• Mon March 12 2012
  • Posted Mar 12, 2012
Have you seen ATV's on trails NOT intended for ATVs?

Have you wanted to report them and not know who to call?

Have you almost been ran over by an ATV on a multi-use trail?

Have you ever showed up to ride your favorite trail only to find it thrashed by ATV tracks?


ATVs can wreck havoc on a trail or other public lands. It IS Illegal to ride an ATV (i.e. motorized vehicle) in non-designated areas. With the lack of snow this Winter, the dirt trails are poised to be in the best shape ever this early in the Spring. Let's keep them that way!

ATVs not only use the dirt trails, but often use the paved trails to get back and forth "undetected".
  1. ATV’s cause erosion, destroy plant life, endanger animal life and cause ruts in the ground which have to be repaired.
  2. ATV’s cause a safety hazard for other trail users which move much more slowly on foot, bikes, skates or baby strollers.
  3. Existing law and administrative regulations prohibit ATV’s in streambeds under certain conditions. In addition, most city and county trail management plans prohibit motorized vehicles except for trail management activities.


Fines can range from $75 to $500 and may include vehicle impoundment. Many time, owners of ATVs live close by to where they ride, and law enforcement can follow the track back to the culprit's residence.

Numbers to Call

Both Des Moines and Polk County recommend calling 911 first. It may be a pain to go through the process, but it takes phone calls like this from the public to show that there is a problem. You can make a difference!

  • Des Moines 515-283-4811 (non emergency)

  • Polk County 515-323-5300 (main office)

  • Polk County 515-286-3333 (sheriff's office)

If you are from other parts of Iowa, feel free to send additional phone numbers to and we will post them.


  • Be specific on the area and time of day where you saw them.
  • Take a photo if you can
  • Make a mental note of the ATV color, make model etc. as well as the driver and passenger if applicable
  • Do not confront ATV-ers. Let the law do their job.
  • Don't be afraid to call multiple times if they are still riding illegally
  • Don't hestiate to call if you only see tracks.

Keep our Trails beautiful!

  • Author: ss
  • Posted By: ss
  • Modified: Mar 12, 2012 by ss





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