HIAWATHA SPORTSMAN’S CLUB OFF ROAD VEHICLE GUIDE
Preserving and enhancing the safety of our members and guests is vitally important. Recognizing that there are potential safety hazards in off-road vehicle riding, the Board of Governor’s has enacted regulations which directly affect:
There are certain responsibilities that come with the ownership and operation of an ORV. Adults bear the burdens of passing on responsible conservation and outdoor ethics to young operators under their supervision, and setting the example for all other ORV enthusiasts. It is important to consider the potential impact of ORVs on the Hiawatha Sportsman’s Club’s fragile environment, and to operate ORVs in a manner that minimizes conflicts with others who are also enjoying the fields and forests of the Club.
Off-Road Vehicle Definitions
An ORV is any motor vehicle that can be operated cross-country without benefit of a road or trail over land, snow and other natural terrain and includes all of the following: Multi-track and multi-wheeled vehicles, ATVs, motorcycles and related 2, 3 and 4-wheeled vehicles, amphibious machines (water to land and back), hovercraft and any other vehicles that use mechanical power, including 2 and 4-wheel drive vehicles that are highway registered, when operated off highways and roads.
ATV’s are a subgroup of ORVs.
An ATV is defined as:
A 3 or 4 wheeled vehicle that is designated for off-road use, that has low-pressure (balloon type) tires, with a seat that is designed to be straddled by the operator.
There are specific exemptions from this list. The following are NOT ORVs:
ORVs operated exclusively within the property boundaries of the Hiawatha Sportsman’s Club are not required to be licensed by the State of Michigan. It is important to note that state ORV licensing is required if the vehicle is operated in the right of way of H-40 or Naubinway Road(other than crossing at 90 degrees), on the frozen surface of Millecoquin Lake, or on Lake Millecoquin Drive south of the posted entrance to the Hiawatha Club. These areas are outside of the property boundaries of the HSC.
HSC ORV Permit
All ORVs, except highway licensed vehicle are required to be marked in a visible manner with a Hiawatha Sportsman's Club identification tag. Identification tags are available at the Club office. A refundable deposit of $10.00 is required. This requirement extends to guests operating ORVs on the Club.
Before an ORV may be operated on the Club, the operator is responsible for the following equipment requirements:
A. The ORV must have:
· A braking system in good working condition that operates by either hand or foot;
· A throttle system designed to automatically and immediately return the engine speed to idle when pressure is released;
· A U.S. Forest Service approved spark arrester and muffler, in good working condition and in constant operation, meeting applicable sound level standards;
· A seating system that has been designed and manufactured to accommodate seating for each passenger;
· If operated during the hours of 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise must also have and display all of the following:
B. Other equipment that is highly recommended for operators and passengers is:
· A U.S. DOT approved crash helmet AND protective eyewear or goggles EXCEPT when the ORV is equipped with an approved roof AND the operator and passengers are wearing properly adjusted and fastened safety belts.
· A long sleeved shirt or jacket of durable material;
· Chest protector, for chest and shoulder protection;
· Kidney or riding belt, for lower back support;
· Sturdy gloves that provide hand and finger protection and improved grip on the controls;
· Denim or other heavy material pants;
· Knee and elbow pads, for knee and elbow protection;
· Heavy leather boots, for ankle and foot protection.
Restrictions On Young ORV Operators While on HSC
Minimum ages for ORV operation are the results of an extensive review by the Michigan Legislature and adoption by the HSC Board of Governor’s. There are alarming accident statistics regarding young riders. Statistics show that in 41 percent of the deaths the victim was under the age of 16 years of age. Additionally, other young victims are left paralyzed, brain damaged or with other serious permanent injuries. Most of the accidents involving young riders can be traced to a number of factors, (i.e. lack of supervision; machine design characteristics; and lack of training). Some parents and grandparents appeared to be unaware of these hazards. The consequences of a few daring moments on an ORV can be devastating.
Restrictions are in effect on the operation of ORVs by children under the age of 16. There are also specific obligations that fall upon the parents or legal guardians of ORV riders under the age of 16, and upon the owners of ORVs.
Visual supervision is defined as having direct observation with the unaided eye and the ability to come to immediate aid of another ORV operator.
A. Children 15 years old or less may operate ORVs (trail bikes, for example) only when under visual supervision of an adult;
B. No child under the age of 12 may cross any street, highway or county road while operating any ORV. (This is State Law.)
C. Children who are at least 12 years old but not yet 16 may cross any street, highway or county roads while operating an ORV, but only at right angles. (This is State Law.)
D. The parents and legal guardians of a child 15 years old or less are subject to a grievance if they permit the child under their care to violate any of the above. The owner (or person in control) of an ORV is also responsible if he or she permits an ORV to be operated by a child 15 years old or less
Land Use Rules
Indiscriminate ORV use has the potential to damage or even destroy fragile ecosystems within the Hiawatha Sportsman’s Club. Two popular places that are rapidly being damaged include the ORV trail on Mt. Baldy and the hill closed to ORVs just north of the Club’s Activity Building. Complaints of erosion on hills and trails, destruction of stream banks and beds, and conflicts with other users have led the Board of Governor’s to enact more restrictive rules to control ORV abuses. For the future of their sport, as well as the protection of HSC for future generations, ORV users must not only know and closely follow the operating regulations, but also encourage others to do likewise. Purposeful violations of Club rules and state law should be reported immediately to the HSC Office 477-6592.
Operation HSC Lands
The HSC consists of over 35,000 acres of land. This land is used by our members for a variety of purposes. Wise management of these lands includes protecting and preserving natural features and wildlife habitat, as well as encouraging a variety of recreational uses. Just as other users are limited in their activities to protect and conserve these vital resources while minimizing conflicts with other activities, ORV enthusiasts are restricted in where and how they may operate.
All ORVs and other motorized vehicles must comply with DNR regulations to be operated on Club property, except as modified by Club rules.
ORVs shall not be operated off alphabetically posted trails, named trails or trails designated "travel at own risk" unless a medical emergency exists.
ORVs and other motorized vehicle may be used off the trails during black bear and deer season to remove a downed black bear or deer. During the firearm deer season, a downed deer may only be removed between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and after 5:30 p.m.
Any member who has been issued a disabled persons parking permit by a Secretary of State may get a handicap ORV plate from the Club Office. This permit will allow travel by the permitted member directly to and from the member’s registered blind only. (The blind with the member’s blind number attached.)
ORVs and other motorized vehicles may be used for transporting bait and blind materials on posted trails, named trails and trails designated "travel at your own risk". ORVs and other motorized vehicles are prohibited from transporting bait and blind materials off of posted trails or trails designated "travel at own risk".
An ORV, highway licensed vehicle or other motorized vehicle shall not be operated on Club property in excess of twenty (20) miles per hour.
ORVs except highway licensed vehicles shall not be operated on Club property after 10:00 p.m. unless a medical emergency exists.
An ORV may not be operated in a manner that creates an erosive condition. Most of the Hiawatha’s Sportsman’s Club soils and shorelines are fragile. ORV operation on sand dunes, beaches, and along stream banks and other waterways is restricted. Any member who operates any ORV in or on the waters of any stream, river, marsh, bog, wetland, quagmire or beach is subject to a grievance. (Operation of a licensed motor vehicle to access swimming and fishing opportunities on the Club Beach at Lake Michigan is allowed as long as the vehicle is operated in a manner as not to cause damage to vegetation and sand dunes.)
If a driver's license is required by state law to operate an ORV, or other motorized vehicle on public property, then a drivers license is also required to operate the motorcycle, ATV, ORV or other motorized vehicle on Club property. An unlicensed operator must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian while operating an ORV or other motorized vehicle on Club property.
A ORV or other motorized vehicle may only access Club lands through approved entry points. Persons driving around locked gates will be subject to grievance.
ORV Operation on Other Lands Including
Private Property within HSC
Public roads, streets and highways maintained for year-round automobile travel are closed to ORV operation, including the shoulder and right-of-way (entire width between boundary lines of public ways maintained for vehicular travel). However, ORVs registered as motor vehicles by the Secretary of State may be operated on the public roadway. (Example: Lake Millecoquin Drive south of the sign posted at the entrance to HSC.)
An ORV, NOT licensed for highway use, may not be operated on the roadway, shoulder or right-of-way of a state, federal or county road. (Some exceptions may exist for portions of specific county roads. Members should contact the Mackinac County Sheriff for clarification of operating regulations on those county roads cutting through the Club.)
Private land is closed to ORV operation except for the landowner, and invited guests with permission. The failure of a landowner to post or fence private property against ORV use does NOT imply consent to ORV operation.
ORV operation is permitted on the ice of public waters (Lake Millecoquin for example), but an ORV may not be operated within 100' of:
UNLESS the ORV is being operated at the minimum speed necessary for controlled forward movement.
The operator of an ORV or other motorized vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person must stop immediately at the scene and render assistance. The operator of an ORV involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person or in property damage in an estimated amount of $100.00 or more must immediately notify the State Police or Mackinac County Sheriff’s office for completion of the accident report required by law. Club members must notify the HSC Office of any accident resulting in injury to a person.
As an ORV user, it is your responsibility to “TREAD LIGHTLY” and to protect The Hiawatha Sportsman’s Club fragile soils and waters.
Courtesy and respect for other trail users is a matter of safety and treading lightly. Yield the right of way. Always make sure your ORV is in good operating condition. Check gas level before riding. In an hour, riders can travel farther than they can walk in eight. Don’t forget your cell phone, tools, trail maps, a first aid kit and a compass. Always ride with a companion. Know your local emergency telephone numbers before you ride.
Most of HSC’s trails and roads are designed for two way travel. Users need to always be alert for on-coming traffic. Be alert at all times when riding on roads and trails for other vehicles including automobiles and trucks. Drivers of larger vehicles, all too often, fail to notice smaller motorcycles and ORVs.
Be Careful, Stay Alert and Ride Responsibly