All-Terrain Vehicles

On May 5, 2021 Council of the Township of Essa approved Off Road Vehicles By-law 2021-16 permitting All-Terrain Vehicles and Off-Road Vehicles to travel on ALL municipal roads. Please review this By-law in detail before heading out on the roads.

​ATV/ORV's are permitted on all municipal roads during the designated period each calendar year. The designated period starts on April 1st and ends on October 31 each calendar year.

The last day for ATV/ORV's on municipal roads in any given year is October 31st. The first day of the designated period in any given year is April 1st.

  • ​​​ATVs/ORVs are permitted to travel on the shoulder of all roads under the jurisdiction of Essa Township.  Riders MUST be 16 years of age (minimum) and have obtained the appropriate license through MTO (see Rider Tips below).
  • ATVs/ORVs are NOT permitted on any County roads (including Mill St., Angus) or any provincially owned roads.
  • ATVs/ORVs are NOT permitted to be driven on municipally owned trails, namely Pine River Trail and Rippon Trail, nor are they permitted on municipally owned green space, parks, sidewalks, walking trails, etc.​
  • Riders must obey and follow all rules of the road in accordance with the Highway Traffic Act and the Off-Road Vehicles Act
  • ATVs/ORVs are permitted in Simcoe County forests only where an authorized permit has been obtained.​​
  • Ontario Federation of ATV Clubs (OFATV) and Central Ontario ATV Club (COATV) maintain trails in Essa; trail permits can be purchase through their websites by clicking on the links above.
  • ​Dirt bikes bearing a blue/white licence plate are permitted to travel on all roads, riders must obey and follow ALL rules of the road in accordance with the Highway Traffic Act (HTA)​​
  • ​​Dirt bikes bearing a green/white licence plate are NOT permitted on any roadways​
  • Dirt bikes bearing either a blue/white or a green/white licence plate are permitted to ride on trails have have been designated for such use, and only and where the rider is in possession of a valid permit
  • ​Dirt bikes are permitted to ride on private property only where permission has been granted (written consent must be on the rider)
  • Dirt bikes, regardless of licensing, are NOT permitted to be driven on sidewalks, parks, municipally owned green space, community centres, schools, conservation areas and municipally owned trails
  • Ontario Federation of Trail Riders maintains trails; permits can be purchased through their website​ by clicking the link above

If entering private property, please ensure you have written permission from the landowner or you may be charged with trespassing.

For on-road riding in Essa, an off-road vehicle driver must:

  • be at least 16 years old;
  • hold at least a valid G2 or M2 licence;
  • wear an approved motorcycle helmet, securely fastened under the chin with a chin strap; and
  • wear a seatbelt, where provided.

Off-road vehicles on the road in Essa, must travel at speeds less than the posted speed limit:

  • ​no more than 20km/h on roads with a posted speed limit of 50km/h or less.
  • no more than 50km/h on roads with a posted speed limit greater than 50km/h.

For off-road riding, an off-road vehicle driver must:

  • ​be at least 12 years old, unless directly supervised by an adult or while driving on land occupied by the owner of the vehicle; and
  • carry the vehicle's registration permit or a true copy.

Drivers and passengers must wear an approved motorcycle helmet, securely fastened under the chin with a chin strap.

In the Township of Essa, ATV/ORVs and dirt bikes are permitted to be driven on private property, as long as the rider has written permission from the property owner.

ATV/ORVs and dirt bikes are permitted to be ridden on private property, regardless of lot size, in rural areas as well as within settlement areas, however, the Township respectfully requests that riders be respectful their neighbours and all residents of Essa.

Essa's Zoning By-law 2003-50 sets out at section 4.15 that the creation of a track for motorized vehicles is prohibited in all zones. 

Whether you are riding on the road, on a trail or on private property the first priority is always safety! 

To learn more about safe ATV operation, where permitted, in Ontario, please visit:

Not sure where you can ride? Visit

There are no public trails owned or maintained by the Township of Essa that permit motorized vehicles. However, the Central Ontario ATV club maintains trails within the County of Simcoe where Off Road Vehicles are permitted to be ridden. For maps, fees and regulations regarding the use of these trails please contact the Central Ontario ATV Club through their website at​​

Complaints can be directed to the Nottawasaga OPP detachment non-emergency line at 705-434-1939.​

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