The Lonestar state has some of the most accessible and adventurous ATV riding trails. This article lists the best ones.
Various ATV riding trails stand out in Texas. These include Eisenhower State Park, Sabine ATV Park, Barnwell Mountain Recreational Area, Sam Houston National Forest, and Hidden Falls Adventure Park among others. Time to put those ATVs through their paces at these magnificent locations!
Other than Texans, people from all over the country come to the Lone Star State to check out its scenic ATV trails. While many offer a significant challenge given the rough off-road terrain, there is no shortage of natural beauty at any of these places. For instance, the Hidden Falls Adventure Park provides breathtaking views, extensive stretches of green, and endless riding tracks (paved and off-road).
This list of trails has been put together after thorough research and traveling around Texas. Various outdoor thrill-seekers and ATV riding enthusiasts were also interviewed for this purpose. So, without further ado, here are the finest places to get the most out of your ATV in the Lone Star State.
Top ATV Riding Trails In Texas
River Run ATV Park
The River Run ATV Park is built on private land spread over 2,000 acres. It runs along the Neches River, which serves as an ideal place to cool off and get some rest during a ride. Those who have a thing for swimming and fishing can try that too!
Furthermore, the park includes multiple oil field roads, mud pits, and riding tracks for 4x4 trucks, ATVs, and other off-road vehicles. The rough terrain can make riding a challenge. However, that’s what attracts the adventure-seekers to this location in the first place. It’s perfect for those who want to experience extreme off-road riding through the Texan outdoors.
There are also separate areas for camping where you can erect a tent, set up an RV with water and power facilities, or book one of the available cabins. These come with proper beds, an HVAC unit, sink, microwave, refrigerator, and a small outside grill.
Rules about carrying speed limits, spinouts, and carrying firearms within the park premises are usually enforced sternly. No compromises are made on public safety, which is another reason why seasoned and casual ATV riders head to this place.
The River Run ATV Park also hosts different types of events throughout the year to create a festive atmosphere for visitors. These include scavenger hunts, ATV & UTV racing, mud conventions, etc. The best part? This place is open 24/7!
General Sam’s Off-Road Park
General Sam’s Off-Road Park is popular around the country because it has something to offer for all ATV riders. Whether you’re a seasoned pro, a casual rider, or a beginner, this place has different trails that you can enjoy. Its main attractions include the multiple lakes/lagoons with stunning views and plenty of swimming/fishing opportunities. There’s no shortage of greenery and wildlife either!
Irrespective of your skill level, you can expect to have a great time at General Sam’s Off-Road Park. Spread over 706 acres of spring-fed creeks and piney woods, it includes more than 60 miles of off-road trails, mud bogs, and sandpits. The ambiance is inviting and exhilarating, which can be best enjoyed by staying in one of the rustic cabins available.
Located 9 miles north of Huntsville, the place offers free entry (non-event) for children up to 10 years of age. Adults can get a day pass by spending around $20 - $40 (weekday and weekend ticket prices differ slightly). Camping in and around the primitive areas is also free (non-event).
Hidden Falls Adventure Park
Spread over a massive 3,000 acres, Hidden Falls Adventure Park is the biggest ranch in the United States. It includes iconic country views, never-ending but beautiful stretches of green, and numerous off-road riding trails ranging from beginner to extreme. Fun and excitement are never in short supply at this place. You can certainly look forward to an unforgettable experience here. Services include rentals as well as primitive and RV camping. There’s also a full-service shooting club with rifle and pistol ranges, firearms training, archery ranges, and firearms for sale.
If you plan on camping at the Hidden Falls Adventure Park, you must get the reservation sorted online before showing up. For general visits, online booking isn’t mandatory but recommended - given the high demand. This will save you a lot of hassle because the place tends to fill up very quickly, especially on public holidays and during the Spring break. Moreover, late wheeling is allowed at night-time on Fridays and Saturdays.
Eisenhower State Park
A serene and enticing outdoor place with a rocky shoreline and grassy uplands, the Eisenhower State Park is spread over ten acres. It is exclusively for off-road trails and is often considered a heaven for ATV riders. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced ATV enthusiast, this place has an inviting trail for everyone.
You will need an OHV permit before hauling your ATV to Eisenhower State Park. The well-maintained trails also serve as a de-facto tour of the picturesque location. So, bring your friends and family with you and explore the trails.
Entry tickets cost $5 for adults, while children aged 12 and under are allowed free of charge. Online reservations are needed for camping and day passes. Notwithstanding emergencies or unusual circumstances, the park is open every day.
Sam Houston National Forest
The sprawling Sam Houston National Forest is a must-visit destination for off-road riding enthusiasts, especially ATV lovers. Covering almost 200,000 acres, this massive outdoor place is a natural wonder and there’s so much to explore. With multiple trails averaging 12 miles in length, there’s something for ATV riders of all skill levels.
The forest is also a refuge for diverse wildlife. While much of the park remains out of bounds for off-road vehicles, that’s not the case with the Multi-Use Trail. Stretching over 85 miles, it allows riders on ATVs and dirt bikes to experience water crossings, mud, and hard-packed sand near Lake Conroe. Remember your ATV should have a maximum width of 50” with a decal displayed.
Under the National Parks Service guidelines, riders have to ensure the usage of helmets and safety goggles. The location is 50 miles north of Houston. You should also thoroughly check the weather conditions before heading out there. This is because the off-road trails are usually closed after rainfall to maintain and protect the forest environment.
Barnwell Mountain Recreational Area
The Barnwell Mountain Recreational Area is often considered one of Gilmer’s best-kept secrets. Spread over 1,850 acres high up in the Barnwell Mountains, the place is a haven for off-roaders and is frequented by ardent ATV riders.
There’s a massive 50-mile riding trail for people with all levels of expertise. It includes a 16-mile adventure loop in and around the highland woods for beginner riders. The whole path is rated and mapped with proper signage to help the riders. Entry fee and cabin booking prices are between $5 and $95. You might be able to get some discounts if you’re a member of the TMTC (Texas Motorized Trails Coalition).
We recommend booking one of their available cabins or camping space to experience the Barnwell Mountain Recreational Area in all its glory. Options include RVs (with electricity), primitive campsites, and bunkhouses. Restrooms, shower facilities, remote pavilion, and air stations are available with these camping choices.
Unlike other ATV trails on this list, this place isn’t open all the time. Business hours are usually from Thursday noon to 6 PM on Sundays.
Northwest OHV Park
As is evident from the name, Northwest OHV Park is located in northwest Texas. There are multiple ATV trails, jeep tracks, dirt bike lanes, and a lot more for riders of all skill levels to enjoy. The place offers something new to both inexperienced and experienced riders, with the Hills of Northwest being the main attraction.
The average trail length at the Northwest OHV* Park is 6 miles. Since opening in 2009, it has consistently ranked among the best OHV parks in Texas. The off-road trails, spread over 300 acres, have been designed especially for people who love riding their ATVs around natural surroundings. There’s also a separate 25-mile trail with varying difficulty levels for the more seasoned writers.
Like the Barnwell Mountain Recreational Area, the Northwest OHV Park isn’t open 24/7 for public use at the moment. Right now, it’s available for visits on weekends from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Also, overnight camping isn’t available for now and only groups of 5 people or less are allowed at any one time. Day passes have to be booked online before showing up at the place. The management organizes different off-road festivals and dirt bike competitions from time to time.
*OHV: (Off-Highway Vehicle)
Sabine ATV Park
Located near the Texas-Louisiana border along the Sabine River, this is a unique family-friendly park stretching over 3,000 acres. Over here, you’ll find full-on mud bogs, shallow creek runs, and deep-water crossings. There’s even a sandbar where you can take a break and rest during a ride.
Complete access is allowed to ATV riders of all ages and skill levels. If you’re a beginner, this is as great a place as any to hone your craft. For experienced and pro riders, it’s a great spot to practice and have a great time outdoors.
Facilities at the Sabine ATV Park include hot shower stalls and a tuck shop. This is where you can easily find all necessities if you forget to bring something along. Business hours are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM from Fridays to Sundays. Furthermore, children 12 and under are allowed to enter free of charge. There are also no bike fees so the little ones can have fun while their parents/guardians take a ride on one of the many amazing trails.
Badlands Motocross Park
The popularity of Badlands Motocross Park transcends The Lone Star State. It’s one of the most loved off-road vehicle parks in North America. The sprawling location, stretching over 1,000 acres, includes hill climbs, motocross tracks, dirt bike lanes, and specialized trails for 4-wheelers (ATVs, UTVs, etc.). It’s a wonderful spot to test your equipment and improve your ATV riding skills.
The one caveat is the unpredictable weather conditions at Badlands Motocross Park. So, be prepared for anything when you come over. Entry is open seven days a week from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. It will cost you $10 (per vehicle) to haul your ATV to the tracks.
Alligator Run Off-Road Park
Extending over a massive 5,250 acres of varying terrain, the Alligator Run Off-Road Park is the biggest off-roading attraction and ATV riding trail in Texas. Depending on your skill level, you can enjoy yourself to the fullest on one of the many trails meant specifically for ATV riding. One of the highlights of this amazing park is the “Twist & Shout” obstacle course. Other attractions include scenic trails, creeks, dune climbs, and monster truck mud pits.
If you’re in the mood for some downtime in the outdoors with friends and family, then there are few better places than the Alligator Run Off-Road Park. There are 70 deluxe campsites at this location, complete with electricity, water, and sewage facilities.
Moreover, the primitive camping space can accommodate over a thousand people at any given time. Ice, firewood, and wash bays are available within the park premises. Also, exciting events occur here all the time, and participants usually leave the venue craving more. Daytime entry fee on weekends is $10 for individual and bike. For big trucks and their drivers, the charges are $50. An additional fee is charged for extra riders.
Escondido Draw Recreational Area
The Escondido Draw Recreational Area (EDRA) is one of the more recent off-road parks acquired by the Texas Motorized Trails Coalition. Under the management of TMTC since 2007, it is spread over 3,400 acres. The beautiful setting includes many trails loved by ATV, dirt bike, UTV, and other OHV enthusiasts. Among these, the standout track is a 23-mile stretch meant specifically for ATVs. It includes many challenging hills and picturesque trails.
The place is open every week from Thursday to Sunday. TMTC volunteers are usually involved with maintaining the cabins as well as the mapping and rating of the trails. Fees for campsite entry and park usage are usually between $5 and $35, depending on whether you hold a TMTC membership or not.
There’s one interesting provision. By visiting the TMTC website and donating 8 hours of work time, you get to ride on the trails the next day for free!
Sloppy Bottom Park
With an area of 100 acres, the Sloppy Bottom Park (SBP) is one of the go-to places in Texas for outdoor fun. There are pecan pits, serious mudding zones, and a wet spot containing RV hookups, campgrounds, floating attractions, and a pavilion. It actually looks neater than many regular ATV riding trails, such is the maintenance of this ATV mud park. No wonder night-time rides and festivities during the day here are such a hit with The Lone Star State residents.
Events of note at the Sloppy Bottom Park include the Memorial Day Mud Fest, Mower Mania Challenge, and race seasons throughout the year. SBP patrons can get 2-day passes for just around $40!
Red River Motorcycle Trails
Bringing up the rear (pun intended) on this list, the Red River Motorcycle Trails have consistently ranked among the top off-road riding destinations in Texas. Considered an off-road Mecca, it is spread over 2,700 acres and has trails with multiple difficulty levels. There are locations which will test the limits of your riding skills, and there are also more relaxing tracks where you can have a ball with your rider buddies.
Other than ATV riding, Red River Motorcycle Trails also offer facilities for recreational activities like swimming, hiking, and lounging in and around the creek area. Over time, many print ads, commercials, and TV specials have featured this ranch's rugged and beautiful trails.
The facility only allows ATVs, dual-sport bikes, dirt bikes, and selected Go-Karts (subject to approval after inspection) on the trails. This is done in an attempt to keep the place properly maintained. Therefore, dune buggies and jeeps aren’t allowed. In any case, you should look at the Red River Motorcycle Trails website to gather updated info about permitted and prohibited vehicles before showing up at the place.
Quite a few splendid ATV riding trails didn’t make this list due to space limitations. These include Xtreme Off-Road Park & Beach, Creekside Off-Road Ranch, Mudbuddy’s ATV Park, Brushy Creek Motor Farm, Buffalo Springs Lake OHV Trails (especially known for stunning views), and Rosita Flats.
There are still many more out there that couldn’t be included in the honorable mentions. Suffice it to say that the places listed here are among the best and most popular ATV riding trails in Texas.
We would love to hear from you now. What do you think of this list? Any places that aren’t included here but should have been, in your opinion? Let us know by contacting us!
About THE AUTHOR
23 years old. I work at a motocross store where we specialize in gear, parts, and apparel for ATV and UTV riders.Read More About Kellie