Brown Mountain OHV Trail System

Area Status: Open

Ride the Trail.The Brown Mountain OHV (off-highway vehicle) area, the only OHV area in the Pisgah National Forest, offers 34 miles of designated trails. Signs are located at the head of each trail section. A detailed map of the area is available for purchase.

These trails are mostly designed for trail bikes and ATVs. Jeeps and 4WD vehicles may only use Trail 8 and part of Trail 1. No bushwhacking or cutting vegetation is allowed. Restrooms and picnic facilities are available at the trailhead.

Be safe. Help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors to the forest,

  • Riders must have valid permits attached to their vehicles at all times. Daily and annual permits are available at several local vendors and at the Grandfather Ranger Station.
  • Ride only on designated trails. Do not travel cross-country.
  • OHVs are not allowed on forest roads
  • Do not carelessly operate a vehicle without regard for another’s safety or in a way that could endanger any person or property.
  • Do not operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited in Brown Mountain OHV area or in campsites.
  • Children under age 8 may not operate ATVs or motorcycles. Children under age 16 must have constant supervision of a person over 18 years of age.
  • Don’t double-ride your OHV.
  • Don’t operate a vehicle without a helmet.
  • Don’t operate a vehicle with metal studs embedded in the tire or protruding from the tires.
  • Don’t operate a vehicle in excess of the maximum noise limit allowed. The maximum is 99 dBu (taken stationary at 20 inches from the exhaust at a 45-degree angle).

Need a campsite?  Primitive dispersed campsites are located along FR 299.  If you are interested in more developed campsites, try Mortimer Campground, about nine miles from the Brown Mountain Trailhead.


Check out the brochure.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: 24 hours during open season.
Fees: A trail pass is required to ride the trails. Fees are $5/day or $30 for a season pass. Passes can be purchased from local vendors. Passes must be prominently displayed on vehicle at all times while on the trails.
Open Season: April 1 to January 1
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Children under 8 may not operate ATV's or motorcycles. Children under age 12 may not operate any ATV 70cc or larger. Children under age 16 may not operate any ATV 90cc or larger. Operators under 16 must be under the supervision of a person over 18 years of age. Helmets and eye protection are mandatory. No passengers allowed on ATV's, unless they are designed by manufacturer to carry passengers. Unlicensed vehicles are not allowed on designated Forest Service roads. Alcohol is prohibited on the trail system and in the dispersed camping areas. Spark arresters, mufflers, and brakes are required for all motorized vehicles.
Closest Towns: Morganton and Lenoir
Water: Drinking Water
Restroom: Vault

General Information

General Notes:

List of Vendors for Brown Mountain Passes                          6/24/24

CBS Sports – 911 N Green St., Morganton, NC 28655 – 828-437-7016

Collettsville General Store – 4175 Collettsville Rd., Lenoir, NC 28645 - 828-572-2400

Cubbard Express - 1426 Beecher Anderson Rd., Lenoir, NC 28645 – 828-754-9992

Discount Beverage – 1150 N Green St., Morganton, NC 28655 – 828-433-1001

Fun Cycles – 517 Abees Church Rd SE, Valdese, NC 28690 – 828-874-4680

Jack B-Quick #10 – 900 Lenoir Rd., Morganton, NC 28655 – 828-433-0902

Lenoir Automotive – 1540 Harper Ave., Lenoir, NC 28645 828-754-2929

Oak Hill Grocery – 2375 Hwy 181 N, Morganton, NC 28655 – 828-437-3810

Randall’s Mountain Crossing – 9041 Hwy 181, Newland, NC 28657 – 828-379-6606

Rudisill’s Grocery – 3296 Playmore Beach Rd., Morganton, NC 28655   828- 754-6553

Wicked Thunder – 2766 Morganton Blvd SW, Lenoir, NC 28655 – 828-728-7633




Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


OHV Camping

Dispersed camping sites available in the area.
Fire Information fire rings and grills
Sleeping Shelter no
Difficulty Level: Easy

OHV Trail Riding

This area offers 34 miles of off-highway vehicle trails for riders. The trails are designated for all-terrrain vehicles,utilty vehicles,trail bikes and four wheel drives.
Staging Area Brown OHV trail head parking area.
Loading Ramp yes
Class of Vehicle ATV's UTV's trail bikes and 4-wheel drive vehicles.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate to Difficult