OHV Trail Riding

OHVs and campers at site

North Carolina’s national forests offer four trail systems for riding off-highway vehicles (OHVs), including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), 4-wheel-drives (4WDs), and trail bikes.  These trail systems have signed routes marked with symbols showing what types of vehicles are allowed on the trails. Choose trails that are designated for the type of vehicle you’re driving and stay on signed routes.  Do not drive off designated trails or create new trails or shortcuts.  Most areas have maps that show trail difficulty so you can select a trail that matches your skill level.

Please follow these enforced forest regulations for treading lightly on the land:

  • Under NC Law:
    • Children under the age of 8, are not permitted to operate an ATV or UTV in North Carolina.
    • Children under the age of 13, are not permitted to operate an ATV or UTV with an engine larger than 70 cc.
    • Children under the age of 16 are not permitted to operate an ATV or UTV with an engine larger than 90 cc.
    • Children under the age of 16 must be supervised by an adult anytime the youth is operating an ATV or UTV. 
  • ATV and motorcycle operators must wear DOT-approved helmets and eye protection.
  • No passengers are allowed on ATVs, unless vehicles are deigned to carry passengers.
  • Unlicensed vehicles are not allowed on designated Forest Service roads or in developed campgrounds
  • Spark arresters, mufflers, and brakes are required, as well as working headlights and tail lights for night riding.
  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on all trail systems or in recreation areas.
  • Travel only on OHV designated routes. Cross-country travel is prohibited.

OHV Trail Riding Areas

  • Croatan National Forest
  • Black Swamp OHV Trailhead
  • Nantahala National Forest
  • Nantahala Ranger District
  • Wayehutta OHV Trail System
  • Pisgah National Forest
  • Grandfather Ranger District
  • Brown Mountain OHV Trail System
  • Uwharrie National Forest
  • Badin Lake Recreation Area
  • Art Lilley Campground
  • Badin Lake OHV Trail Complex
  • Daniel TR 390
  • Dickey Bell TR 91
  • Dutch John TR 90
  • Falls Dam TR 96
  • Rocky Mountain Loop TR 92
  • Sawmill TR 93
  • Slab Pile TR 79
  • Wolf Den TR 89

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities