The Best Ride Parks in the South

Everybody’s got their favorite ride spot, right? Sometimes you ride at the park that’s closest to you, not because you think it’s the biggest or most unique place to ride, but because you know everybody that goes there. It’s a mini community of riders that all get together every weekend to show off their new bumpers, tires, and lift kits, and to see how they stand up to that mud pit, rock garden, or hill climb that stopped them before.

There are groups that gather around their local ride park all across the country, but did you know that you’re probably just a few hours drive from a park that’s completely different from the one you go to every weekend? You’re more spoiled for choices than you might think.

This is the first in a series of posts where we'll be looking at some of the best parks in the country. So here they are: five of the best ride parks in the South, what kind of riding they have, and what kind of accommodations you can count on when you go for a visit.

 

Check Out Our Picks for the Best Ride Parks in the South!

West Virginia

Hatfield-McCoy  |   West Virginia


Hatfield-McCoy - West Virginia
Photo courtesy Hatfield-McCoy Regional Trail Authority.

The Hatfield-McCoy trail system in West Virginia is actually a series of seven trail systems amounting to over 600 miles of diverse mountain riding. On this trail system you get to see the best that West Virginia has to offer.

The Hatfield-McCoy trail system is backed by the state of West Virginia itself which has ensured that certain towns nearby each of the seven trailheads are “ATV friendly.” When you’re done riding for the day, it’s easy to ride back to town, fuel up, eat dinner, and get a good night’s sleep in one of several hotels.

We’re talking a huge, expansive set of trails spanning six counties. The trails are always expanding with the eventual goal of connecting all the trail systems together and to total over 2,000 miles of off-road UTV glory. If you’re in the area, or even anywhere close, getting an annual permit to ride is a no brainer. Hatfield-McCoy can easily satisfy your riding need for the year.

The mountains of West Virginia are gorgeous, challenging, and diverse. Plus, some trails bring you close to important historical sites of the Hatfield-McCoy feud. There’s enough here to keep you entertained year-round.

Experience the trails yourself and see what mountain riding in West Virginia is all about.

HATFIELD-McCOY BREAKDOWN

Size

SIZE: 600+ miles of trail

Style

STYLE: Mountains and hills

Cost

COST: Annual permit costs $26.50 for WV residents; $50 for non-residents. One permit provides full access to all six Hatfield-McCoy Trail Systems. That's a steal.

Experience Level

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: The freshest riders might find parts of these trails challenging. It’s great for riders with a modest amount of ride experience all the way up to seasoned experts.

Open

OPEN: 365 days a year. Daylight hours only.

Accommodations

ACCOMMODATIONS: “ATV friendly towns” are connected to most of the trails. Hotels, lodges, camping are available.

 
Events

EVENTS: National Trailfest takes place annually in the fall, It’s full of cash prizes, auctions, fireworks, demo rides, and more! Bring the whole family to this one!

Information
North Carolina

Busco Beach  |   Goldsboro, North Carolina


Busco Beach - North Carolina
Photo courtesy Busco Beach.

Busco Beach is located just outside Goldsboro, North Carolina on the Neuse river. Busco features a large lake with a man-made beach for campers to fish, swim, and hang out on.

Busco Beach isn’t about lounging, though—it’s all about mud. From the miles of trails, to the mud pits, to the ATV ponds, if you want to get muddy, Busco Beach has got you covered. They manage to pack in a huge variety of off-road shenanigans in their 2,000+ acre park including a drag strip and a couple highly rated short course tracks.

You’re not likely to run out of things to do in a one-day visit, so why not stay the whole weekend? This park is jam packed with things to do and camping on-site, which means you don’t have leave this park paradise for the entirety of your trip if you don’t want to. They accommodate everything from primitive camping to full electric, water, and sewage hookups for RV’s. They even have a nice wash station when you’re ready to clean your vehicle (and yourself) at the end of the day.

If you want to get stuck in and see nothing but mud on your next ride, Busco Beach is the place to go.

BUSCO BEACH BREAKDOWN

Size

SIZE: 2,000+ acres

Style

STYLE: Mud, trails, mud, short course track, mud pits, ATV ponds, and mud.

Cost

COST: $5 dollars per person per day; $10 per machine per day.

Experience Level

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Great for anyone. The various mud pits and trails let you take the easy route or test the limits of your skill at your own pace. Experienced riders will find mud holes big enough to challenge even them. The difficulty is highly dependent on the weather as is the case with most mud parks.

Experienced racers can have a blast on the short course tracks.

Open

OPEN: 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

Accommodations

ACCOMMODATIONS: Primitive camping is $5 a night. 30-amp power and water hook-up is $20 a night. 30-amp full hook-up is $25 a night. 50-amp full hook-up is $35 a night. RV prices include 2 people. Extra people staying in an RV cost $5 per night.

Busco Beach has a concession stand on site. Goldsboro is just minutes away for more food and lodging options.

Events

 EVENTS: Busco Beach has numerous events every year from Best of the Best Tribute Fest—a concert filled with tribute bands for groups like Lynyrd Skynyrd, ACDC, and Guns and Roses—to cornhole tournaments, cookouts, and ATV/UTV parts swap meets.

Information
Oklahoma

Little Sahara  |   Waynoka, Oklahoma


Little Sahara - Waynoka, Oklahoma
Photo courtesy TravelOK.com.

Thought sand dunes were just for the coast or desert? Think again. Thanks to some fancy river action in the Pleistocene era, Oklahoma has its very own 1,600 acre dune-tastic ride park.

Dunes vary in height from 25 to 75 feet tall—aka real big, and plenty big enough for some real big fun. While most of the park is an open dune field, there are spiderwebbing trails through the greenery at the edges.

If you're looking for more organized fun, check out one of the many annual events. There’s the UTV Takeover and Sandfest in the fall, and the Rattlesnake Hunt in spring.

Don’t let the sound of the Rattlesnake Hunt scare you off, it’s an annual tradition in the town of Waynoka dating back to the 1940s. It’s centered around a street festival on the main street of Waynoka 4 miles north of the park, but brings thousands of riders, custom builds, and fun. It’s the marquee event of the year.

LITTLE SAHARA BREAKDOWN

Size

SIZE: 1,600+ acres.

Style

STYLE: Sand, dunes, and more dunes.

Cost

COST: $10 per person.

Experience Level

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Great for beginners and experts. Visibility is limited when dune riding, that's why all vehicles are required to have whips with 6" x 12" flags installed. Beginners should be especially careful.

Open

OPEN: 24-7, 365.

Accommodations

ACCOMMODATIONS: 86 RV sites with water and electricity ($22/night), and 143 tent sites ($14/night). Showers and restrooms in the park and seasonal concessions. Waynoka is a small town of less than 1000 people located 4 miles from the park with gas, groceries, and limited lodging.

Events

  EVENTS: Rattlesnake hunt in the spring, Sandfest in the fall.

Information
Tennessee

Windrock  |   Oliver Springs, Tennessee


Windrock - Oliver Springs, Tennessee
Photo courtesy Windrock.

Windrock Park is one of many ride parks in Tennessee, but this is one you don't want to miss. 72,000 acres packed with over 300 miles of trails make it the biggest ride park in the country. It's nestled into the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Tennessee so you're guaranteed countless breathtaking vistas and all the mountain climbs, rock climbs, and creek crossings the region has to offer.

Windrock could be the only park you ever visit based purely on the size of it—by the time you've ridden everything, you will have probably forgotten what the earlier trails were like. Plus, you'll find just about every riding surface apart from dunes here. They have trails for novice riders all the way up to double black diamond trails for the most experienced. If you are a novice, you'll want to pay attention to the trail map. You may have to use more difficult trails to complete an easy trail loop.

If the trails aren't enough for you, there are tons of events every year including Race 2 Riches. We love Race 2 Riches. It's an action-packed hill climbing competition with huge payouts. It's one of the best spectator UTV events anywhere.

WINDROCK BREAKDOWN

Size

SIZE: 72,000+ acres; 300+ miles of trails.

Style

STYLE: Mountains and forest trail riding. Some difficult rocky trails, and hill climbs keep this park fresh.

Cost

COST: $20.05 a day per person, $91.12 annually per person. Half price for children under 12.

Experience Level

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Great for brand new riders and seasoned veterans alike.

Open

OPEN: Go any day you want and stay all night.

Accommodations

ACCOMMODATIONS: 18 cabins ($135/night - $300/night), 39 RV sites with full hook-ups ($38/night), RV overflow with no hook-ups ($20/night), 75+ primitive camp sites ($16/night). The on-site general store offers vehicle rentals, gas, a vehicle wash site, and souvenir shop. Oliver Springs is right outside the gate and offers a few amenities. Oak Ridge is just 15 minutes away and is chock full of food, groceries, and restaurants.

Events

EVENTS:  Windrock has a lot of events. From the Spring Jamboree to Race2Riches, you'll find what you're looking for.

Information
Texas

River Run  |   Jacksonville, Texas


River Run - Jacksonville, Texas
Photo courtesy River Run.

How do you feel about 2000+ acres of mud pits, trails, and ponds that are all trying to get you dirty? If that sounds like a good time, then you want to head down to River Run ATV park in Jacksonville, Texas. It's got everything you need to get down and dirty for some off-road fun.

They've got plenty of campsites to accommodate the massive crowds that come out every year for the Mudd Jam in May, the Mudaholic Convention in November, and the Mardi Gras Ride every February.

The Mardi Gras Ride in particular is perfect for those who prefer a muddier take on the traditional Mardis Gras.

Don your beads and dress up your machine! Cash prizes for the best decorated vehicle mean you're sure to see some wild machines. With $3000 of prize payouts across poker runs, bounty holes, and more, it's one event you'll want to return to year after year.

RIVER RUN BREAKDOWN

Size

SIZE:2000+ acres.

Style

STYLE: MUD!

Cost

COST: Single day pass-$20 for adults, $15 for kids 11-17 with Multi-day and weekend discounts.

RVs are $25/night for the first 2 nights then$20/night.

Cabins are $125 for the first night then $100/night. Events have special pricing.

Primitive camping is $10/night.

Annual pass costs you $250 and gives you ½ price entry to select events.

Experience Level

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Nothing too demanding here. If you want to tackle the deepest mud holes, though, you'll need the right rig.

Open

OPEN: Every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas

Accommodations

ACCOMMODATIONS: 100+ RV sites with water and electric hook-ups. 21 cabins. Loads of additional dry camping/primitive camping sites. Jacksonville is 20 minutes away and has plenty of food, groceries, and hotels to keep you well fed and keep the city slickers happy.

Events

EVENTS: Mardis Gras Ride, Mudd Mayhem, Mudd Jam, Memorial Day Mudbug Ride, Back to School Bash, Muddin' for a Cure, and Mudaholic Convention. You can stay busy here all year round.

Information

There you have it! Five of the best places to ride in the South. There are hundreds and hundreds of parks worth your time. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know over on our Facebook page!

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