As an ideal vacation spot in the country, Miami is known for a lot of things. There’s food, the white-sand beaches, and dozens of historical spots. Another surprising fact about the Sunshine State is that it’s not just an idyllic hub for beach-goers and sportfishing fans, but it’s also a haven for ATV enthusiasts. If you happen to find yourself here, be sure to visit any of the off-road parks and trails the Everglades State is known for.
1. Big Cypress National Preserve
This OHV destination covers an impressively large parcel of land, a whopping 720,566 acres to be exact. Apart from the pine trees and other hardwood that surround the trails in this park, most of the area is a cypress swamp, so you have lots of shallow water out here. The park is home to dozens of wild fauna and flora, which includes the critically endangered Florida panther. Because of that, authorities only allow trail riding and other leisurely and exploratory pursuits to protect the existing wildlife.
Big Cypress National Preserve offers riders dozens of popular trails. For one, there’s the 6.2-mile Florida Trail and its relatively easy terrain. Another is the Turner River Unit with its 126-mile designated trails that have been described as moderately difficult, among others. Furthermore, there’s the 75.5-mile Corn Dance Unit OHV Route and the 43-mile Loop OHV Road.
The National Park Service (NPS) issues OHV permits to ATV users, so they can ride their quads along the trail and allows dispersed camping throughout the area. The permits are processed at the Oasis Visitor Center, which operates from Monday to Friday, from 9 AM to 4: 30 PM. The park is open 24/7, all year round, and people can visit anytime they want.
If you find delight in riding trails while keeping an eye out for the captivating collection of lush forests and wildlife with your Kodiak or Sportsman, then Big Cypress National Preserve is the perfect ORV destination for you. Whether you enjoy riding solo or with the company of friends and family, this vast swampy woodland is worth the try. For more information, you can check the NPS’ website, www.nps.gov/bicy/index.htm or www.npplan.com.
2. Horse Hole Mud Bog
Located in Inglis, FL, this OHV park is an excellent fun destination for the entire family. The place is open from the morning at 10 AM way until sunset. Getting to this ORV playing field can be quite a trek, so you should stay somewhere near during the weekend.
Horse Hole Mud Bog is a haven for mudders. However, the terrain is not limited to mud alone; there are hard packs, dirt tracks, shallow waters, and more. While 4WD trucks, ATVs, UTVs, and side-by-sides are more than welcome in this place, dirt bikes and all-terrain cycles, however, are not allowed in the park. The place hosts numerous events such as tug of war, bounty hole, and more.
Apart from that, the park also organizes sightseeing tours for the entire family. Children 3 and up are those who find joy in trail explorations. To know more about the place, visit www.mudup.com. Remember to wear your ‘best clothes’ before you can get down and dirty into the mud pits.
3. Iron Horse Mud Ranch
If you can’t get enough of mud bogs, Iron Horse Mud Ranch in Perry, FL will satisfy your craving to get muddied up from neck to sole. This 520-acre off-road park offers handfuls of wild trails and lots of peanut butter mud that’s perfect for 4x4s, ATVs, UTVs, and SxS enthusiasts.
Among the amenities offered, this ranch has free shower rooms, primitive camping for RVs and tents alike, as well as an ORV wash area, food vendors, and a water refilling station. Visitors are allowed to bring generators, so electric hookups would not be a hassle. This OHV mud ranch also hosts events fun events.
To know more about any upcoming events to take your family and friends or the park rules, check their website, www.ironhorsemudranch.com. Merchandises are also available on the park’s website, such as shirts, hoodies, powered campsites, and more.
4. Ocala National Forest
This OHV park offers some white-knuckle recreational trail-riding. Covering nearly 32,000 acres of land, the Ocala OHV Trail stretches for 125 miles of flat hardpack, mud, and lots of sand. The trail is littered with dozens of twists and jumps which makes the ride a bit more challenging.
The trail allows four-wheelers with a width of 65 inches, so visitors have a wide selection of recreation ATVs that you can drive across this OHV course. Though there are no electric and water hookups, the campground and staging areas provide visitors with different amenities such as BBQ grills and fire rings, as well as picnic tables. An OHV trail pass is required before entry, so purchase a ticket on recreation.gov.
5. Croom Motorcycle Area
Croom Motorcycle Area (CMA) is a 2,600-acre OHV course located at the Withlacoochee State Forest. If this place is a sanctuary for wildlife like the piebald deer, gopher tortoise, and bald eagle, it is also a haven for ATV and ORM enthusiasts. This off-road destination offers riders 40 miles of trail that’s mostly composed of sand and mud. There are also lots of small and large jumps throughout the moderately difficult trail.
There’s a peewee track that is exclusive for beginners who either want to hone their riding skills or build their confidence until they decide to try out CMA’s single-track, motorized trail. An ATV rental is available in the area in case you plan on renting one instead. Setting up camp is allowed at the Buttgenbach Mine Campground, which offers numerous amenities, such as electric and water hookups, spray wash stations, flush toilets, and a shower house.
CMA is open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM and ORV riding is permitted only in daylight. Among the restrictions that the park implements are: noise limit of ATVs and ORMs should not exceed 96 decibels and should be equipped with spark arrestors. Before securing an OHV permit or making reservations at the campground, contact the park through its website first: floridastateforests.reserveamerica.com. If you want to know more about Crooms Motorcycle Area, check out www.fdacs.gov.
6. Tates Hell State Forest
This OHV destination does not just have an interesting backstory but also has a jaw-dropping size as it covers about 202,437 acres of land. ROV buffs can thrill themselves with the 150-mile motorized trail system that is mostly hardpacked. The forest’s rich ecosystem offers visitors awesome sights.
Primitive camping is allowed at the County Line OHV Campground. Apart from the picnic tables and vaulted restrooms, the park also has a staging area that provides visitors with a capacious parking area. An OHV trail pass is required before entry, so purchase a ticket at ReserveAmerica.com.
7. Osceola National Forest
The Sunshine State is a place that has no shortage of lush, OHV-friendly forests, such as Osceola. Since the place can get waterlogged at times, expect muddy terrain throughout the 100-mile motorized trail. The trail remains flat throughout the entire course, so it’s ideal for both ATV novices and experts alike.
Visitors who plan to stay longer can set up primitive camps at the Wiggins Campground. Moreover, RV hookups are available at the Ocean Pond Campground. Since the place has no designated staging area, visitors are requested to park their vehicles on the side of the road at Mount Carrie.
All types of ORVs are allowed to enter Osceola National Forest as long as the vehicles are registered as per Florida law. Open all year round, the park strictly forbids trailblazing, so riders are requested to stay along the trail. The Osceola Ranger District is the official contact of this massive ORV park; you can reach them through this website: www.fs.usda.gov.
8. Apalachicola National Forest
Quad aficionados—both novice and experts alike—can thrill themselves with the 111-mile trail that is located within this 195,000-acre forest. While the terrain is a mixture of dirt and mud, the trail is mostly sand and has a lot of jumps. Nevertheless, expect a muddy trail when the rainy season hits this part of Tallahassee, FL.
The single-track trail only allows ORVs that have no more than 50 inches in width. As for requiring the trail pass, visitors can secure a three-day pass for $10, while an annual pass costs $75. Moreover, though camping is not allowed anywhere in the forest, visitors may enjoy picnicking and BBQ grilling by the lake with family or friends at the Silver Lake Recreation Area for a fee of $3. This site is open from 8 AM to 8 PM during the summer and 8 AM to 6 PM during the winter.
Apalachicola National Forest is open throughout the year. However, the park could close down in case of torrential weather. Feel free to contact the Apalachicola Ranger District or and visit the website of the Forest Service for more information at www.fs.usda.gov.
9. Mallory Swamp
For ATV novices, this OHV destination is an excellent place to improve your riding skills along the 35-mile trail, which are mostly flat. Apart from being an ORV course, this 30,501-acre swamp is a designated hunting ground. Because of that, the place is typically closed from mid-September to late April.
Additionally, Mallory Swamp is an ideal place of recreation, especially for hikers and equestrians, so be watchful of them while riding on your ATV. Fishing and viewing wildlife are also some of the activities that you could do out here if not trail riding.
Though entrance is free of charge, visitors are required to fill out a form that serves as a permit to use the place for recreation. There are no parking areas, but a huge oak tree serves as a staging area for everyone who visits Mallory Swamp. Also, camping is not allowed but visitors can stay for a day in the area.
Other Popular ATV Tracks Worth Noting
Aside from natural motorized trails and picturesque views in the middle of forests and swamps, Florida State also offers quite a handful of the manmade trail, all of which are equally thrilling and adventurous. Some of these awesome MX parks and tracks are as follows:
1. Bostwick Creek MX
Whether your beginner or a pro, this 60-acre, family-friendly MX park is a must-see if you are looking for a thrilling quad ride. The main dirt track is four miles long, and it’s composed of soft black dirt and soft loam—an outdoor style track that’s ideal for dirt bikes and four-wheelers. There are also several jumps along the track, so get ready for a bunch of air time. Kiddos, meanwhile, can hone their bike and quad skills at the peewee track.
The park is extremely popular among dirt bikes and ATV enthusiasts, so track usage may sometimes experience a lot of traffic. This MX destination has a handful of amenities for visitors, such as a spray wash area and hookups for RVs.
The Bostwick Creek Motocross Park is operational on Wednesdays, from 10 AM until 4 PM, as well as on 9 AM to 3 PM on Saturdays and 10 AM to 5 PM on Sundays. The park is open for practice during weekends. For more information, check out their website at www.bostwickmx.com.
2. Gatorback Cycle Park
Though Gatorback Cycle Park is open only on select dates, we still suggest you visit this 100-acre OHV course if you want to experience quad-riding with family and friends. The dirt track offers nothing short of a thrill ride because it has lots of small and large jumps. For us, that’s enough to make pros out of every adrenaline-pumped rider.
This park provides visitors with amenities that range from electric and water hookups, bike wash stations, and vault toilets. There are also food concessionaires and spectator bleachers for those who love watching amateur ATV races.
The Gatorback Cycle Park has hosted numerous amateur racing events for more than two decades. Among these racing competitions, the most famous are the Florida Winter Am Series, Florida Gold Cup, and the Thor Mini Os. Reservations are requested online, so if you’re interested, visit www.unlimitedsportsmx.com.
3. Bartow Motocross Park
If you love to watch amateur quad contests as much as racing on one, this MX park should be on your list. This place offers a decent track of sand and loose dirt for riders of all levels. Apart from that, there are several 35-foot and 95-foot jumps that are enough to test your mettle.
The park is open for practice on Thursdays from 5 PM to 9 PM and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 AM to 4 PM. There is also a peewee track for beginners. Primitive camping is allowed for riders who plan to stay longer at the park. Night riding is allowed since guests are allowed to practice riding quads or dirt bikes until 9 in the evening.
As for the amenities, visitors get to enjoy spacious parking and restrooms, among others. Furthermore, the park hosts amateur racing events every Saturday. If you are interested, check their website at www.bartowmotocross.com.
4. Dade City Raceway
If you can’t get enough of MX races during the weekends after a day of riding quads, this OHV park is the place to be. The main track in this 100-acre course is a mixture of clay and sand and has lots of single and double jumps, rhythm sections, and tabletops.
The park is open on Thursdays for ATV and dirt bikes from 4:30 until 10 PM. The beginner practice classes start from 7 PM to 10 PM on the same day. For those interested in taking MX lessons, classes start from 9 AM to 12:30 PM on Saturdays. These classes are available for everyone, age and skill levels, notwithstanding. To get more information about the park and its schedule, check their website at www.dadecitymx.com.
5. Hardrock Cycle Park
Even though quads are only allowed in ATV-designated areas of this 100-acre park, you won’t regret bringing your four-wheeler here because the place has several activities for everyone. Apart from an oval track where you can have fun with a Banshee or Predator, this OHV destination has four more different MX tracks, each dedicated for riders of different levels. Furthermore, the park also has an 80-acre 4×4 trail which consists of water crossings and dozens of obstacle courses, among other attractions.
While primitive camping is permitted anywhere in the park, visitors can also set up camp on one of the 50 camping sites and provide electric and water hookups. In addition, shower areas and restrooms are available for everyone, as well as a lake where you can plunge into after enjoying an adrenaline-filled day of ATV racing.
The Hardrock Cycle Park is open on weekends from 10 AM to 5 PM. Entrance and parking are both free of charge, but RV and tent camping costs $25 and $15, respectively. If you want to know what the park’s daily, weekly, and monthly rates are, you can contact them at www.ocalamarion.com for more details.
Explore and Experience Florida’s ATV Trails
Considering the number of ORV parks and tracks designed for four-wheelers, the Sunshine State is definitely a paradise for every quad rider. These places do not just provide ATV buffs with scenic sites to appreciate, but also nature trails to conquer and enjoy at the same time.
Apart from the sights, what makes these off-road destinations worth visiting is the experience these parks offer. Whether you’re having a great time mudding through the bounty hole or riding leisurely along a forested trail, Florida is a gem full of natural wonders that every ATV enthusiast will surely admire. So if you’re planning on taking a detour from Miami to get to any one of these OHV trails, go ahead and knock yourself out.