5 Cool Spots for ATV Off-Roading in South Carolina

5 Cool Spots for ATV Off-Roading in South Carolina

Experience the Palmetto State’s stunning natural terrain by exploring on an ATV. Off-roading has become somewhat of a southern staple, given the area’s varied terrain and a huge following of outdoor recreation. South Carolina’s blend of mountainous roads, swamplands, coastal regions, and a multitude of wooded areas create prime conditions to take an off-road ride on the wild side. When adventure comes calling, head to one of these five great places for ATV off-roading thrills. 

1. Gulches Off Road Vehicle Park, Laurens County, SC

This small-yet-action-packed park is the ATV owner’s paradise. Every trail in the park is open for ATV riding, though some trails share accessibility with Jeeps and other vehicles. First timers will enjoy a thorough tour of the park by well-trained staff who share your passion for off-roading. The park features a series of trails ranging in difficulty from beginner to advanced, as well as a track that’s perfect for young off-roaders to learn the basics. In addition to the trail system and obstacles, Gulches also features campsites and a single cabin for rent, in case you want to extend your fun.

2. Battery Park Off-Road, Nesmith, SC

If you haven’t yet invested in your own ATV, this park makes renting one well worth the experience. You’ll find over 30 miles of enduro-style trails, and 15 miles of two-track trails that every skill level can enjoy, along with obstacles and clay, sand, and dirt terrains. You can hook up your RV on site if you want to make a full vacation of your off-roading experience. And if you aren’t quite ready to venture out on your own, you can book a guided ATV tour of the park. 

3. Carolina Adventure World, Winnsboro, SC

As the biggest ATV, UTV, and dirt bike park in the entire Southeast, you can expect nothing short of spectacular throughout its 2,600 acres. You can zoom through 100 miles of beginner to black diamond trails that are wide enough to give you clear passage without hitting any unwanted obstacles. Or, you can check out the drag strip, mud bog, or MX-style track for an equally thrilling experience. They also feature a challenging rock crawl that will leave you breathless as you climb to the top. The folks here take excellent care of the park year-round to give you access to the ultimate riding experience no matter what day or season it is. In addition to ATV off-roading, guests can camp or rent a cabin, enjoy a round of disc golf, or take their horse along dedicated equine trails. 

4. Parsons Mountain OHV Trail

If you’re more into the natural terrain rather than a park-style setting, you’ll want to check out the Parson’s Mountain OHV Trail. Strictly for ATV and dirt bike riders, this one-way trail creates an experience that’s gentle enough for beginners yet scenic enough to be enjoyed by any skill level. A $5 entry fee grants you all-day access to the trail, which spans one large loop or two smaller loops. This trail is well tucked away from just about everything, which makes it a prime destination if you want to relax and escape the daily grind for a while. It is recommended that you call ahead of time, as weather conditions sometimes prompt sudden trail closures for maintenance and safety checks.

5. Manchester State Forest

The miles of unpaved trails here are prime riding grounds for your ATV. While you’re cruising through the forest, you can’t help but take in some of the sights of the park, such as lakes, waterfalls, and flora and fauna communities. Although it’s not a formal ATV park, you should be prepared to follow some basic rules, like wearing a helmet and protective eyewear. In addition, you’ll need to pick up a permit before you ride.

*Note: Age restrictions, special licenses, and other requirements for off highway vehicles vary from state to state. Before heading out on your OHV, please consult your local regulations.

Alli Hill is a freelance content writer and mom of two. She spends most of her free time exploring the great outdoors by trail or by kayak. She is also the founder and director of FreelanceSpeak, a blog to support other freelance creatives.