was clearly being used by wheelers just not the time I happened upon it.

Am I to assume then everyone else is there illegally or not? How would one know?
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Old 10-26-2015, 03:36 PM   #14
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i would assume its BLM land... best not to mess with uncle sam
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Old 10-26-2015, 03:45 PM   #15
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Yeah, I am really just trying to learn, was not trying to skirt anything. It was clear like I said I was not the first here and recently. So odd to not see a single sign and this was near a relatively populated area.

I don't know exactly but was right around these coordinates. Next time Ill have the GPS remember it.

42.533018, -88.495479

https://www.google.com/maps/place/42...!3m1!1s0x0:0x0
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Old 10-26-2015, 05:26 PM   #16
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NOTHING more fun than showing up to ask permission and getting run off because of a previous trespasser.
Our old family farm in Minnesota had over 200 acres of totally wild land with no good access except through our yard. When people asked to hunt on it - even complete strangers from out of state - we always let them hunt if there was no one already out there that day. When we found trespassers we ran them off even if they asked permission after the fact and we told them to never come back. In my experience the great majority of land owners are very easy about giving permission if you ask politely (I was always hiking or agate hunting). Not sure how landowners generally are about machines, but not asking just makes it worse for everyone. Heck, in the course of asking, I've been offered cookies and coffee by total strangers!
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Old 10-26-2015, 06:45 PM   #17
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local guy to me got hit with a 49k tow bill after he got stuck under some power lines on state land id be very very careful if i were you
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Old 10-26-2015, 06:54 PM   #18
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So the only way to know is to ask but where do you turn if no one to ask? I can't find a state database of available trails??
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Old 10-27-2015, 08:52 AM   #19
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There is some land out there that has no home or building on it. It can be very hard to find out who owns it. Also, many times that land could be owned by someone that lives out of state. In those cases, if you can not locate the owner and can not get permission, I would suggest you just leave it alone and do not go on the land. It might suck, you might see trails and other sign that others have used it, but that does not make it right or legal.
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:13 AM   #20
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Our old family farm in Minnesota had over 200 acres of totally wild land with no good access except through our yard. When people asked to hunt on it - even complete strangers from out of state - we always let them hunt if there was no one already out there that day. When we found trespassers we ran them off even if they asked permission after the fact and we told them to never come back. In my experience the great majority of land owners are very easy about giving permission if you ask politely (I was always hiking or agate hunting). Not sure how landowners generally are about machines, but not asking just makes it worse for everyone. Heck, in the course of asking, I've been offered cookies and coffee by total strangers!
As a hunter i have always asked permission. people seem alot less friendly when in comes to atv/4x4 (unless it is to load a kill) because the damage to land or having to figure out how to unstuck a truck that is a mile into the woods.
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:17 AM   #21
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If in doubt, don't.
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Old 10-29-2015, 10:36 AM   #22
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Worth the risk? I might check it out soon but I don't wanna go solo
It's NEVER worth the risk! Unless of course you don't care to have any access to backcountry roads and trails. Folks that "guess" it's ok to wander into unfamiliar territory do it because they are too lazy to find out where they can legally go before they get there. It's easier to get forgiveness than get permission is their SOP, and it's the primary reason it's so hard to find places to go wheelin'.

Learn about TreadLightly!

Learn the rules of public lands! If you live by a national forest, get a FREE MVUM (motor vehicle use map) of the area and just go on those legal roads. You won't wonder if you are legal or not.

US Forest Service MVUM's

Many states have wildlife areas and state run forest properties with back country routes available. Join a club and learn where you can go!

Please don't be illegally off road ANYWHERE! It ruins it for everybody!
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Old 10-30-2015, 07:41 AM   #23
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Thank you. I realized after I did not know what I was doing. Truly my 1st time ever time driving on a trail. Sheesh. 3 pages of condemning and finally some good info to read and learn. Thanks.
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Old 10-31-2015, 07:02 AM   #24
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Thank you. I realized after I did not know what I was doing. Truly my 1st time ever time driving on a trail. Sheesh. 3 pages of condemning and finally some good info to read and learn. Thanks.
Not really condemning you, just make sure you do the homework/legwork before you go wheel and always go with a buddy to make sure you don't get stuck. A little prep and prevention goes a long way. Otherwise, happens.
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Old 10-31-2015, 07:03 AM   #25
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I forgot to mention, the two web links are awesome to have.
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Old 10-31-2015, 08:36 AM   #26
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The first rule of Leave No Trace is to plan ahead and prepare. This means know before you go. It's 2015 and there is so much information available online. It is important for our sport that we recognize and respect legal access. I for one don't want to see more trails close because people don't give a shit about resource protection or legal access. No excuses!

I would like to add for BLM land, look for travel management plans specific to the field office in the area you are in. The plans identify roads that are open or closed to off highway vehicles, as well as how far off road you can travel. In some (increasing rare) cases, there are open OHV areas, which means you can drive anywhere (no road required). Most of the time, open routes have small signs that identify that it is a legal route and what types of vehicles are allowed.

At least in Colorado, the BLM has geo-spatial data that you can download. There are files for land ownership in google earth format. Here is a link: http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_Prog...atialData.html

As for who owns other non-federal property, the county assessor website is a valuable tool.
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:01 PM   #27
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where were the trails in lake geneva. I live about 30 minutes from there and do not know of any local trails. was it worth the ride?

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