North York Moors

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Motorcycle trail riding

Trail RiderTrail Rider

Motorcycles can be legally ridden on Unsurfaced Unclassified Roads (often known as Green Roads/Lanes), and Byways Open to All Traffic (BOATs) in the North York Moors National Park. UURs are shown as Other Routes with Public Access (ORPAs) on Ordnance Survey maps. You must also check for any current Traffic Restriction Orders. Watch out for any local signs and instructions.

There are very few Byways Open to All Traffic in the North York Moors. The longest - Hambleton Drove Road - crossing SSI and SPA moorland has a permanent TRO closing it to motor vehicles. You can see the order details and the map.

Trail Rider

Trail riding is not off-roading. UURs are public highways so you must have a driving licence and insurance, and your motorbike must be taxed and registered. It is illegal to ride a motorcycle on a public footpath, public bridleway, restricted byway, or on open access and common land. When a minority of users disregard these rules they cause conflict between users and damage to vulnerable habitats and landscapes. The North York Moors National Park Authority works closely with North Yorkshire Police to promote legal use of green lanes. North Yorkshire Police also provide advice about off road motorcycling.

If you don’t know how to find legal routes, it is best to join a specialised motorcycle club. The largest national body dedicated to riding on unsurfaced roads is the Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF), who have local groups across England and Wales. See their website for further information. The TRF promote sustainable and responsible use of the UUR network, and promote a Code of Conduct:

Trail Riders Fellowship Code of Conduct (pdf)

Illegal riding can seriously damage the future of motor sport and recreational access in the countryside. It is an offence (RT Act 1988 sec.34) to ride on Common Land (open hillsides), moorland or land not forming part of a road, (except for a distance of 15 yards, but then only in order to park).

Concerns about illegal off road driving or motorcycling can be reported directly to the police on 101.

Revised January 2020

Photo credits: TRF