Mounds Of Fun For ORVs

Sometimes you want to savor the peacefulness and serenity of nature.

Off-road vehicle enthusiasts swarm to Genesee County, Michigan’s The Mounds. Photos Courtesy Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commission, Flint,


And sometimes you want to rip through it on a big, bad machine! That’s when it’s time to ride The Mounds.

One of the premier off-road-vehicle (ORV) parks in the Great Lakes region, The Mounds offers diverse, uncompromising terrain that challenges even the most experienced ORV fans. ATVs, motorcycles, dune buggies, Jeeps, pickups … whatever you ride, you haven’t ridden until you’ve ridden The Mounds.

The Genesee County Parks Mounds Off-Road Vehicle Area draws enthusiasts from as far away as Texas as they test their mettle—and their metal—365 days a year.

These unforgiving 230 acres of rock crawls, scramble areas, gravel play pits, trails, trees, and mud holes are a magnet for thrill-seekers. Known simply as “The Mounds” to its frequent users, the park has an attitude bigger than its geography and its own Facebook page.

It’s also convenient—just a few minutes from downtown Flint, Mich., and within an hour’s drive of several metropolitan areas. As scary as it looks to the uninitiated, the rules of the park keep the level of challenge up and the degree of danger down.

In The Beginning

The park was developed in three phases, paid for by grants from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) The first phase opened in 1971. The last phase was completed in September 2011.

In addition to providing grants to fund a master plan, capital improvements, and trail maintenance, the MDNR has been an important link to the ORV community. This partnership has made it possible for The Mounds to become one of the premier ORV destinations in the Midwest.

Thousands, Really?

Yes. Thousands of people use the park every year. Friends meet here, families love it, and kids under 16 are welcome to use the park with adult supervision, and after they have earned a Michigan ORV safety certificate.

Getting muddy at The Mounds!

It’s open every day of the year, and that alone makes it more accessible than many ORV parks. Rain, sleet, snow, or sun, the gates open Monday through Saturday at 8 a.m. On Sunday, they open at noon, and the park closes every day at sunset.

One calendar restriction has been put in place to protect sensitive nearby wetlands. From March 15 to May 15 trucks are not permitted, and motorcycles and ATVs are restricted to an 8-acre scramble area.

It may surprise you to know that the biggest day of the year at the park is Thanksgiving. The four-day weekend makes it possible for families to drive in from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and further. For many, being seen at the facility that day is a big deal. People line up at 6 a.m. to get into the park. While some people are home cooking the traditional feast, others ride around and hang out at the park before heading home in the afternoon for dinner.

County residents pay a use fee of $8 a day per vehicle or $35 for an annual pass. Non-residents pay $11 a day and $65 for the year. The property falls under the county’s general liability coverage.

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