Douglas County allows ATVs in parks

Recreational vehicles will be allowed wherever highway vehicles can go in county parks and campgrounds.

Government Center in Superior.
Government Center Boardroom, Superior.
Jed Carlson / File / Superior Telegram

SUPERIOR — Just in time for people to enjoy the changing seasons, Douglas County has revamped the ordinance governing land recreation.

It’s the first major revision of the ordinance in more than a decade.

The Douglas County Board adopted a change Thursday, April 20 that will allow people to operate all-terrain and utility terrain vehicles in county parks and campgrounds. It also establishes quiet hours from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. when use isn’t permitted in developed recreational areas.

ATVs and UTVs are allowed to travel in areas of the park where highway vehicles are allowed to travel. Riding over grassy areas to a beach remains prohibited and is subject to a $200 fine for the first offense. Second and subsequent offense would be subject to a $350 fine.

Under the new regulations, off-highway vehicles used in county parks must carry a current liability insurance policy consistent with coverage required by the state of Wisconsin. Operating without insurance or proof of insurance carries a $150 fine.


Causing damage with a motorized vehicle is also subject to a $350 fine, and operating during quiet hours would be subject to a $150 fine.

The ordinance establishes a prohibition for bathing with personal hygiene products within 100 yards of developed recreational areas in area waterways, subject to a $150 fine. It also prohibits the dumping of black water, containing human waste, on public lands outside of an accepted sanitary system, subject to a $200 fine.

The last time the ordinance was updated was in 2017 to address the concealed carry law. Prior to that, the last time there was a major revision to the ordinance was made in 2012.

The board voted unanimously to adopt the new regulations recommended by the county's Forestry, Parks and Recreation committee without discussion.

Shelley Nelson is a reporter with the Duluth Media Group since 1997, and has covered Superior and Douglas County communities and government for the Duluth News Tribune from 1999 to 2006, and the Superior Telegram since 2006. Contact her at 715-395-5022 or
What To Read Next
Get Local