Bessey OHV Trail System

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Side-by-side on Bessey OHV Trail System

The Bessey OHV Trail System is one of the few motorized trail riding areas in Nebraska open to the public.  Designated trails are open to vehicles 64 inches or less in width.  The system has about 33 miles of trails for OHVs that wind through the forest and across grasslands.  The trails are sandy and contain a mixture of straight-aways and tight curves.  The trail system includes two open areas,  the Hill Climb and the Dismal. 

The trail system can be accessed from the main parking lot of the Bessey Recreation Complex, the trailhead at the end of the Scenic road, Whitetail Campground, or the Powerline Trailhead.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Trails are open all the time. Quiet hours in the campgrounds are from 10 pm to 7 am.
Reservations: None required to ride the trails.
Rentals & Guides: No ATV or side-by-side rentals are available in the near vicinity.
Area Amenities: Interpretive Site,Accessible,Tent camping,Camping trailer,Fee charged for some activities,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking
Fees It costs $3.00 to park in the main lot per vehicle.  For example, it is $3.00 to park a pickup truck hauling a trailer with three ATVs.  If camping at Whitetail or the Main Campground, no additional fee is required to ride the trails.  No fee is charged at the Powerline or Scenic Trailheads.
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Busiest Season: Weekends, May through October
Restrictions: OHVs must stay on roads, trails, and areas designated on the motor vehicle use map.  Vehicles must be 64 inches wide or less (total width, not just the wheel base) in order to use the trails.
Closest Towns: Halsey (1 mile east); Dunning (10 miles east); and Thedford (17 miles west)
Water: At Bessey Recreation Complex and Whitetail Campground
Restroom: At Bessey Recreation Complex and Whitetail Campground
Operated By: Forest Service

General Information


The Bessey OHV Trail System is handicap-accessible to all who can operate ATVs and side-by-sides.


From I-80 at North Platte, Nebraska, take Highway 83 north for 65 miles to Thedford.  At Thedford, go east on Highway 2 for 17 miles.  At the national forest sign, turn south (right).  Cross the railroad tracks, the Middle Loup River, and continue straight to the main parking area at the Bessey Recreation Complex.


Bessey Recreation Complex, Scenic Trailhead, Whitetail Camprgound, and Powerline Trailhead


OHV Riding & Camping

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Picnic tables At the recreation complex next to the main parking area
Drinking water At the main recreation complex and Whitetail Campground
Interpretive Site Discovery Loup Arboretum next to the main parking lot
Toilets At the main parking area and Whitetail Campground
Parking At the main lot near the office
Fee charged for some activities $3.00 to park in the main lot
Tent camping At the main complex and Whitetail Campground
Accessible The trails are accessible to people who can ride ATVs and side-by-sides
Camping trailer At the main complex and Whitetail Campground
Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
32.6 miles

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