Off-roading is one of the activities Ohio is known for. There are several parks and trails tailored for off-road vehicles in the state’s rural regions. Now, if you are planning to do some off-roading in the Buckeye State, things would be better off if you drive on your Jeep—as a token to this awesome vehicle’s humble origins.
Sentimentalities aside, the 4WD Jeep is an excellent companion when you are dealing with heavily technical, such as uneven rocks, hard packs, mud bogs, sandpits, and even shallow ponds. With that said, we have gathered some of the best off-road trails you will find in Ohio, and they are as follows:
- Southington Off-road Park
Though an OHV park through and through, this place is off-limits to ATVs, side-by-sides, and dirt bikes. Instead, Southington Offroad Park only allows large off-road vehicles such as 4×4 Jeeps and trucks to drive down its 1,400-acre rocky and muddy terrain.
Passes are acquired through registration, which is held from Fridays to Sundays only. Trail hours start at 9 AM on weekends and ends at dusk on Saturdays, while at 4:30 PM on Sundays. While primitive camping is allowed for a fee, electric hookups are available for those who are willing to spend a few bucks more to receive the amenity.
If you are a beginner but would like to give this OHV park a try, you’ll be glad to hear that this place has trails with beginner-friendly features. As long as you follow the instructions and advice of the people who will help you out by giving directions, you’ll be safe. For more information on the schedule of events, registration, and trail map check their website on www.southingtonoffroad.com/home.html.
- Heiney Farm
This 160-acre OHV course is filled with moderately technical trails which includes steep climbs, gullies, and a lot of mud pits. Despite these features, the trail, which stretches for over 20 miles, is ideal for off-road enthusiasts of all levels.
Dedicated mostly to 4×4 Jeeps, other ORVs—such as ATVs, side-by-sides, and dirt bikes—are welcome on this park. Unless you will be bringing in an RV, the campground is free of charge. Primitive camping is permitted in this place, as do unregistered ORVs and quads with no spark arrestors.
Locally known as ‘The Farm’, interested parties can rent this private off-road park for group events during weekends. If you want to know more about Heiney Farm, you can visit their website, www.heineyfarm.com, for directions and other information.
- Phoenix Off-Road Park
Even though 4×4 Jeeps are allowed in this park on selected weekends only, this 1,020-acre OHV course offers the best off-road trail for both beginners and experts alike. There are lots of hard-packed terrain throughout the heavily wooded, 90-mile trail, some composed of hill climbs and water crossings, all of which are supposed to test your off-roading skills.
An on-site campground allows visitors to set up primitive campsites, but there aren’t any available hookup sites for both electricity and water, so coming in prepared is the way to go. The other amenities include vault toilets and a DIY repair shop. Additionally, a towing service can come in handy in case you get stuck in the trail.
Phoenix Off-Road Park is an events-only OHV area. Nevertheless, the place is family-friendly, even during open events. Moreover, the motorized trails appear to be well-maintained, while the whole park has some great scenes, both mild and wild. On a regular admission day, the park remains open until 10 PM, allowing most drivers to showcase the aftermarket lighting they have installed on their Jeeps, which can be so cool.
Check their website, www.phoenixoffroadpark.com, to know the directions and other information on any upcoming events, which you can join in with friends or family.
- Painted Rock Adventure Park
Located in Somerset, OH, this off-road destination makes up to 200 acres of rolling hills, mud bogs, and rocks—all of which are designed to provide fun and adventure to beginners and experienced drivers alike.
Apart from 4×4 Jeeps and trucks, other ORVs are welcome in this family-oriented park. The parking is large enough to accommodate 40 trucks or Jeeps with trailer hitches. If you’re hauling an ATV or dirt bike on your Jeep, you can also ride it across the park’s awesome trails.
- ACC Offroad Park
Located in Athens, OH, the Athens County Crawlers (ACC) Offroad Park covers more than 200 acres of wooded trails. The terrain is a combination of dirt, rocks, and rolling hills, as well as easier trails for beginners or first-timers.
Primitive parking is permitted in the campgrounds. For those who prefer an electric hookup, you can have one for a day for only $20. If you need quick repairs or foodstuffs, you can head to the city for parts shops and restaurants, which are all around 10 to 15 minutes away from this OHV course.
- Scenic Trails Recreational Land
Located southeast of Buckeye, near the border of Wayne National Forest, you will find this 140-acre off-road destination. The densely wooded trail—which is composed mostly of hard packs and mud bogs—offers visitors moderately challenging terrain.
With that said, if you are a beginner yourself but would like to try out this place, you’ll be wise to bring along an experienced companion. Most hazards on the motorized trails are marked, but you’ll be wise to use caution while driving. An entry fee is required if you want to visit these OHV trails in Corning, OH. A weekend pass, on the other hand, will cost you around $25. Primitive camping is allowed in the park, so is fishing as long as you observe catch-and-release.
With regards to operating hours, this OHV park is open on Fridays from 12 NN to 12 MN. Likewise, the place is open on Saturdays and Sundays with operating hours starting from 9 AM to 12 MN and 9 AM to 6 PM, respectively.
Other ORV Parks and Trails in Ohio
The Buckeye State has plenty of off-road trails with breathtaking sceneries and challenging terrains. Some destinations, unfortunately, have shut down for good and stopped allowing off-road adventurers from getting in. Tecumseh Trails Offroad, Bear Creek Trails, Powerline Park, and Forbidden Zone ATV Campground are such places.
Luckily, there are still areas that can still go to but are not accessible to 4×4 Jeeps or trucks. However, we believe in a saying which goes: ‘If the fun stops coming to you, then you head to its source.’ So, if you have this burning desire to experience these trails or parks, you may consider bringing an ATV or dirt bike with your Jeep when heading to these ORV destinations, which are as follows:
- Hanging Rock Trail System
Located within the 6,400-acre Wayne National Forest, this ORV trail system has around 26 miles of technical loops which consist of low yet steep hills and water crossings. Though the motorized trail is a mostly hardpack, the terrain can still be a challenge for beginners.
The Hanging Rock OHV System is open from 15th April to 15th December. Vehicle traffic can get heavy because the trail is open to hikers, equestrians, and other ORVs. Off-highway vehicles should carry permits to gain access through this trail system. A three-day OHV permit may cost you $20, while $35 for a seasonal permit.
If you plan to set up camp and marvel at the national forest’s scenic sites, you can do so at the trailheads. Dispersed camping is permitted in the area. Visit the website of the Forest Service of the Wayne National Forest at: www.fs.usda.gov if you want to know more about how to get to the Hanging Rock OHV System.
- Pine Creek ORV Area
This multi-trail system is part of the Wayne National Forest, which covers 12,800 acres of land. This park’s open season starts for ORV riders from 15th April and ends on 15th December. However, the place is open all year round for hikers. For that matter, you should consider your plans if you want to experience strolling through this multi-trail system instead of riding with your dirt bike or four-wheeler. If you’re an experienced rider yourself and want to test your off-roading skills, we suggest you try out this 20-mile trail system because of its moderate difficulty.
Moreover, if you wish to set up camp, you may do so at the staging areas which are located at the trailheads. OHV and APV permits are required if you desire to ride along the trails. You can contact the Ironton Ranger District if you have questions regarding the trail’s rules, directions, and other vital details. You can check the Forest Service website for that matter.
- Pike State Forest ORV Trail
This OHV course provides riders with 20 miles of trail, which is nowhere beyond intermediate in terms of difficulty. The terrain is composed mostly of loose dirt and hard packs, which should not be a problem, even for a beginner. However, there are uphill climbs and downhill descents that can prove tricky.
Trees surround the motorized trails, and this offers a handful of scenic views here and there. Additionally, camping is permitted but restricted within the Pike Lake State Park Campground, and it is open only by day. This ORV destination is open to motorized vehicles from 1st April to 30th November.
- Monday Creek ORV Area
If you love conquering terrains rated as intermediate, then this OHV destination will be the perfect testing ground for your mettle and your ATV. Located within Wayne National Forest, this place offers 75 miles of rocks, hard packs, and everything in between.
SUVs and Jeeps are restricted on the site, so you’ll be wise to bring your quad along if you want to experience fun and adventure in this area. Camping is permitted on Begley’s Campground and in some areas. The amenities range from hookups for both RV and non-RV campers. To get a permit, you will have to call the district offices of the Wayne National Forest. You may also contact them at www.fs.usda.gov.
Explore Ohio’s Trails with Your Favorite Off-Road Vehicle
Rural Ohio is a region filled with undiscovered off-road trails and beautiful, wooded landscapes, as well as other spots that are humbling to behold. Whether you prefer exploring the backwoods of this Midwestern state with a 4×4 Jeep or an ATV, the amount of adventure is just the same. Apart from off-roading, you are always presented with different activities to choose from, so you know you will never run out of fun.