There’s nothing dirt bike enthusiasts like more than discovering a great riding area where they can do some serious wheeling. With sand dunes, mountains, mud bogs, hills and jumps, there are places to challenge your skills in every part of the country.
Dirty Dog’s ATV Trails, Texas
In Columbus, Texas, midway between Houston and San Antonio, Dirty Dog’s ATV Trails pack a lot of punch into 180 acres of curves, jumps, mud and swamps that will appeal to the serious mudder. Trails here wind through some heavily wooded strands of brush. One main trail has offshoots that lead to completely different terrain, offering an escape from the Texas heat under an umbrella of shady oak trees. There are long stretches where speed demons can open up and give it their best shot, and easier trails for the less adventurous. The area features ATV wash facilities and some free camping areas. No jeeps, trucks, or 3-wheelers.
Ozark National Forest, Arkansas
Great trails wind through the six Ranger Districts and mostly rough mountainous terrain of the Ozark National Forest that’s huge fun for more experienced riders. You’ll also find lots of creeks to ride through, and both public and private campground areas. Some trails are designated for multiple use so watch out for horseback riders, hikers and mountain bikers. Maps of the trail system are available at the ranger stations. Mill Creek is a favorite for dirt bikes: a 42-mile system with three looped and connected trails. This is a great destination for advanced riders, snaking through hard-packed terrain with scattered loose-chunk rock, moderately steep climbs, and water crossings. Mill Creek’s main staging area has a gravel parking lot with loading ramp. The fee to ride is $3 per person/day, paid at the self-pay kiosk. The rangers do check, so keep your receipt.
Crooms Park, Florida
Rated by riders among the best, the Crooms recreation area has 2600 groomed acres of shaded riding trails, a fenced beginner’s area and circled track, a 50-acre sand bowl, and plenty of hills to play on. Just a 30-minute drive from Tampa to Withlachoochee State Forest, this area features sandy single-track trails peppered with berms, bumps and winding areas through longleaf pine and Cyprus forests. Try the play pits, with some steep drop-offs and mud bogs, or introduce newer riders to the beginner’s track. There’s an opportunity here for guided tours and learning programs, so a pro is available to teach a spouse or child good dirt bike basics and use of the clutch, or to ride along with you. Nearby camping is available at Buttgenbach Mine Campgrounds on a first-come basis, and Crooms has great day-use areas with gazebos, picnic tables, BBQ grills, and spray-wash stations. No pets are permitted within the park or campgrounds.
Weyerhauser Properties, Oklahoma
Located in southeastern Oklahoma, the nearest town is Broken Bow, and the Weyerhauser Properties riding area lies among the vast timber lands owned by Weyerhauser Company who graciously allow open responsible use to sportsmen. This ride features hundreds of miles of connecting roads and trails with terrain that varies from mountainous to muddy bottoms and endless possibilities over a system that covers three Oklahoma counties. Riders can open it up full-throttle, often traveling 100 miles without encountering another person. All roads are numbered and easy to follow, with maps available at the Weyerhauser office in Broken Bow. Camping is allowed, so simply pick your spot anywhere, but please be careful with campfires and treat the land responsibly. For easy access, take Highway 3 west from Broken Bow for 8 miles, turn north and you’ll be on the Weyerhauser property. In season, the area is also open to legal hunting.