Quads are excellent for exploring the wilderness, specifically the forested and mountainous regions like the ones in North Carolina. That’s because the Old North State is home not just to some of the most breathtaking sites, but also harbours some challenging OHV trails that hardcore ATV buffs would love to experience on their own.
Have ATV, Will Explore—The Beauty of NC’s ATV Trails
Off-road trails give people the opportunity to discover more about the countryside and a chance to leave the bustle of the city behind. Apart from that, people get to bond with friends and family, which is probably one of the key reasons why you should visit NC’s OHV parks whenever possible.
What’s great about these OHV parks is that they are family-friendly. Also, most courses provide amenities, such as camping, which is ideal for those who plan to stay for longer periods. Whether you are planning to go solo or with the company of family and friends, you should check out the different rules and restrictions implemented on every trailhead. For that matter, here are 11 ATV trails that have enthralled the hearts of every quad enthusiast.
1. Wayehutta OHV Trail System
This trail system is part of the Nahantala Forest which offers ATV riders 28 miles of looped trails. The trail is marked with signs that indicate the level of difficulty, warning beginners to stay off those areas. The winding trails and scenic sights are excellent for people who enjoy leisurely ATV trail explorations.
Also known as the Jack Rabbit Hill, the place is run by the joint effort of the Smokey Mountain ORV Club and the Forest Service and has an elevation that ranges from 2,500 to 4,500 feet. Even with the presence of difficult terrain, the Wayehutta OHV Trail System is perfect for kiddos and first-time learners.
As for the restrictions, all ORVs should have spark arrestors and should not exceed the noise limit of 99 decibels. Moreover, while two-cycled quads are permitted, an unlicensed vehicle will not be allowed inside. For more details, you can find out more on the USDA’s Forest Service website: www.fs.usda.gov.
2. Brushy Mountain Motor Sports Park
This well-maintained OHV course provides ATV enthusiasts with 100 miles of trail that wind through dense patches of trees. A large portion of the trail has marks, especially the dangerous parts, and is perfect for beginners.
Covering more than 1,700 acres of land, this place is located at the Old North State’s Brushy Mountain, which has an elevation of 1,300 to 2,500 feet above sea level. Even though the trail is greenhorn-friendly, expect challenging terrain that is sure to bring out the best in you. If you want to know more about the trail map, operating days, and the rules on the camping sites, and more, check their website at www.bmmspark.com.
3. Outback ATV/MX Park NC
With around 800 acres of woodland, this ATV park contains features that mudders would appreciate, like mud bogs and ponds. Nonetheless, the trail is friendly to entry-level riders. Apart from that, this OHV course also has an area dedicated to motocross riding.
With amenities that range from an onsite gasoline station and camping sites, Outback ATV Park is a family-oriented place that offers several activities for everyone to enjoy. As if the fun doesn’t stop there, the park does not have restrictions when it comes to spark arrestors and maximum vehicle width, giving visitors a lot of leeway in their choice of ATV. If interested and want to know more, you can visit them at their website, www.outbackmsc.com.
4. Cape Fear ATV/MX Park
If you are a fan of wooded, beginner-friendly trails with jumps, mud bogs, and shallow ponds, then you have to experience this place. The OHV park has a 30-mile trail made up of ponds, mud bogs, and sandpits. There’s also a motocross track for racing aficionados.
Cape Fear ATV Park is a perfect holiday spot for the entire family because it offers RV accommodations and cabin rentals. The amenities present range from restrooms, hot showers, and a burger/hotdog/cold beverage concessionaire stand. Moreover, the park does not observe any off-road vehicle restrictions or requirements save for the prohibition of SUVs and Jeeps inside the area.
This place is open during weekends from 8 AM to 9 PM. If you need information on directions, trail maps, and other details, you can visit their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/capefear.mxpark.
5. Uwharrie OHV Trail System
This 6,400-acre OHV park offers 20-mile winding trails for riders who prefer a slightly dense woodland setting. The trail has moderate difficulty and can be a bit tricky for beginners because of the numerous twists and turns. Nevertheless, this feature shouldn’t deter any hardcore ORV buff.
The place is linked with the Badin Lake OHV Trail, which is always open to the public from April to December, so expect moderate to heavy traffic during this period. All types of ORVs, from ATVs to even dune buggies, are allowed along the trail.
If you find yourself anywhere in the Badin Lake OHV Trail, ATV riders, beginners, and experts alike are advised to avoid Cottonhead Place Trailhead because the terrain can be too much. Instead, you will be better of starting from the Falls Dam or the Dutch John Trailheads, or the Art Lilley Campground.
Primitive camping is allowed in recommended areas, such as the Arrowhead and Badin Lake Campgrounds. Moreover, amenities like showers and vault toilets are provided for visitors in these areas.
6. Brown Mountain OHV Trail
This park is one of the most popular OHV trails in the Tar Heel State, so it’s no wonder it sees a lot of visitors during weekends. While most of the trail is designated mainly for dirt bikes and motorcycles, other ORVs, like ATVs, 4×4, SxS, and dune buggies, are allowed only in some of the trails. Any unlicensed off-road quads are also welcome here.
The 34-mile trail is located within a forest that covers around 8,320 acres of lush forest. The rugged terrain is filled with hardpack and rocks, which will be an ideal off-road site for experienced riders. For that matter, beginners should take note of the trail marks that indicate difficult spots to avoid any hitches. For those who love technical and challenging terrains, you won’t regret visiting this off-road trail.
Entering this OHV site requires a pass which can be acquired from the entrance near Craig Mountain Farm. The Forest Service advises that visitors get ahold of the pass beforehand. While primitive camping is allowed, this OHV course offers amenities like vault toilets and picnic areas.
7. Busco Beach and ATV Park
If you are looking for an ATV park that’s open 24/7, all year round, Busco Beach is the place to be. There are different terrains available for riders of every level. Whether you are into water crossing, mud bogs, hill-climbing, or prefer a leisurely ride in a densely forested area, you can find those all here on the beach.
Stretching roughly 2,000 acres, this park is composed of five motorized trails, including motocross tracks for both the young ones and adults. The onsite amenities range from access to clean water, RV hookups, and a concession stand. Riders who want to set up a camp can opt for a full hookup if they want to make the most of the park’s accommodations. If you’re interested and would like to know more about Busco Beach and ATV Park, you can check their website, www.buscobeach.com.
8. Carolina Backwoods ATV
This is another ATV destination that’s tailored fit for families. With terrains that range from water crossings to mud pits, this place offers an adventure-filled, beginner-friendly trail. If you choose to take the ATV tour, which takes around an hour and thirty minutes, chances are you’ll have the opportunity to ride the 15-mile course within this 200-acre private property. Visit their website to know more about this place at www.carolinabackwoods.com
9. Black Swamp OHV / Black Swamp OHV Area
If you prefer riding an ATV on levelled terrain, this off-road trail would come in first on your list. This OHV course offers eight miles of trail, which can be very muddy and waterlogged during the wet season, giving mudders something to appreciate.
If you plan on going to the Black Swamp OHV trailhead, you should obtain your passes online because there is no on-site kiosk for pass payment. You can check out the Forest Service website for more information about this off-road trail system: www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/nfsnc/recarea/?recid=48504.
10. Appalachians Outdoor Adventures
This ATV operator offers tours and rentals to visitors who wanted to explore the multi-trail system at the Doe Mountain Recreation Area. The terrain is mostly flat and lacks any technical features, so it’s ideal for beginners of all ages. Though visitors are not charged with any fees, they are required to purchase passes which can be done online for a faster and convenient method.
Apart from that, Appalachians Outdoor Adventures also offers scenic tours along the Smoky Mountain trail, which allows riders to get a view of the landscapes in Asheville and Boone in North Carolina, as well as Damascus and Abingdon in Virginia. Check them out at www.appalachiansoutdooradventures.com for more information.
Looking for ATV/UTV Tours and Rentals
North Carolina is one among a handful of states in the country where people enjoy driving their ORVs along trails and other challenging terrains. A rental does not just provide the opportunity to witness the majestic sites NC has to offer, but also the thrill of riding one. With that said, here are some of the ATV rentals that can sate your desire to ride.
- Off the Grid Mountain Adventures—High Country ATV / UTV Tours & Rental
Here’s your chance to drive a UTV for a guided tour in a 160-acre park in Banner Elk. Not only will you be able to see enjoy exploring the trail, but also learn more about the area from your guide. They offer 2-seater and 4-seater UTVs so you can enjoy the ride with your friends or family. Apart from the tours, learn more about the other activities they have in store for you at www.offthegridmountainadventures.com
- Awesome ATV Rentals
Open on weekends from 10 AM to 5 PM, Awesome ATV Rentals offers clients powerful quads, which may range from the reliable 2019 Yamaha Kodiak 450 to the double-seater 2019 Yamaha Wolverine X2 R-Spec. For more details, visit their website at www.awesomeatvrentals.com.
- Asheville ATV Rental
Get your hands on a 250-cc Honda Recon through this rental operator. Drive along a trail loop located in Downtown Asheville. They’re open from Fridays to Sundays, from 9 AM to 6 PM. You can visit their website, ashevilleatvrental.com, for more details on the rental.
Experience Riding an ATV in North Carolina’s Captivating Trails
The beautiful, scenic landscapes of North Carolina have a way of bringing people together. What better way to appreciate and explore nature’s splendour with a quad. These ORVs don’t just give you the thrill and adventure with your family, but also the chance to view NC on a four-wheeled platform.