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3 Best Off-Road Parks in North Carolina

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These three off-road parks in North Carolina provide a great mix of terrain and difficulty levels for ATV and 4×4 truck adventures during all times of the year.

Badin Lake

Photo: US Forest Service

Uwharrie National Forest – Badin Lake

Hours of Operation: April 1 – December 15 during daylight hours

Location: 789 NC Highway 24/27 East, Troy, NC

Cost of Admission: $5 per day or $30 for one year

Types of Vehicles Allowed: Licensed 4×4 vehicles and ATVs

This off-highway vehicle area is made of old logging and mining trails and consists of many steep, winding trails ranging from three to eight in difficulty on a scale of one to 10. Passes can be purchased at the Eldorado Outpost or Mullinix gas stations near the park. Camping is free and you can set up anywhere that’s not posted “No Camping.” There are also campgrounds with water, hookups, etc. at the Arrowhead Campground, Badin Lake Campground, or Hunt Camp.

Cape Hatteras

Photo: via Creative Commons

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Hours of Operation: Year round, 24/7

Location: 1401 National Park Drive, Manteo, NC

Cost of Admission: $50 7-day permit or $120 annual permit

Types of Vehicles Allowed: Licensed 4×4 vehicles on marked ORV routes only

Head over to the Outer Banks to drive on the beach, sand trails, and over sand dunes! Since this is a national park, many parts may be temporarily or permanently closed to protect vegetation and animals, but the ORV routes are marked. You can even stay overnight in four designated campgrounds, but camping on the beach is prohibited.

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Carolina Backwoods

Photo: Carolina Backwoods via Facebook

Carolina Backwoods

Hours of Operation: Appointment onlyyear-round

Location: 1641 Ash Little River Rd., Ash, NC

Cost of Admission: ATV Adventure Guided Tour – $130 per person, $45 for passengers 5-11

Types of Vehicles Allowed: Rental ATVs only – included in tour

Carolina Backwoods provides an ATV adventure tour for groups of up to 10 people that last about two hours. The vehicles and protective gear are provided. There are wooded trails and open riding areas with the opportunity to get a little muddy if you choose to do so! They also have cabins and an RV site.