So you would like to learn more about the offroad trails available in North Carolina; well, you have come to the right place. Where2Wheel can help you find Jeep trails, truck/SUV trails, fourwheeling trails, OHV trails, and all other offroad trails for 4WD vehicles.
North Carolina is a great place for 4x4 offroad trails; NC offers a great variety of terrain with sandy beaches in the east and green forested mountains in the west. Fortunately for us offroading enthusiasts, in NC we have the privilege to wheel on both the beaches and in the mountains!
Starting in the East of North Carolina, there are two beaches that NC allows vehicles to drive on. The first and most preferred is Carova Beach. Carova is located in the most Northeast corner of North Carolina, and public beach access is granted to all 4x4 vehicles. The beach is beautiful with soft white sand and the ocean is a great during the summer months. The beach itself is 11 miles long, and there are countless more miles of trails behind (west of) the beach. Some of the trails can be challenging as they are often flooded with deep water. On the back trails (or occasionally on the beach) you can find wild horses that live in this area. It's quite the site to see when a group wild of horses cross your path; the horses are used to humans being around, but make sure to keep your distance - it's the law no person gets closer than 50ft to the wild horses, and there is law enforcement around to ensure this rule is adhered to. Also, if you are going to hit the beach it's important to remember that the speed limit on the beach is 15 mph and it is enforced. Carova beach has enough sandy trails and sights to see that it is worth spending the day here Jeepin' on the beach! The other beach that you can drive on in NC is Cape Lookout. Cape Lookout is north of Wilmington near Morehead City, and this beach is a bit more secluded than Carova. In fact, Cape Lookout is only accessible by ferry and all drivers must obtain a free ORV Education Certificate and corresponding decal before being able to hit this beach. More details on Cape Lookout are available here, but my recommendation is to visit Carova Beach for a day of sand, sun, and 4WD.
Moving towards the center of North Carolina, we find an offroad jewel of the MidAtlatic - Uwharrie National Forest has become a place of 4x4 pilgrimage for MidAtlantic and East Coast offroaders. I can't touch on all the trails available in Uwharrie so you will need to check out Where2Wheel and our Trails Map for that (it's free), but I can tell you that Uwharrie has trails for every vehicle type and every skill level. Worth mentioning is the Badin Lake OHV Area; Badin Lake is open from April 1st to December 15th of every year, and it has 6 trailheads with 16 miles of trails. The trails range from beginner & stock vehicle stuff to the "you better have full rock protection, lockers, and big rubber" to hit this trail. If you are hitting Badin Lake for your first time, it is recommended that you start with Dutch John Trail or Falls Dam Trail (both can be found on the W2W map). I can't emphasize this enough, if you live in North Carolina and you are an offroading enthusiast then you need to visit Uwharrie; it's a fantastic offroad resource that is unique to NC.
Last, but not least, on the Western side of NC you will find an abundance of 4x4 offroad trails to ride. You can see them all on the W2W map; I assure you there are plenty of trails in Western NC and I will put a screenshot below to show you what you are missing out on by not checking out the W2W map. Okay, so you would like me to talk about one specifically? How about Jocassee Gorges in Lake Toxaway, NC. Jocassee Gorges is a trail that is growing in popularity and is mid level in difficulty. The trail is located in Gorges State Park and has some spots that can be challenging, but nothing that should discourage vehicles with a small lift and 31s or larger rubber. Also, the trail has some great scenic photo opportunities where you can capture the natural beauty that surrounds this area of North Carolina.
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Thanks for reading about the offroad trails that NC has to offer. Please sign up for and then explore Where2Wheel for yourself. We have way more trails listed on our map than I have time to write about. See you on W2W!
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