The Best Off-Road Trails in Virginia For ATVs and Jeeps

Are you living in Virginia and looking for the best off-road trails in the state? Virginia is well known for its wealth of forests and mountains, and all of the diverse land between, but where can we expect to find the best trails for off-roading?

The good news is there are plenty of off-road spots to choose from! It just takes a little bit of planning, and searching around if you want to find the best option. 

Luckily for you, we went through the effort of finding some of the best Virginia trails ourselves, so you don’t have to! So please, read on further for all the info you need to find the best off-road trails in Virginia, along with some fundamental info on how to plan for your own off-road outing!

Table of Contents

The Types Of Off-Roading

Off-roading can be an impressively specialized hobby. It comes with its own array of common terms, tools and culture that can take some time for noobies to latch on to. This lingo extends even into describing the different types of trail activities. 

To help, we collected the common types of off-roading and described them for you below. The terms we will be covering include: 

  • Light trails 
  • Mudding 
  • Rock Crawling 
  • Mud Bogging 
  • Overland 

Trails can come with varying levels of difficulty. Before embarking down any trail we always recommend double-checking the associated difficulty and assessing whether your skill level is appropriate to take on the task. 

Light Trails

The most basic form of off-roading comes from hitting light trails. Light trails can be described as off-road paths that are frequented often and feature pavement or light gravel. These trails are often pretty well maintained and are the most accessible, making light trails a good choice for beginner off-roaders. 

Terrain on a light trail will range from dirt paths, to gravel roads, all the way up to rough pavement. Light trails will often feature obstacles like ditches, mud pits, ditches and overgrowth for you to navigate. Most off-road vehicles with 4-wheel drive should be able to handle light trails. 


If you read “mudding” and assumed that this type of off-roading involves a lot of mud…well you thought right! Mudding is pretty self explanatory and primarily involves riding off-road vehicles through big pools of mud. Mudding is a really fun group activity, and a great way to get your group out for a long day of muddy fun. 

The skills involved in mudding primarily involve speed and traction control. If you go too fast while pushing through a puddle, you could accidentally flip your vehicle! Attempt to ride through it too slowly however, and you might end up needing to recover your vehicle from the goop. 

Rock Crawling

This form of off-roading is extra specialized, and only vehicles kitted especially for the task are likely to be able to pull off rock crawling. Rock crawling is when drivers try to slowly accelerate their off-road vehicle up steep and often jagged rock surfaces or boulders, effectively climbing the vehicle up the rocks. 

Rock crawling is an exercise in precise control over steering and acceleration. Rock crawling also requires an excellent sense of balance, and the best crawlers know the feel and response of their vehicle so well, it becomes an extension of themselves. 

A proper Rock crawling vehicle will often be kitted out with lots of accessories to get the job done. This includes winches, custom suspension, skid plates, and lots, lots more. 

Mud Bogging

As the name implies, this is yet another off-road activity centered around mud. But where mudding primarily focuses on being a casual group activity, mud bogging is more competitive. 

Mud bogging is essentially a type of race that takes place exclusively in the mud! Bogging primarily involves maintaining proper speed levels to get through the mud faster than the other racer without getting stuck or flipping the vehicle. 

Because bogging usually takes place in extra deep pools of mud and gunk, off-road vehicles for bogging are usually outfitted with very large tire sizes. These help boggers to traverse the mud easier while maintaining a higher average top speed. 

Overland Off-Road Camping

Overland off-roading takes the standard idea behind off-roading, and puts it in marathon mode. Overland off-roading consists of multiple planned days spent off-roading, like if a road trip was combined with off-road trailing!

Because overland off-roading typically takes multiple days, participants will often camp in the backcountry, perfect for outdoors enthusiasts. While overlanding has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, it may not be for everyone. 

Overlanding requires extensive knowledge both of the land you will be traversing, and off-roading in general. Because overland camping trips involve multiple days spent off-road in isolated areas, you will need to be sure you have all of the supplies needed both for camping and the challenges that an extended journey off-road will bring. 

Off-Road Vehicle Requirements

As mentioned in the previous section, there are various things you’ll want to have to ensure that you are well prepared for the trip. Most off-roading tasks require some special hardware, and going beyond a stock setup may be necessary for tackling the trails. 

Some common modifications and features that might improve a vehicle’s off-road performance: 

  • Modified suspension 
  • Snorkel 
  • Off-road tires
  • Winch 
  • Skid plates
  • Race shocks
  • Wheel spacers
  • Roof rack 

Essential Tools For Off-Roading

Vehicle modifications can be useful, but even more important perhaps are the tools you carry in the vehicle. The main thing standing between you being stuck in the mud in the middle of nowhere, and being able to continue on in the comfort of your vehicle is how prepared you are with your tools. 

Some tools we find essential for off-roading are: 

  • Recovery Kit 
  • Work light 
  • Recovery boards 
  • Old Boards 
  • Jack 
  • Tire repair kit 
  • Air compressor 
  • Jump starter
  • Work Gloves 
  • Hand tools
  • Map
  • GPS

These tools will often be under a high level of stress, especially during recovery of a stuck vehicle. To avoid potential serious injury, it is important to outfit yourself with dependable tools, as such only trust using quality tools from proven outdoor brands. We recommend doing as much research on this as possible to ensure you are fully prepared. 

Trail Navigation

Out on the trail it is of the utmost importance to remain fully self reliant. This means being able to provide and operate everything you will need to have a successful trip, independent of what anyone else brings. One of the most important, yet overlooked parts of preparation is navigating the trail. 

New off-roaders may make the common mistake of either assuming that a phone will be enough, or even worse, not consider navigation at all! While phones can be a great method for navigating when on regular roads, they aren’t as useful in the backcountry. This is because cell connection and data are often unreliable in the woods or trails. 

As such, we recommend investing in a quality satellite GPS navigation system and a paper map. If you learn to use a combination of these two, you should be able to navigate under any circumstance. Maps might seem outdated at first, but as a fully analog solution, if you know how to read one, you will never be without accurate directions!  

Off-Roading In Virginia

Now that we’ve covered some common types of off-roading activities, and the basics of preparation, here are some of the best off-road spots in the beautiful state of Virginia! 

Chaos Off-Road Park

This is a privately-owned 400 acre park, located near the border of West Virginia. Chaos hosts various events during the summer months, all open to the public. This off-road park has plenty of options for 4×4 vehicles and trucks. 

Listed as a family friendly option, Chaos is perfect for taking the whole family as there are many options available for daytime activities like mudding, rock crawling, and even racing through obstacle courses. Camping is also available for those who are interested. Get into contact with Chaos here!

George Washington National Forest

This national forest has plenty of trails suitable for offroading, and for that, has become a popular destination for off-roaders in Virginia. To enjoy the land here, you’ll need to call beforehand to get a day pass permit for the trails. Calling will also be helpful for getting other potentially useful information, so don’t shy away from giving them a ring! 

Big Dogs Off-Road

Located in Gore Virginia, Big Dogs is your go-to spot for large scale organized rides. As a private park, this destination is only open during events, so plan ahead for a specific event if you want to experience the fun offered at Big Dogs off-road. 

Mountain View Spearhead Trail

Offering a satisfying mix of trails for noobs and experienced riders alike, Mountain View is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Primarily for ATVs and dirt bikes, this park offers over 70 trails to explore at different skill levels suited for all kinds of riders. 

Moto Cove ATV Trail

This is a 60-mile rugged off-road park composed of multiple one-way trails complete with loops. The terrain is filled with fun obstacles to add various challenges like mud, hills, gravel, trenches and more. Due to the terrain of this trail, we can only recommend it for technical and experienced riders. 

Trails are open throughout the year, plus you will be able to ride Jeeps or ATVs here. Also available are some campgrounds with RV hookups, beach access and plenty of other conveniences. 


Virginia has some of the most essentially beautiful east-coast sights anyone can hope to see, and with proper swaths of wild land, what better place is there for off-roading? While off-roading certainly requires careful planning and knowledge to do, the fun and thrill of it surely make the effort worth it. 

So next time you are searching for some off-road fun in your Jeep or ATV, check out our list for the best off-road trails in Virginia! 

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