Residents of the Midwest United States know a little-known secret when it comes to ATV riding areas. ATV riders on each coast and in the mountain states often have the mis-perception that riding the prairies of the Midwest is not as adventurous as riding their own states. They couldn’t be farther from the truth. Here are our picks for seven of the best ATV riding spots in middle-America.
With 80 miles of riding within Missouri’s Mark Twain National Forest, the ATV trails at Chadwick wind into deep forests and along the tops of ridges, giving visitors a great view of the surroundings. Fun extras include caves, nice trail bridges, mud bogs, steep climbs and generally diverse terrain. Nearby, nice camping facilities allow riders to make a trip out of it and stay in the forest. As one ATV magazine-forum poster said of Chadwick, the ATV trails “range from grandma-style to suicide,” and the local businesses are friendly and helpful.
Coal Creek, Tennessee
Coal Creek is located in eastern Tennessee on the western fringe of the Appalachians – home to many of the country’s most fun ATV riding areas. With 72,000 acres of off-roading, it’s a popular riding area that attracts hundreds of riders on most weekends – ATVs, dirt bikes, side-by-sides and off-road trucks. Trails vary from gravel roads to extreme mountain terrain, adding up to more than 160 miles of riding.
Rushing mountain streams, heavily forested hillsides and winding trails on cliff edges make for a dramatic, elevated riding experience. Other attractions include the Windrock Park Campground, a drag strip, mountain bike trails and a wind power farm.
Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area, Minnesota
Funded and maintained by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle park is about an hour south of the Canadian border near the town of Gilbert and located in northern Minnesota’s rugged mining country – the aptly named Iron Range. Ride 200-foot-high piles of ore that stretch for 20 miles, and check out the scramble areas, training trails, hill climbs, 4×4 rock crawl and creatively named trails like Wayne’s World and Attitude Alley.
Mud Creek Off-Road Park, Texas
When it comes to getting down and dirty, none of the country’s ATV riding areas have anything on the sprawling Mud Creek Off-Road Park in Texas. It’s home to several big mud-themed events, Mudstock and the Mud Nationals, and it’s also a great place to push your quad to its absolute limits. Aside from the (drag and oval) competition mud bogs, there’s also the “high line” ATV trails area, tons of camping, the unique ATV sand pit riding pond, and the creek run that is a blast when water levels allow it.
Great ATV trails wind through the woods of northern Wisconsin from the Minnesota border east through the towns of Spooner, Hayward, Park Falls and up to Hurley on the border with Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The northern third of the cheese state is a very ATV-friendly place with connected, well-maintained trails and many vacation-friendly destinations along the way. A heavily wooded, post-glacial topography, northern Wisconsin has more than 14,000 lakes, many bogs, marshes, rivers and streams, as well as the Nicolet and Chequamegon National Forests with excellent trail systems. Some dual-purpose routes are even open in the winter for a unique ATV riding experience alongside snowmobiles and over frozen lakes.
Ouachita and Ozark National Forests, Arkansas
These two distinct forests are located in western Arkansas in the beautiful Ozark and Ouachita Mountains, and both offer visiting riders top-notch ATV riding and access to many large lakes, hillside views and streams that dissect the region. The Ouachita includes the Fourche Mountain Trail and Wolf Pen Gap trails, while the Ozark National Forest has the Mill Creek and Brock Creek ATV trails. Ice storm Ozark’s trails. Call ahead for closure information.
Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Great Lake lighthouses, the mysterious Keweenaw Peninsula, the ATV trail networks near centrally located Marquette and the many connected ATV trails between Ironwood and Iron Mountain in the western end – there’s a lot to do in the rural, often overlooked Upper Peninsula of Michigan. With its harsh climate, thick forests and unique terrain, the Upper Peninsula is an unusual place. We recommend the Keweenaw Peninsula for its ghost towns, extensive ATV trails and great views of Lake Superior and Copper Harbor. allstate customer service