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Our purpose is to assist and represent member organizations in issues as they relate to the use of motorized vehicles on public and private lands. This purpose is achieved through work with member clubs and associations on land access planning and activities affecting motorized recreation; promoting, developing, and coordinating educational programs pertaining to safe and responsible 4 wheeling, and informing members of pending and/or proposed legislation or other activity affecting motorized recreation.

We strive to assist government agencies to formulate policies concerning trail use, and improve recreation, friendship, and unity of the member groups through closer communication and organized activities.

Through legal representation, UFWDA can assist member clubs and associations to fight closures in their areas, to write appeals, to provide legal advice on the merits of upcoming law suits, to assist in the formation of a four wheel drive club including incorporation, and with other four wheel drive-related issues facing members.

Legislative Defense – UFWDA continually monitors, tracks, and combats federal legislation that would affect your right to wheel. In addition, UFWDA partners with other champions of OHV access to protect your rights to access in your state.

OHV Park and Private Property Access Assistance – UFWDA provides guidance to private land owners interested in offering access to four wheel drive use and helps four wheelers find OHV access nationwide.

Flagpole Knob, located west of Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Volunteer Trail Patrol Program

The UFWDA Volunteer Trail Patrol program established a formal network for concerned recreation and conservationists to communicate with other recreationists and law enforcement officers regarding crime-related problems. Simply translated, Volunteer Trail Patrol asks you to be the eyes and ears of the law enforcement officers, to be more involved with your fellow recreationists and your environment by becoming more aware and alert to the activity in your recreation area.

For example, as we go about our normal routes and activities in our recreation area we have the opportunity to casually observe our surroundings and the activities that take place in it. Such observations may be useful in keeping camping areas litter-free, reporting vandalism, or alerting recreationists and law enforcement officers to suspicious or illegal activities in the area. It is important to realize that criminals find it difficult to operate in areas where citizens take an active role in preventing crime.

OBSERVING and REPORTING are the cornerstones of the Volunteer Trail Patrol. Trail Patrol volunteers are trained to observe illegal activities and to accurately identify people and vehicles. All observations are non-confrontational and conducted in the safest way possible to protect volunteers. Trail Patrol volunteers use their observation and recording skills to file accurate reports with local law enforcement officials regarding suspected illegal activities or safety concerns.

The Volunteer Trail Patrol continues to strengthen the four wheel drive community having trained hundreds of volunteers in dozens of states in the U.S.


Check the UFWDA Facebook page.

Need to contact your elected representatives?

Use these websites to find your federal, state and local legislators.
Coconino National Forest in Arizona. Photo by Brigitte O.

UFWDA guide to honoring private property owners

Honoring the rights of private property owners is not any different than obeying the rules when recreating on managed public land.

Our philosophy

If you don’t have specific permission to wheel there, then don’t.

Private Property Guidelines

  • Get permission before you drive on private property.
  • Do not trespass.
  • Avoid riding in areas just because “everyone wheels here all the time without permission.
  • Permission given to someone else to be on private property does not necessarily mean you have permission to be there.
  • When you trespass you blemish the reputation of all 4×4 users.
  • Your decision today impacts everyone else’s access tomorrow, including your own.
  • Before you drive on private property ask yourself:
    • Do I have permission to be here?
    • Does someone with whom I’m with have permission for ME to be here?
    • If your answer to either question is “no” or “I don’t know” then don’t drive there.


Beginning in 1993, UFWDA developed curriculum for four wheel drive education clinics, including driver training skills. Throughout the 1990’s UFWDA partnered with Land Rover North America to professionally develop this program and curriculum. Today, the UFWDA 4WD Awareness Program has matured into a relevant and competitively designed driver training program.

Through the UFWDA 4WD Awareness program, UFWDA has trained and introduced thousands of four wheelers, novice and experienced alike, on the components of their 4×4 vehicle, proper off-highway driving techniques, proper vehicle recovery, courtesies related to four wheeling, and environmental awareness by way of the Tread Lightly! philosophy.

UFWDA is no longer hosting training programs, but we are making the training materials freely available to the public as a part of ongoing education about our recreation.