MORE OFF-ROAD TRAILS TO HIT THIS SPRING
A collection of OHV trails across the Southeast perfect for springtime 4x4 exploring
The days are slowly getting longer and warm weather is just beginning to creep into forecasts across the Southeast. That’s right – with February drawing to a close, Spring is just around the corner in our part of the country. Spring is an exciting time for off-road enthusiasts, and the arrival of the season means that it’s time to get ready for some off-road exploring. From forest service roads in the Blue Ridge Mountains to sandy coastal trails, our region is full of choice locations to go wheelin’.
In this installation of the SORS blog, we’ll showcase some of the best OHV trails across the Southeast. These places are geared towards the Off-Roader that wants to get 4×4 action in their Truck, Jeep are SUV. No rock crawling, highly technical trails, or anything else that couldn’t be tackled with a lifted vehicle on some aggressive all-terrains or mud-terrains. In fact, these trails are perfect for owners of SORS built vehicles.
Talladega National Forest OVH (Trail 617)
Talladega National Forest 617 is a short trail located on the northwest border of the National Forest. The trail is partially maintained gravel forest road and partially unimproved single lane dirt. The trail passes through several types of forest including old growth hardwood and pine. The trail condition is very dependent on the recent level of rainfall. When dry, the trail can be passed by most vehicles but when wet, it becomes a muddy, rutted mess that requires 4WD and a fair amount of skill. This is an excellent short trip with diverse terrain and scenery. Combine this trail with nearby NF 616 and NF 600-1 for a full day of wheeling. Check the weather conditions before you go, bring your recovery gear and enjoy this scenic and fun trail through the Talladega National Forest.
Length: 3.5 m
Little River Canyon Preserve Backcountry Road
Located in DeKalb and Cherokee Counties, Little River Canyon National Preserve is a 15,288 acre nature preserve in northeastern Alabama. While the highlight of this park is the pristine Little River and the surrounding canyon, the preserve’s Backcountry sections are a treat for off-road enthusiasts. Made up of 23 miles of gravel and dirt roads that cut through the Southern Appalachian wilderness. These roads range from easy to somewhat moderate, with river crossings, mud holes and rock crawls scattered throughout the area. Again, weather conditions can vary the conditions on these roads greatly, so 4WD and recovery gear are a must.
Length: 23 mi
Croom Wildlife Management Area
Located within the Withlacoochee State Forest, the Croom WMA is a 20,000 acre tract of land approximately 50 miles south of Ocala. These trails are somewhat of a hidden treasure for Florida Jeep owners – with ATV/dirt bike trails being the main attraction in the Croom WMA, the miles of forest roads within the area are often overlooked. While these roads don’t offer anything particularly technical or challenging, the sandy terrain and scattered mud holes offer plenty to explore and get dirty in. Croom WMA joins to the nearby Richloam and Citrus WMAs, which together encompass some of the best Jeep and 4×4 trails in South-Central Florida. However, be sure to stay on the numbered service roads, as forest rangers have been known to hand out hefty fines for 4x4s caught on the ATV trails.
Old Bucktown Rd
Old Bucktown Rd. Is a forest service road just outside of Ellijay, Georgia, north of Amicalola Falls State Park. Nestled in North Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Old Bucktown is a rocky mountain pass that cuts through from Ellijay to the Nimblewill area of the Chattahoochee National Forest. One of the rougher Forest Service roads left in Georgia, this is still navigable for most skill levels making it a great trail for beginner off-road drivers or for someone looking to test out a new rig without being too rough or too remote. Additionally, This road also offers access to the Appalachian Trail, the 2100 mile hiking trail from Georgia to Maine. Old Bucktown is a nearly all downhill/uphill trail depending on which point you enter from. Taking the northern entrance from the paved portion of Old Bucktown provides a moderately challenging uphill ascent into Chatahoochee National, where it meets with Nimblewill Gap Rd. From there, Nimblewill Gap can be used to navigate out of the forest.
Length: 2.87 mi
Winding Stair Gap Rd
Located about halfway between Suches and Dahlonega, Winding Stair Gap Road is another forest service road in the Chattahoochee National Forest. This trail is the western part of a popular off-road driving loop through the Blue Ridge WMA section of Chattahoochee National. Winding Stair Gap is a nearly complete downhill, straight-through trail to the southern entrance of the forest, following a ridge overlooking Penitentiary Cove to the east and Jones Creek to the west. This trail is rated as moderate, with enough technical section to challenge beginners and keep seasoned off-roaders entertained..
Length: 5.2 mi
Windrock OHV Trails
The Windrock OHV Trails are a part of WindRock Park, a 73,000 acre off-roading destination located in Oliver Springs, TN. Cut through the Appalachian Mountains, these forested trails offer up challenges for off-roaders of all skill levels. Gravel roads offer up some off-road excitement for the greenest beginners, while rutted out forest trails offer up plenty of fun for more seasoned wheelers. Finally, rock crawlers can find some serious technical challenges within to contend with within the park’s trail system. Permits are reasonably priced and the well mapped trail system makes these routes a breeze to navigate.
Length: 300 mi (Total)
BONUS: The Gatekeeper Trail – Windrock Park
Finally, we’ve included one extremely technical, severely difficult trail for the hardcore rock crawlers out there. Located in the heart of the 73,000 acre Windrock Park, this daunting double black diamond trail is not for the faint of heart. Less than a 1/4 of a mile long, The Gatekeeper is one of the most challenging trails in Windrock Park and even the most seasoned rock crawlers should expect to spend nearly an hour navigating this trail. Anyone looking to navigate the Gatekeeper needs a dedicated crawler rig, or at the very least a vehicle with some serious clearance and suspension articulation, if they intend to make it through.
Length: 0.18 mi
WE BUILD TRUCKS FOR THE TRAIL
As we stated before, anyone looking to traverse these trails needs a 4WD vehicle with ample ground-clearance, appropriate tires, skid plates and other off road gear. Southern Off-Road Specialists’ vehicle up-fitting experts can turn your truck or SUV into a trail-ready machine that can take on most of these trails. From simple lifts, hybrid all-terrains and wheels to snorkels, air-lockers and skid plates, SORS has the experience and the know how to build the perfect weekend warrior vehicle.