Due to the escalation of the coronavirus outbreak, local destinations for outdoor recreation may be closed. Please visit official websites for more information.

7 Impressive ATV Destinations in the Midwest

Ride the best trails in the region. 

By Trent Jonas

7 Impressive ATV Destinations in the Midwest

If you're in search of the top places to ride your ATV (or UTV!), you’ll find plenty of terrific terrain to traverse in the Midwest. From river flats to rocky crags and massive sand dunes, America’s heartland has trails that are perfect for just about any rider. Here are a few of the most impressive ATV destinations in the Midwest.

Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle State Recreation Area, Gilbert, MN

Tucked into the hills and ridges of northern Minnesota’s Iron Range, the Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle State Recreation Area boasts 36 miles of trails spread across 1,200 acres located adjacent to both the Chippewa and Superior National Forests. Another 2,700 acres are being developed to expand the park. The area has been restored from reclaimed iron mines, so there’s plenty of awesome terrain for riders of all skill levels. Trails Edge Lodging  is an awesome place to stay for quick access to the OHV area.

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Embarras River ATV Park, Tigerton, WI

The Embarrass River ATV Park is a public off-road area operated by the village of Tigerton, Wisconsin, on the banks of the Embarrass River. More than 30 miles of trails weave their way across over 500 acres of northern Wisconsin woodlands. Camping is available at the ATV park itself. The Konkapot Lodge, outside nearby Bowler, is a great alternative if you don’t want to bring a tent or haul your RV.

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Silver Lake State Park Off-Road Vehicle Scramble Area, Mears, MI

Midwesterners don’t have to head for the coasts to off-road over massive sand dunes—they just need to make their way to western Michigan. The ORV scramble area at Silver Lake State Park. There, you’ll find that 450 of the park’s 2,000 acres of Lake Michigan sand dunes are open to and rideable with your ATV. Camping is available in the park, itself, and other lodging options, like the Dunes Waterfront Resort, can be found in nearby Mears, Michigan.

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Lakeview OHV Park, Solon, IA

More than 160 acres of interconnected trails across varying terrain make Lakeview OHV Park Iowa’s premier ATV destination. The extensive network consists of hard pack, sand, and mud trails, along with some hill climbs. No camping is allowed directly in the OHV park, but Lake McBride State Park has a campground and is located only a mile or so from the OHV park. Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, both less than 20 minutes from the park, offer plenty of other lodging options.

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Finger Lakes State Park, Columbia, MO

Off-road riders in the Show Me State will find all that they’re looking for at Finger Lakes State Park outside Columbia, Missouri. More than a dozen miles of trails and roadways criss-cross the park’s 1,128 acres. The rolling hills and hardwood forests combine to make an exciting and scenic ride for ATVers of any age and skill. Camping is available in the park, and there’s plenty of lodging in nearby Columbia, like the Tiger Hotel.

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Black Hills National Forest, Custer, SD

Located in western South Dakota, the Black Hills National Forest offers an incredible number of riding opportunities for off-road enthusiasts. The forest has 21 designated trailheads that connect to more than 700 miles of motorized trails—many of which intersect with another 500 miles of roads that are “open to all vehicles.” There is something for every rider in the forest—easy to difficult; loop routes and camp-as-you-go options (camping is available in the forest). Trails End Cabins and Motel, near Hill City, makes a great base camp for your off-road adventures. 

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The Cliffs Insane Terrain Off Road Park, Marseilles, IL

With its proximity to the Chicago area, there’s not a better bet for ATV riders in northern Illinois or southern Wisconsin than the Cliffs Insane Terrain Off Road Park on the Illinois River near Marseilles. The Cliffs’ interconnected trail system spreads across more than 300 wooded acres, with all sorts of awesome terrain to get your blood pumping. If you prefer to camp while in the area, check out Glenwood RV Resort. The Starved Rock Lodge, located in the nearby state park of the same name, is a great choice for those who like a little scenery with their lodging.

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Due to the escalation of the coronavirus outbreak, local destinations for outdoor recreation may be closed. Please visit official websites for more information.

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