Top 15 Epic 4×4 Off-Roading Trails in Ohio

Epic 4x4 Off-Roading Trails in Ohio

Ohio is a haven for off-road and 4×4 enthusiasts. With over 22,000 miles of off-roading trails winding through scenic forests, across fields, over hills, and crossing creeks, the Buckeye State offers some of the best off-roading in the Midwest.

But where are the top 4×4 trails for an epic off-road adventure in Ohio?

The best 4×4 trails in Ohio deliver exciting obstacles, incredible views, rugged terrain, beginner-friendly areas, and access to beautiful nature. This guide takes you through the 15 most stunning, thrilling off-road trails that Ohio has to offer.

Get ready to take your jeep, 4×4, ATV, or side-by-side on an off-road journey to remember. Below we cover everything you need to know including trail highlights, terrain, difficulty, location, and tips to plan your Ohio off-road getaway. Let’s hit the trails!

1. Badlands Off-Road Park

Spanning over 1,500 acres in western Indiana, Badlands Off-Road Park provides access to 100+ miles of trails winding through the scenic hills of the glaciated Allegheny Plateau.

With elevations ranging from 800 to 1100 feet above sea level, the park contains a variety of terrain from muddy valleys to steep, rocky inclines. Trails range from beginner-friendly to difficult for an experience suitable for all off-roading skill levels.


  • 30+ miles of easy beginner trails perfect for new off-roaders
  • 60+ miles of intermediate trails offering a mix of mud, hills, rocks, and more
  • Challenging rock crawling areas to test your vehicle’s limits
  • Massive mud pits to kick up some mud
  • Obstacle courses to practice technical driving skills
  • On-site camping availability with 250 sites for tents and RVs

The park hosts special events like night rides and festivals. Badlands also offers rental side-by-sides so you can try off-roading without your own vehicle.

With so much to experience, it’s easy to spend a whole day or weekend enjoying the thrill of the trails at Badlands. Just 2.5 hours from Columbus, this park provides some of the top off-roading in Indiana.

Location: Attica, IN

Difficulty: Easy to moderate/difficult

2. Hocking Hills Off-Road Park

In the heart of scenic Hocking County, Nevillebillie Adventure Park spans 80 acres with over 14 miles of trails leading through forests and the rolling Appalachian foothills.

Rugged rock outcroppings, steep climbs, and winding paths add excitement as you navigate through mud and over obstacles. Nevillebillie Adventure Park offers off-roading opportunities for all skill levels across three main areas.

The Family Arena contains easier trails perfect for beginners and kids. The Main Park offers intermediate-level trails with steeper climbs, larger mud holes, and creek crossings. For advanced challenges, the Rock Garden features loose rock trails, boulders, and off-camber situations.


  • 14+ miles of trails ranging from beginner to difficult
  • Challenging rock crawling areas
  • Massive mud pits to splatter through
  • Steep hill climbs to test your vehicle
  • Creek crossings add scenic diversity
  • On-site camping with electric hookups at every site

With activities and trails for all, Nevillebillie Adventure Park provides an ideal destination for families and groups. Located outside Logan about 1.5 hours from Columbus, it’s a premier spot for off-road adventure.

Location: Logan, OH

Difficulty: Easy to difficult

3. Rush Run Wilderness

In the hills of southeast Ohio, the 16-mile Rush Run Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) trail travels through the rugged terrain of the Rush Run Wildlife Area.

Managed by the Marietta unit of the Wayne National Forest, this trail provides an exciting challenge across steep, rocky hills with stunning views. While geared for intermediate and advanced riders, Rush Run also offers easier bypasses on sections for beginners.

Narrow trails wind uphill with off-camber turns and opportunities to test your vehicle’s approach angle. Large boulders along the path add obstacles to traverse. Rush Run also features multiple creek crossings offering spots to cool off and scenic photo opportunities.


  • Rugged, rocky terrain with steep inclines
  • Tight trails with off-camber turns and dropoffs
  • Massive boulders to climb and navigate around
  • Several creek crossings across Rush Run Creek
  • Incredible views from high ridgelines

Located around an hour west of Marietta, Rush Run provides a scenic destination to challenge your off-road skills. Use caution on the narrow trails and steep terrain.

Location: McConnelsville, OH

Difficulty: Intermediate to difficult

4. Marietta Adventure Company

If you don’t have your own off-road vehicle, join a guided tour with Marietta Adventure Company. They provide bike and kayak tours on backroads and trails through the valleys and hills surrounding the Ohio River in southeast Ohio.

Professional tour guides lead groups up to six people on half-day or full-day adventures traveling to scenic overlooks and historical sights. Tours range from mild to wild in difficulty to suit different skills.


  • 5+ guided backroads and bike trail rides
  • Breathtaking views of the Ohio River Valley
  • Pass old homes, cemeteries, and earthworks
  • Ride through abandoned mining land and forests
  • Experienced tour guides provide history and assist with obstacles

This tour company lets you enjoy off-roading without the hassle of bringing your own vehicle. With picks ups available in Marietta, anyone can experience an off-road adventure.

Location: Marietta, OH

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

5. Not Specified Off-Road Park

Offering 1,200 acres of land, this park provides plenty of room to explore the ridges and valleys of southeast Ohio’s Appalachian foothills.

The park contains over 200 acres specifically for off-roading with trails that wind through the forest. Path ratings range from easy green trails ideal for families to difficult black diamond trails with steep climbs and loose rocks.


  • Family-friendly beginner area perfect for kids and novice drivers
  • Challenging rocky trail and off-camber obstacles in “The Rock Garden”
  • Steep hill climbs and descents to challenge your vehicle’s limits
  • Water crossings across creeks and mud holes
  • Winch-friendly trails to practice recovery skills

This park hosts special events like Full Moon Night Rides and bucket list rides checking off popular obstacles. Camping is available on-site with electric and water hookups.

Located outside McConnelsville about an hour from Columbus, this park caters to all skill levels for off-road fun.

Location: McConnelsville, OH

Difficulty: Easy to difficult

6. Egypt Valley Off-Road Park

Situated on over 600 acres in northeast Ohio, Egypt Valley Off-Road Park offers expansive off-roading opportunities with over 70 miles of trails traversing fields, woods, and hills.

Winding trails pass through thick mud that’s sure to sling up on your vehicle. Jeepers can test their skills at Egypt Valley’s famous hill climb named Mountaineer. With three lines ranging from moderate to difficult, it challenges you to make it up the steep, unforgiving grade.


  • 70+ miles of off-road trails covering easy to difficult paths
  • Massive mud pits that are tons of fun to plow through
  • Hill climbs like the iconic Mountaineer Hill
  • Creek crossings when you need a splash of water
  • Challenging rocky sections

Egypt Valley caters to families with easier trails perfect for beginners. The more rugged terrain appeals to intermediate and advanced riders looking for technical challenges. Located near Leetonia, it’s roughly an hour from both Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Location: Leetonia, OH

Difficulty: Easy to difficult

7. Indian Camp Off-Road Park

Spanning 180 acres in Licking County, Indian Camp Off-Road Park contains over 30 miles of trails weaving through the mixed terrain of hills, mud, and creeks.

Elevation changes up to 100 feet across the property allow for climbs and descents. Mud holes scattered throughout provide plenty of splattering opportunities. The creek also adds excitement with a water crossing along the trail.

The park designates areas for different skill levels. Families will enjoy the easier trails while experts can challenge themselves on the Black Diamond section.


  • 30+ miles of trails across varying terrain and skill levels
  • Massive mud holes guaranteed to sling mud
  • Steep hill climbs and descents up to 100 feet
  • Creek crossing for a cool splash
  • Beginner and expert level sections

Just 25 minutes from Columbus, Indian Camp offers conveniently located off-roading. With on-site camping available, you can extend the fun into a weekend adventure.

Location: Hebron, OH

Difficulty: Easy to difficult

8. Creekside Off-Road Park

Located in Splendora, Texas, Creekside Off-Road Park offers 350 acres of trails winding through scenic wooded areas and crossing multiple creeks .

Over 12 miles of paths range from easy green trails to difficult black diamond trails. Obstacles like rock piles, logs, and steep ravines challenge your driving skills. Several shallow creeks crossing the property let you make a splash on the trail.

Mud lovers can rejoice in Creekside’s massive mud bogs. The Big Swamp Mud Bog offers deep mud holes to plow through and test your vehicle’s limits.


  • 12+ miles of trails spanning from beginner to advanced
  • Massive mud pits and bogs perfect for splattering
  • Hill climbs offering technical driving challenges
  • Separate beginner and advanced areas
  • Multiple creek crossings across shallow water

Location: Splendora, TX

Difficulty: Easy to difficult

Hours: Friday noon to Sunday 6 PM

Badlands Jeep Adventures

If you don’t have your own vehicle, join a guided Badlands Jeep Adventure to explore the backroads and countryside surrounding Lancaster. Knowledgeable guides lead groups up to 14 people.

Tours take you to over 20 scenic sites including old homesteads, geological formations, valleys, springs, and caves. You’ll traverse fields, streams, and forests on an off-road journey seeing beautiful rural scenery.


  • Experienced, personable tour guides
  • Visit over 20 exciting scenic and historic sites
  • Traverse streams and plow through fields
  • See geological wonders like caves and springs
  • Hop hillsides and wind through wooded areas

Badlands Adventures last 4-5 hours and run daily from March through November. With complimentary hotel pickups in Lancaster, these tours make it easy to enjoy Ohio’s beautiful off-road scenery.

Location: Lancaster, OH

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Ohio Jeep Adventures

Based in the hills of southeast Ohio, this guided Jeep tour company takes you to see spectacular views, old mines, and beautiful scenery. Their backroads tours explore winding rural roads through valleys and forests.

Expert guides drive new 4-door Wranglers while sharing history and geology facts about the region. Small group sizes under 10 people provide personal experiences.


  • Small group sizes on tours
  • Breathtaking views of valleys and forests
  • Visit abandoned coal mines and mining towns
  • Traverse old hills on winding rural paths
  • Experienced guides to assist and inform

Tours range from 2 hours to full days for in-depth adventures. With hotel pickups available, Ohio Jeep Adventures simplifies exploring Appalachia’s natural beauty from behind the wheel.

Location: Beallsville, OH

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Brushcreek Motorsports Park

Situated on 350 acres in the Appalachian foothills of southeast Ohio, Brushcreek Motorsports Park provides miles of scenic trails with varying terrain and obstacles.

Winding tracks take you through the wooded hills and valleys. Elevation changes up to 200 feet allow for steep climbs and descents. The park also features a scenic pond and waterfall.

Trails range from easy green beginner trails to difficult black diamond paths filled with large rocks and off-camber turns. Families will enjoy the easier trails while advanced riders can challenge themselves on steeper grades.


  • Family-friendly green beginner trails
  • Challenging rock garden area with large boulders
  • Steep hill climbs and radical side-slope descents
  • Mud pits providing splattering opportunities
  • Pond and waterfall adding beautiful scenery

With camping available on-site, you can easily extend your off-road trip into a weekend. Located 20 minutes from Athens, Brushcreek provides scenic trails and obstacles.

Location: Albany, OH

Difficulty: Easy to difficult

12. Southern Ohio Forest Rally RallySprint

Held annually in early June, the Southern Ohio Forest Rally provides a unique chance to see off-road rally racing in Ohio. The 2-day stage rally race takes place on gravel and dirt roads winding through the Wayne National Forest.

The RallySprint portion on Saturday features a spectator-friendly course where fans can view the timed race stages along the route. Rally cars blast down winding dirt roads pushing their limits.

This free event lets spectators get an up-close thrill watching rally drivers race against the clock on the challenging gravel backroads. Fans can access the course by vehicle and walk right up to the action.

Location: Marietta, OH

Difficulty: N/A (Spectating Event)

13. Bobcat Valley Off-Road

Nestled within the hills outside Athens in southeast Ohio, Bobcat Valley spans 325 acres with over 30 miles of trails.

Winding tracks rated easy to difficult take you through steep ravines and across hillsides. Large boulders along the trail provide obstacles to traverse. Several creek crossings allow you to make a splash on the ride.

Families will enjoy the easier green trails around the perimeter. Experts can test their skills on the more technical black diamond paths. Multiple side trails allow you to customize the ride length.


  • 30+ miles of trails ranging from green to black diamond
  • Challenging rocky and off-camber sections
  • Creek crossings to make a splash
  • Gorgeous views from ridge lines
  • Beginner friendly areas for families

Bobcat Valley’s convenient location just 10 minutes from Athens makes it an accessible spot for off-roading in southeast Ohio.

Location: Athens, OH

Difficulty: Easy to difficult

14. Stonecoal Lake Park OHV Trails

Encompassing over 700 acres surrounding Stonecoal Lake, this county park near Cambridge offers 14 miles of OHV trails winding through rolling hills and hardwood forests.

The area features a mix of winding trails, straight shots across fields, and scenic lakefront riding. Mixture of flat stretches and gradual hills appeal to beginners. Beautiful views of rolling farmland add to the pleasant riding experience.

Stonecoal Lake OHV Area offers a family-friendly introduction to off-roading. Riders under 16 must take an ATV safety course to operate vehicles. With convenient trail-side parking, it provides easily accessible off-roading.

Location: Cambridge, OH

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

15. Safari Trails

For guided backroads tours of central Ohio’s beautiful countryside, join Safari Trails on ATVs or side-by-sides. This tour company takes groups up to 10 people on off-road explorations of hills, streams, and farmland.

Knowledgeable guides lead you to see historic structures and sights while describing the area’s nature and geology. You’ll traverse ATV trails winding through scenic wooded hills and ridge tops. Photo stops allow you to capture the natural beauty.


  • Experienced tour guides providing narration
  • Explore central Ohio’s scenic farmland and wooded hills
  • See historic structures and sights along the trails
  • Group tours up to 10 people
  • Traverse exciting trails through wooded areas and farmland similar to the other 14 off-road trails covered

Tours range from 1-3 hours in length so you can choose your ideal adventure timeframe. Located 45 minutes from Columbus, Safari Trails provides an accessible way to see Ohio’s off-road scenery without owning your own vehicle.

How to Prepare for the Trails?

Successfully navigating Ohio’s off-road trails requires some preparation and planning:

Choose the Right Vehicle

  • Use a high-clearance 4WD vehicle like a Jeep Wrangler or pickup truck. ATVs and side-by-sides also work well.
  • Ensure your vehicle is in good condition with adequate ground clearance.
  • Equip your rig properly with skid plates, off-road tires, lift kits or suspension upgrades as needed.

Know Your Capabilities

  • Match trails to your skill level and experience. Don’t take difficult trails as a beginner.
  • Practice basic off-roading techniques like navigating rocks, mud, hills, and water crossings.

Pack Proper Supplies

  • Bring a full-size spare tire, basic tools, tow strap, jumper cables, and a first aid kit.
  • Pack plenty of water, snacks, and weather-appropriate clothing.
  • Bring a GPS device, map, compass, and fully charged phone for navigation.

Check Trail Conditions

  • Research trail conditions and difficulty before heading out.
  • Consult park websites and trail forums for updates on closures, damage, and weather impacts.

Get Permits

  • Acquire necessary recreation passes and off-highway vehicle registrations.
  • Review all park rules and regulations.

Off-Road Safety Tips

Practicing safe off-road driving is crucial. Keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Drive slowly and cautiously, especially around blind corners or hills.
  • Yield to uphill traffic which can be harder to control.
  • Avoid traveling alone in remote areas. Ride with a group when possible.
  • Know your limits and don’t take unnecessary risks.
  • Stay on designated trails and obey all park guidelines.
  • Use extreme caution when crossing creeks or muddy areas.
  • Use seat belts, helmets, goggles, and protective gear when appropriate.
  • Carry a first aid kit and emergency supplies in case of an accident or breakdown.
  • Give right of way to foot traffic, horses, and mountain bikers.
  • Tread lightly and avoid spinning your tires excessively to protect the terrain.

What to Bring on the Trails?

To make your off-roading trip more enjoyable and safe, remember to pack:

  • Paper trail maps and/or GPS/navigation app
  • Tow strap, jumper cables, jack, and spare tire
  • First aid kit
  • Multi-tool, gloves, and basic toolbox
  • Tire plug kit and portable air compressor
  • Water, food, and emergency blankets
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Flashlights
  • Winch and recovery gear
  • CB radio
  • Weather-appropriate clothing and footwear
  • Sunscreen, bug spray, and other protective items

So there you have it – the top 15 spots and trails offering an epic off-road experience across Ohio! With its mix of rugged terrain, beginner areas, challenging climbs, scenic views, and experienced guides, Ohio provides options for all skill levels.

From rock crawling Badlands to cruising easy trails with the family, there are off-road adventures to match your needs. With some trails conveniently located near cities and others tucked away in the woodlands, you can choose the setting for your muddy getaway.

The trails covered range from the southeast hills of Appalachia to northwest Ohio’s glaciated plains for diversity in landscapes. No matter which part of Ohio you’re located in or driving through, there’s great off-roading to be found.

So gather your rigs, strap on your helmets, and get ready to hit the trails. Let us know your favorites – there’s always more exciting paths to explore in the Buckeye State. Just be sure to practice responsible and safe off-roading to protect the environment and other riders.

Now get out there, seize the adventure, and experience the thrill of off-roading in Ohio!


With over 22,000 miles of off-road trails traversing scenic forests, fields, valleys, and hills, Ohio delivers epic riding opportunities for 4×4 and off-road enthusiasts.

The top trails highlighted in this guide offer the state’s premier terrain, obstacles, scenery, and excitement. Badlands, Valley of the Kings, Egypt Valley, Hocking Hills and more deliver rugged challenges for adventure seekers.

Guided tours with Marietta Adventure Company, Badlands Jeep Adventures, Ohio Jeep Adventures, and Safari Trails let you ride along in off-road comfort to see beautiful sights.

From rock crawling to mud running and scenic hill climbs, Ohio has it all. With family-friendly areas, winch-worthy trails, and expert levels, the difficulty accommodates all skills.

So get out and hit the trails to experience Ohio’s incredible off-roading. Just be sure to ride responsibly by not damaging the environment or endangering others. Adventure awaits – now start your engines and make some mud fly!

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