Trail Review: Clear Creek OHV Trails – Milton, FL

Things are looking up for ATV riders in the Sunshine state. The State of Florida has been working on adding new riding facilities at all ends of the state to compliment the current state trails found in central Florida. This past January, after a 10 year effort, Clear Creek OHV Trails opened as an extension of the Blackwater River State Forest thanks in part to grants from Yamaha and Polaris. The 346 acre tract has 27 miles of trails for area riders.

Clear Creek OHV

Pulling into the park, there is a large staging area with ample parking on a gravel parking lot. There is a bathhouse with an outdoor shower. The small store where you sign in and pay your riding fees also has a selection of snacks and drinks and a few items you might need or have forgotten. Though the park is owned by the state it is operated by a private company. There is no camping at this time but future plans include it. More on that later. There is a small kids track for the youngest of riders to ride on. One note is the lack of shade around the staging area. You won’t find much of an escape from the Florida heat until you press the throttle and create a breeze. Clear Creek OHVLike many of the parks in northwest Florida, Clear Creek OHV is popular for dirt bikes. During our visit no other ATVs were seen but several bikes were around. While all 27 miles of trails are open to them, about 8 miles is single track trails for dirt bikes only. Currently the width limit is 50″ for the ATV trails keeping most side by sides out. With some of the tight weaving between trees we found this limit to be an accurate measurement. Another advantage for dirt bikes is the complete lack of anything mud related. Despite being named Clear Creek OHV, there is no creek, clear or otherwise on the property. Our visit was at the end of a week of heavy rains but the trails were dry though not overly dusty. Clear Creek OHVMost of the trails run through an area that was obviously clear cut for timber a few years ago. These trails are especially sunny and dryer. The outer trails run through more tree coverage and are also the tighter trails. With no mud there aren’t many ruts. The trails are also not particularly technical. While it may not be challenging this does make the park incredibly family friendly and a great choice for young or inexperienced riders. The trails are all clearly marked and color coded. All trails are one way, with road signs limiting speed and warning of trail crossings. Clear Creek OHVThe state also acquired another 350 acres across the street. Grants are in progress to expand there including trails for side-by-sides and camping areas. Riding fees are very reasonable at $15 for adults, $10 for youth (14 and under), seniors and military. Annual passes are in the works as well. The park is only open Friday through Sunday from 8am-5pm, weather permitting. Helmets are required for all riders. Youth riders also need eye protection and boots that cover the ankles. Riders under age 16 are also required to take an approved ATV safety course. An approved online version of the course can be taken at Noise is strictly rated to 96dB and every vehicle is checked before it hits the trails. For more details the Clear Creek OHV website is They are also on Facebook at

Trail Review: Arapaho National Forest – Grand Lake, CO

In the middle of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, Highway 40 and 34 wind through the mountains and many popular ski towns. But if you pass by the ski resorts during the off-season you’ll find a small town whose lack of ski lanes makes is far less popular. In fact, its tourist season is in the summer when the warmer weather invites tourists headed to Arapaho National Forest and Rocky Mountain National Forest. Welcome to Grand Lake, Colorado.

Arapaho National Forest

Grand Lake is actually considered to be the snowmobile capital of the United States due to it’s remoteness. But during the short, summer months, the area provides some of the best ATV riding anywhere.

Arapaho National Forest

We booked our stay at the Winding River Resort just north of Grand Lake and on the outskirts of Rocky Mountain National Park. Winding River Report offers lodge rooms, cabins and camping lots for any type of camping. The resort also offers many recreational activities like a petting zoo, horseback trail rides, playgrounds and so much more. There are other hotel and lodging options in Grand Lake, but only the Winding River Resort sits directly on the North Supply Kiosk trailhead.Arapaho National Forest

Since we utilized air transportation to get to our destination, we found it necessary to rent so we could enjoy the trails. On the grounds of the Winding River Resort is also On The Trail Rentals. OTTR rents Polaris ATVs and side-by-sides during the warm months(May through September) and Ski-Doo snowmobiles during the winter. They buy all new units at the beginning of each season and maintain them meticulously. We opted for 8 hours on an RZR 570, giving us access to most of the narrow trails thanks to the 50-inch width. With a discount for staying at the resort we paid just over $300 which includes a trail map, a tank of fuel and helmets. During the 2014 riding season you can choose between a Polaris Sportsman 570, the 2-up Sportsman Touring 570, the Sportsman Ace, RZR 570 and Ranger Crew. If you bring your own OHV then you can launch from the Idleglen Staging Area nearby. The Idleglen kiosk has restroom facilities.

Arapaho National Forest

The Stillwater OHV Trail System, also known as Stillwater Pass, offers over 130 miles of trails. It’s a great mix of wide roads for beginners to moderately technical rocks climbs to narrow passes that even the RZR 570 couldn’t venture through. In all, we treked about 70 miles through the trails, discovering some of the most beautiful scenery and wildlife you’ll ever see. Speaking of wildlife, if there is a moose on the trail ahead of you he owns it. Be patient!

Arapaho National Forest

About two-thirds of the 130 miles is wide dirt road with plenty of passing room in most places. But the real adventure starts on the other third, the narrower trails. Middle Supply Creek, Blizzard Pass and Camway trails were said to be too narrow for our RZR. But we had a great time on the North Supply Loop, Soda Pass and Spruce ’em Up Jack trails. Lower Gilsonite also provided some great canyon views. Be sure to pack a lunch and eat at the picnic area at the peak of the Eagle Perch trail where you can see all of Grand Lake.

Arapaho National Forest

If you are hauling your own ATVs, note that you will need to register your OHV with Colorado State Parks. Registration can be done at forest ranger offices, Colorado State Parks registration units, and many OHV dealers. You can also catch up on other state requirements and OHV laws. Outside of the registration there is no fee for riding. For more details on riding at Arapaho National Forest see the USDA site at For rental information see OTTR at

Arapaho National Forest



Trail Review: Hard Labor Creek Off Road Park – Chipley, FL

Like hopefully each of you were, we spent the days leading up to Labor Day looking for a place to ride. We try to avoid doing trail reviews during an event or ‘Fest as that won’t truly represent a normal weekend. So that and severe thunderstorms to the west sent us into the Florida panhandle and into the area of Hard Labor Creek Off Road Park. Hard Labor Creek Off Road Park is located not far off Interstate 10 near Chipley, Florida.

Hard Labor Creek Off Road Park is primarily a dirt bike park. There are about 50 miles of trails dedicated to them, which means you’ll see more NO ATV signs then anything else. We were told there were about 20 miles of ATV and UTV trails, but we only clocked 12 miles and that included some repeating. It is very likely that we missed a few trails. I would love to see more trail markers telling us where we can go instead of so much where we can’t go.

Hard Labor Creek Off Road Park

The trails are all one way except the main strips which have a speed limit and signs telling you to stay to the right. Helmets are required and boots are recommended. Both are available for rent if you come unprepared. The park is very family friendly and their safety and alcohol rules help keep it that way. There are also beginner trails and pee-wee tracks to satisfy the younger riders.

Hard Labor Creek Off Road Park

The clubhouse has drinks and snacks as well as covered seating. A bathhouse offers a couple of flush toilets and showers which beat many off road parks. They also have a nice wash rack to clean off your machines. It’s elevated off the ground so your ride istn’t stading in a puddle of the dirt and mud you are washing off. There is plenty of parking space with the ability to pull through. Hard Labor Creek Off Road Park also offers RV hookups and tent camping options if you want to stay overnight. Something we love to see are loading/unloading areas; dirt berms designed to safely and conveniently load/unload your ride from the back of a truck without needing ramps. The dirt ramp can’t slide out from under you!

Hard Labor Creek Off Road Park

Riding rates are reasonable at $20 per day/per rider for adults, $30 for the weekend. Riders ages 5-12 are $15 per day or $20 for the weekend. Non-riders are $10 a day and those under 5 are free. The park is only open on the weekends from 8-5, but groups of 8 or more can get access during the week by reservation.

Hard Labor Creek Off Road Park

Hard Labor Creek Off Road Park is clearly designed with our two-wheeled cousins in mind. And there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just good to know in advance. If you’re in the area it’s a fun stop, probably even better after a rain. Some of the ATV trails were as small as single track trails and made for tight navigation. If you are on a full size side-by-side I would scout the trails before going down them.

Hard Labor Creek Off Road Park

The park as many plans for the future including more tracks for the sport quads and an R/C track for remote controlled toys. We’d love to see them expand the ATV trails into more of their unused land. Of course, expansions like that can only be funded by visits from riders like you! For more information check out the Hard Labor Creek Off Road Park website at

Trail Review: Apalachicola National Forest – Tallahassee, FL

On the south-west border of Florida’s state capital of Tallahassee sits one of the states largest National Forests, Apalachicola National Forest. Florida has always been a haven for off-roaders and Apalachicola National Forest is a prime example. It is home to 56 miles of ATV, single track and automobile trails over several types of terrain.

Apalachicola National Forest

There are three trailheads for ATV enthusiasts. Two are dirt parking lots off dirt roads. But the Silver Lake trailhead at the Silver Lake Recreational Area is a great launching point. For a $3 use fee you can pull into paved parking lots with plenty of room for trailers. Surrounding you is the swimming area of Silver Lake and a bathhouse as well as grilling areas. Riding fees are $10 per rider for a 3-day pass good for most of the National Forest trails in Florida. $75 will get you an annual trail pass.

Apalachicola National Forest

Hitting the trails you may immediately wonder if you need sand paddles. The trails start off with very soft, white sand and may concern you about getting stuck. The softness of the sand fluctuates throughout the trails but we never had any struggles from it. The trails are all clear and wide. They are also pretty clearly marked with forestry road numbers. The trails cut in and out of automobile forestry roads and each of the ORV trails are clearly marked for what types of vehicles are allowed.

Apalachicola National Forest

The trails aren’t all about sand. There are several water crossings and deep water holes. Most of the water holes have bypass trails cut around them or have a rock base. The holes were fine for even stock ATVs but we did bottom out on one and have to practice our recovery methods.

Apalachicola National Forest

While generally a flat landscape the scenery changes regularly. Patches of tall pines with a lush fern floor disappear fade to small hardwoods with thick underbrush and then to few trees with shrubbery growing in swamp like conditions.  At times you can’t even see a trail, just a submerged clearing, curving through the bushes.

Apalachicola National Forest

The trails are very easy, a great place for beginners to learn. The trails are fine for sport ATVs and dirt bikes too. UTVs are allowed and should have plenty of clearance on the trails. The only disappointment we saw was that the shower heads in the bathhouse had been removed. Not as in the were stolen, but as in they had been capped off. If you need to clean up just take a dip in Silver Lake! For more information on the ATV Trails at Apalachicola National Forest see their website at:

Apalachicola National Forest, Tallahassee, FL 32310

Trail Review: Boggs and Boulders – Brooklyn, AL

Life Beyond the Pavement. That’s what Boggs and Boulders Off Road Adventure Park refers to itself as, and perhaps there are few truer statements. Boggs & Boulders is remotely located in the community of Brooklyn, Alabama. But when you turn off Brooklyn Road into the entrance you leave the pavement behind and enter an off-road paradise.

Boggs and Boulders

Boggs & Boulders caters to almost every conceivable type of off-road vehicle. They welcome dirt bikes, ATVs, UTVs, Jeeps, mud buggies, rock crawlers and most anything else. You’re even welcome to hike or mountain climb on the rock walls. And with over 1,000 acres this playground has plenty of room for everyone. The park has main roads that get you to the various areas of the park easily. From there trails of all sizes and types go in different directions. Many trails are limited to certain vehicles types because of the trail width. Those trails are clearly marked. Our visit was the week of a very rare snow fall which had melted and made for a pretty muddy park. However, the rocky soil meant we usually had plenty of traction. If you aren’t up to testing the depth of the mud there are dry detours in most cases. With the exception of a few dedicated mud holes any stock ATV should do fine at Boggs and Boulders. We actually witnessed a young female pilot a Polaris RZR 170 impressively through very muddy trails. Whether it was her driving or the RZR itself she had no trouble guiding the little side-by-side through the thick of it. I fully expected to be pushing her out at somepoint. After seeing that you can be confident that your ride will have no problem.

Boggs and Boulders

One day is not enough to fully enjoy Boggs and Boulders. The staff is very aware of that and have set up multiple options to keep you comfortable overnight. There are several cabins, A-frame bunkhouses and campers available for groups of any size. There are also over 100 RV sites and primitive camping areas. Some of these options have restroom facilities. For the others it’s a short ride to the bathhouse which is one of the better facilities we’ve come across. Hotels are located in the nearby city of Andalusia, Alabama.

Boggs and Boulders

After a long day of riding there is a very large spring-fed swimming hole with a beach and areas to relax and play. There are also a couple of caves to explore on the acreage and a few group areas that you can reserve for your friends. The Mud Pie Cafe serves up a great selection of food from the grill with indoor and covered outdoor seating. The pavilion also has a stage and regularly hosts concerts and events; be sure to check out the events on their website. The store has hundreds of accessories and replacement parts for ATVs and UTVs as well as RV parts. There’s also a multi-station bike wash to quickly relieve your ride of any mud you collect on the trails. Boggs and Boulders

Boggs and Boulders is open for riding Friday through Sunday. Rates during our visit were $25 per ORV plus $10 per person. Perhaps the best part of Boggs and Boulders is the atmosphere. It is a very family friendly park and “Bogg Daddy” has plans to add even more enjoyment. The park rules are all very reasonable and promote good behavior. Helmets are required for youth and at some of the technical areas of the park. And while most ORVs are welcome, three-wheelers are not. To make your own plans to visit Boggs & Boulders check out their website at

Boggs and Boulders

Boggs & Boulders Off Road Park - Brooklyn, AL

Trail Review: Bonnet Carre Spillway – Norco, LA

Bonnet Carre Spillway

Louisiana is known for many things: Mardi Gras, Cajun food, alligator hunting and duck calls. It also claims the title of the Sportsman’s Paradise. When it comes to ATV riding we tend to agree. Gulf Coast parks commonly feature deep mud holes that keep snorkel manufacturers and shade-tree mechanics in business. But if the risk of sinking your ride it more than you want to take, there are still places to suit. One such destination is the Bonnet Carre Spillway in Norco, Louisiana. Best of all: it’s free.

Bonnet Carre Spillway

The Bonnet Carre Spillway is land overseen by the US Army Corps of Engineers. It serves as flood control for the Mississippi River which it borders, meaning it can be occasionally flooded. However, according to the Corps of Engineers, the Spillway has been closed less than 10 times since it opened in 1937. It also means that it’s virtually a marsh land and the Corps has made the 8,000 acres available to all sorts of Sportsmen.

Bonnet Carre Spillway

Easily accessible off Highway 90 is a gravel road leading to the staging area. The staging area is gated but open as long as the sun is up. The staging area is roomy enough for a fleet of 18-wheelers to maneuver and has several porta-potties that are kept up. Directly off the staging area are a couple of trail heads and areas designated as children’s tracks. Unfortunately the children’s tracks were not maintained at the time of our visit.

Bonnet Carre Spillway

There are two ATV areas found in Bonnet Carre Spillway. Each area is about 450 acres and each with about 20 miles of trails. Currently Area 2 is closed and in need of repair from Hurricane Issac in 2012. Area 1 is mostly south of Highway 90. The trails are formed throughout the marsh, weaving around various ponds and canals. The lower spots are pretty muddy but there is a bottom to it. In all of our riding we only had two occasions where our recovery rope was needed. If you want to get stuck you can, but you probably won’t be on the main trails. Speaking of recovery, if you like to ride alone and use a winch you’ll be out of luck here. Solid trees are few and far between. While trails twist and turn confusingly, the Highway 90 overpass, a set of elevated railroad tracks, and a few distinguishable processing plants make it easy to orient yourself. Good cell phone reception means that your smartphone can easily be used for navigation.

Bonnet Carre Spillway

One thing that is common is wildlife. During our winter ride the waterfowl were plentiful. You could hear shots from nearby hunting grounds that agreed. There were also tracks of larger game. I’m sure there are plenty of alligators in the Bonnet Carre Spillway so don’t venture too far off the trails on foot either.

Bonnet Carre Spillway

If you have interest in more than just ATV riding, the Bonnet Carre Spillway also has designated areas for fishing, crawfishing, hunting, dog training and a remote control airplane area. There are two boat ramps and camping is also an option with the proper permit. Park Rangers are on duty from the nearby Corps of Engineers office. If you’re ready to party after your ride, New Orleans in only about 15 minutes away. There are also plenty of restaurants and fuel stations close by as well. For more information about the Bonnet Carre Spillway see the Army Corp of Engineers website at

Bonnet Carre Spillway

Bonnet Carre Spillway - Norco, LA

Trail Review: Stony Lonesome OHV Park – Bremen, AL

Attention County Commissions of North America: take note of the great efforts made by Cullman County. Cullman County is a moderately sized county between Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama, and is perfectly divided by Interstate 65. In 2007 the County Commission sought to increase tourist revenue, wanting to hold on to visitors who were stopping for little more than fuel and food as they passed through. Enter Stony Lonesome OHV Park.

stony lonesome ohv park review

The county set 1,456 acres of land aside to become an OHV paradise. Today the park caters to ATVs, side-by-sides, Jeeps, rock crawlers, dirt bikes, horseback riding and even hikers.There are over 70 miles of trails, each rated and well-marked for difficulty, direction of travel and vehicle restrictions.

stony lonesome ohv park review

The trails themselves are incredibly scenic, climbing through the foothills of the Appalachian mountains and along the banks of Dorsey and Stony Lonesome Creeks providing for some pretty steep climbs. Trails are rated as Easiest, Advanced and Extreme. Each of the trails branch off from a couple of main roads that cut through the property. The main roads are two-way with one-way trails branching off. Most of the trails come back a few yards away. Throughout the park there are call boxes with map information. There are also a few helicopter landing zones, just in case.

stony lonesome ohv park review

There are some muddy locations and even trails marked as being muddy, but don’t mistake Stony Lonesome for a mud park. Even after heavy rain before our rides I only got water up to my foot pegs on a stock Grizzly 350 and only got stuck once when I bottomed out in ruts on an Advanced trail. The Easiest trails are nice joy rides. Advanced trails get into steeper climbs and deeper ruts, a trend that continues into the Extreme trails.

stony lonesome ohv park review

Stony Lonesome has a nice park office on a hill overlooking the entrance. Check-in and check-out is required for all riders, including those staying overnight. No riding is allowed at night, ending an hour before dark. The park is open Thursday through Monday, closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. Quiet time starts at 10pm in the camping area. It’s a very social atmosphere until then.

stony lonesome ohv park review

Like any respectable park, Stony Lonesome offers several lodging options including RV hookups and cabins. For $40 per night your cabin will sleep 4 and is equipped with a 3/4 bathroom, heating and A/C units, a microwave and a refrigerator. For $95 per night you can get a two bedroom unit with a dining room and a kitchen. A bathhouse is also located at the campground. Also a bargain are the riding fees which are only $10 per day for motorized vehicles from dirt bikes to Jeeps. Additional riders are only $5 with those aged 5 and under riding for free. This makes Stony Lonesome half the price of many lesser parks! Helmets are required at all times on open motorized vehicles. They are available for sale or rent in the office. As for riding double they recommend you follow the manufacturers guidelines but there are no requirements, riding double is acceptable.

stony lonesome ohv park review

Their office has wireless Internet access and a small eating area. Cell phone coverage was impressive throughout the park. Dodge City is at the I-65 exit and has fuel and a few eating options. Another 10 minutes north you’ll find the city of Cullman with most anything you could need. Like any riding trip call before you haul: 256.287.1133. You can also visit them on the web at and on Facebook at While you’re at it, call your county commission and tell them to check it out. If you build it, riders will come!

stony lonesome ohv park review

Stony Lonesome OHV Park - Bremen, AL

Trail Review: Desoto National Forest Bethel ATV Trail – Saucier, MS

Mississippi may be near the bottom on some prestigious lists of states, but when it comes to the great outdoors it is a top-level paradise. One example is the great riding opportunities found throughout the state. One of the most south-eastern options is the Bethel ATV Trail in Desoto National Forest.

Bethel ATV Trail is one of two ATV trails found in Desoto National Forest. As such, the trails are overseen by the US Forestry Department. The trailhead is not staffed but there is a $5 per person entry fee on an honor system. $5 is more than reasonable for the ride. The staging area is found at the end of a long, dirt road. There is plenty of parking and a primitive camping area with room for RVs. There is also a bathroom at the staging area though it’s really more of a nice outhouse.

Bethel consists of two separate ATV trails. The north trail is an 18 mile loop and the south trail is a 19 mile loop. For the most part the trails are wide open and fairly amateur in difficulty. This is a nice place for a ride but you likely won’t be challenged. You also aren’t likely to get very muddy, but it does get very dusty when dry. Bring googles (always!) and a change of clothes unless you are at the front of the group. There is a thick pine forest section on the South trail that leaves only about 48 inches of width. Our Suzuki KingQuad 500AXi scraped both side trying to squeeze between trees a few times. Wide ATV’s and UTVs are definitely not going to work here. Side by sides might be okay on the North trail. The trails are quite bumpy and covered with shallow roots. It’s a great place to dial in your suspension. Some sections of the trail are quite sandy and some have rock that has been brought in to prevent washouts.

You are highly encouraged to “call before you haul” as the park is usually closed for several days following rain. The trail does not close during hunting season, but it is recommended that you ride on Sunday’s as there is no hunting allowed then. You can get the most current park status 24 hours a day by calling the Desoto Ranger District Recreation Office at 601-528-6180 or 601-928-5291.

Bethel ATV Trail - Saucier, MS

Trail Review: Rosita Creek Flats – Amarillo, Texas

The Texas Panhandle is generally a vast cropland, except for the area carved out by the Canadian River. US Highway 87/287 runs north out of Amarillo, Texas, across this expansive flat land. As it crosses the Canadian River, a small dirt road (aptly named Canadian River Road) turns off to the east into a wide, sandy, staging area surrounded by narrow trail ruts. Welcome to Rosita Creek Flats National Park OHV Recreation Area.

Highway 87/287 crossing the Canadian River and the entrance to the Rosita Creek Flats staging area.

Rosita Creek Flats (also called Rosita Flats) is one of two OHV riding areas at the Lake Meredith National Recreation Area. The Blue Creek Bridge OHV area can be found on the north side of Lake Meredith a few remote miles away. Combined, they provide over 2,000 acres of OHV riding area, 80% of which is at the Rosita Creek location. From the top of the plateaus you can see the dirt playground stretch for miles.

Rosita offers a little of everything in regards to terrain and difficulty. There are wide open roads and sand banks, steep hills, rock climbs and even mud. In fact, you can ride right out into the river itself. Fording the Canadian River is usually easy. It is a dam controlled river that never seemed more than a foot deep and has a pretty solid bottom to it. You can, however, get into some tread-clogging, southern-style mud on the banks and we got a chance to test our winching abilities there.

Rosita offers primitive camping but there are no restrooms or picnic tables as a result of repeat issues with vandalism. There have been threats to close the park, but thanks to the Texas Off-Roaders Association that hasn’t happened yet. TORA works hard with the legislators and corporate sponsors to keep the Canadian River parks available to riders. They also host events like sand drags to help raise funds and awareness.

Park officials do enforce the use of helmets and eye protection and Texas requires an OHV decal while riding on public lands such as this. The decals are $16 and are good through August 31st of the purchase year. When you consider most parks are about $20 per vehicle per day, $16 for a year is great with the many public riding areas offered by Texas. The decal fees are put back into the states OHV program. Decals can be purchased in advance from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department or from retailers throughout the state. We found B&R Motorsports to be the closest retailer and easily obtained our decals there for a same day ride. They also had plenty of riding gear and accessories to serve your needs.

If you are going to be in the Amarillo area and are looking for a place to ride, Rosita Creek Flats is a great stop. You’ll probably never be alone there and we met several local riders on our weekday evening ride. Weekends are even more popular, especially on TORA’s event weekends.

Rosita Creek Flats ORV Area –

Texas Off Highway Vehicle Program –

Texas Off-Roaders Association –

B&R Motorsports –

Rosita Creek Flats - Amarillo, TX

Trail Review: Red River, NM

Red River, New Mexico, is a quaint, semi-famous ski resort town. The town is void of any recognizable commercialization, instead filled with mom-and-pop shops and gold-mining history. Signs of the snow-life are everywhere, but during the warm months it becomes a totally different outdoor paradise with fishing, hiking, and of course, off-roading. With one long winding road in and one long winding road out, Red River is nestled in the heart of the Carson National Forest.

Red River has eleven off-road trails overseen by the United States Forestry Service and they vary greatly in difficulty. Old Red River Pass is like a fairly well-maintained gravel road that most consumer vehicles could handle, whereas 4th of July Canyon is a tight trail with large loose rocks and deep wash-outs. Trail details, descriptions, directions and maps are available at the town Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center or the USFS Questa Ranger Station.

Red River sits at around 9,000 feet and the trails go as high as about 11,600 feet. Some of our carbureted quads did suffer from altitude sickness at around 11,000 feet and had a noticeable loss of power the entire time. Fuel injected units shouldn’t have this concern and there are products for re-jetting or adjusting carbureted engines to help them breathe more naturally.

In town, you’ll see plenty of horses on the streets as well as the touristy 3-wheeled cars, but keep your ATVs off the asphalt. Red River has a strict regulation against ATVs being on the roads. You can cross the road from staging area to trail but running parallel to the roads will get you a ticket from the town Marshall. This was perhaps my biggest complaint about Red River. In the news it seems to be a debated topic and may change in the near future. Until then no enthusiast likes to see “NO ATVs” signs around.

For those not wanting to haul your ORVs to Red River, there are rentals available in town. Red River Offroad offers custom Kawasaki Teryx units for rent as well as guided Jeep tours. If you are hauling, New Mexico requires registration of ATVs and side-by-sides. $18 per ATV will get you a 3 month out-of-state registration sticker. You can register online and print a temporary permit right away. Your registration fees go back into the state’s ORV program keeping trails like these open. ATV pilots under 18 must pass an ORV safety course. These can be completed online and are well worth the small price for the lessons learned. Our young riders took the lessons and I was impressed at the quality of the exam and the riding technique comments made by my daughter in the ride following her taking the exam. As we packed for the trip she named off a full list of emergency survival gear that we should be packing for our rides; all learned through her course. You can see full state requirements and course details at the New Mexico Game and Fish OHV site.

No matter what type of ride you choose or who the owner is, you will see some of the most beautiful views you can reach on four wheels.The riding is great for any level of rider and the panoramic views are spectacular. Red River and all that it offers is a great offroading, family destination.

Red River Chamber of Commerce –

Red River Offroad –

New Mexico Game & Fish OHV Program –

ATV Course –