Badin Lake OHV Trail Complex
The Uwharrie National Forest provides the only public off-highway vehicle (OHV) or motorized trail system in the Piedmont Region of North Carolina. The motorized trails are located in the Badin Lake Recreation Area of the national Forest. The Badin Lake OHV Trail Complex is open for motorized recreation for mountain bikes, dirtbikes, ATVs, UTVs, side-by-sides, and full-sized 4-wheel drive vehicles with the purchase of a day or annual pass/permit to be displayed on the vehicle. The trail system is open from April 1st to December 15th annually. It has 6 trailheads to access the 16 miles of trails. Additionally, it is within 1 to 2 miles of developed campgrounds – Arrowhead Campground, Badin Lake Campground, and Badin Lake Group Camp where flush toilets, vault toilets and showers are available for campers. Unlicensed and unregistered vehicles cannot be driven on the Forest Roads or through the campgrounds; they must be trailered to a trailhead to be ridden on the OHV trails. Horseback riding is not allowed on these trails except at designated trail crossings or where both equestrian and motorized use is designated on the trail.
The trails range from easy to extremely difficult. Currently there are 8 trails with plans for more trails in the future. The designated motorized trails are marked with orange diamond markers and are for two-way traffic. When the trails open annually on April 1st they remain open 24 hours per day for 7 days a week and can be ridden at night if vehicle has working head lights and tail lights. Riders of ATVs and dirt bikes are required to wear a DOT approved helmet for motorized use and eye protection.
If you have never been to the Badin Lake OHV Trail Complex please heed this advice:
- Do Not start at Cotton Place Trailhead on the eastern end of the Daniel Trail (TR390). This is the extremely difficult section that is not recommended for ATV’s, UTV’s, dirtbikes and stock 4WD vehicles or beginners. Go to the Art Lilley Campground/Trailhead, Falls Dam Trailhead or Dutch John Trailhead and begin your trail ride there.
- Know which trailhead you started at and where you need to return to if you have trailered your motorized vehicle to the site.
- Get a Badin Lake Recreation Area map from vendor before you ride the trails.
Riders need to carry a map, supplies, first aid, and recovery gear and have a plan for vehicle removal if it becomes disabled. The Forest Service does not tow vehicles off the trail. You’re responsible for your vehicle if it gets stuck or breaks down on the trails. You must get it removed from the Uwharrie National Forest.
At a Glance
|Operational Hours:||The Badin Lake OHV Trail Complex is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week from April 1 to December 15, annually.|
|Reservations:||No reservations needed for the OHV Trails.|
|Fees:||Trail passes are required for motorized vehicles or mountain bikes to ride on these trails. The cost of passes is: $5 for a day pass and $30 for an annual pass. The trail passes can be purchased at the Uwharrie District Office or at several vendors/stores around the Uwharrie National Forest. Vendors List below:
|Open Season:||April 1|
|Restroom:||Vault toilets are at Dutch John & Art Lilley Trailheads|
Alerts & Warnings
- 11/26 Appalachian RD- Hurricane Ridge Fire
- Uwharrie RD- Canebrake Horse Camp Temporary Closure
- Grandfather Ranger District Reopens Point Lookout Trail and Schoolhouse Ridge Rd
- Appalachian RD: Black Mountain and Briar Bottom Campground Closures
- Cheoah RD: Cheoah River, Cochran’s Creek River Access Facility Temporarily Close
- Cheoah RD: Fontana Loop Trail TR15, Portions of Bee Cove TR421 Temporarily Close
- Be Bear Aware
- Catawba Falls Trail (TR 225) Closed
- Camping and other restrictions now in effect at Max Patch
- Nantahala RD: Multiple areas under construction
- Appalachian RD: NCDOT construction near Harmon Den may affect Forest access
- Uwharrie RD: Badin Lake OHV Trail Complex to begin maintenance
- Grandfather RD: Old House Gap Rd (FS192) temporarily closed
- Recreate responsibly
- Target Shooting prohibited on Croatan National Forest