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Thread: Legality of unmarked dirt roads

  1. #1
    Been Around the Block phillypete's Avatar
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    Legality of unmarked dirt roads

    I'm fairly new to off roading, and now that I have a capable vehicle I am noticing a bunch of unmarked dirt roads around town.

    If there isn't a "no trespassing" or a gate is it safe to assume it is ok to travel on such trails?

  2. #2
    Nothing but a Thing
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    What I want to say is just do it.....but
    The correct answer is no it is not safe to assume you can wheel any dirt road that is not marked with a no trespassing sign. Ignorance of the law does not excuse type of thing. Also, this type of thing can create a negative image of jeepers and four wheelers. Gives the hippies more firepower to close more land down to overlanders lol

  3. #3
    Been Around the Block phillypete's Avatar
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    Legality of unmarked dirt roads

    Well I will say that this is South Carolina, so legit dirt roads aren't all that rare. As a matter of fact I know of a four way stop sign at the intersection of two dirt roads. Also we don't have any hippies.

    But, this being South Carolina, rural property owners are best considered well armed and proficient.

  4. #4
    Resident Smartass OverlanderJK's Avatar
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    Legality of unmarked dirt roads

    Quote Originally Posted by phillypete View Post

    But, this being South Carolina, rural property owners are best considered well armed and proficient.
    That is the key!

    I spent quite a bit of time in the mountains of North Carolina and where I grew up in back wast the law was not your main concern.
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  5. #5
    Caught the Bug EasyE's Avatar
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    It doesn't hurt to ask around about a particular road and you might discover something. Don't take the first opinion though they might be wrong..the county land office will probably know more than anyone since they tax the land..
    Good luck..

  6. #6
    Hooked Simmons's Avatar
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    I say take it I've found some really neat abandon things from houses buildings cars trackers mud pits. My fave was an old school that I had to cut threw 3 fields to get there. I talk to the farmers the next day and none of them new it was there.

  7. #7
    Knows a Thing or Two JKU EXTREME's Avatar
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    Legality of unmarked dirt roads

    Down here in South Texas, possibly Texas in general, if there are visible tracks of other vehicles and no signs specifically stating you cannot be there, then its fine

  8. #8
    Hooked davantalus's Avatar
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    I've been doing a lot of scouting in the suburbs of Los Angeles the last month or so. Lots of closed trails. Lots of signs. Lots of land owners actually present on their land.

    Typically I'm looking for roads that avoid any signage or gates but accomplish my endpoint goal... to the extent that they could still be travelled by a "reasonably prudent person" for recreation.

    I use GoogleEarth Pro to examine parcels. With the Pro week trial, you can see where parcels extend to and whether you'd be traveling over their land or not. If it's not their land then hopefully we can mind our own business.

    I also use Google Earth to look for closed gates so I don't have to find out a gate is closed by using gas.

  9. #9
    Been Around the Block simonjk's Avatar
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    Re: Legality of unmarked dirt roads

    Living in sc myself. I have wheeled lots of dirt roads/areas. As have many other people around here. I try to stick to power line trails. But over the past few months..prob. about a year ago. All these yellow signs appeared at the entrance saying under city/county jurisdiction. No trespessing. Idk if its all over sc now. But I tend to stay off dirt rds unless it is an actual rd. My $.02

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