Kansas might not be the top destination state for ATV riding in the United States, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not still a fantastic destination. Especially if you’re able to go during the height of fall color or catch the late spring and early summer wildflowers, Kansas can really be a sight to see.
With the added attraction of the badlands and sand dunes, not to mention the many beautiful landscapes and beginner-friendly trail areas, Kansas has also been ranked on the list of best U.S. off road trails.
Planning a trip to Kansas, or thinking about relocating and want some insight on your ATV prospects? You’re in the right place!
The Best ATV Trails and Parks in Kansas
There are a lot of different ATV trails and off-roading opportunities in Kansas, so we can’t possibly list them all here. Instead, we’ve chosen some of the best options from a range of different kinds of trail experiences. There’s something here for just about every kind of rider and experience level.
Bodie’s Adventures Off-Roading Park
This off-roading park is a shared space, so you'll have other kinds of vehicles on the trail with you. Yet that doesn't take away from any of the fun, with 5.3 miles of trail on the Long Woods Loop and a range of additional opportunities apart from the main loop! Open on weekdays by appointment only, you’ll see most people here on the weekends when the park is open to the general public. Nonetheless, you should always call the main desk first to check on weather conditions, since there are a couple of low bridge crossings that may be impassable depending on the weather. Primitive camping is allowed, and there is also a large gravel parking area and a communal bonfire pit that visitors can use.
If you need a little more adventure, there are plenty of ATV trail options within reasonable driving distance.
Central Kansas Off-Road Association
You need a membership to take advantage of the off-roading opportunities and private off-roading areas operated by the Central Kansas Off-Road Association, but for people who don’t mind getting a membership, there are miles of trails and good access to the Arkansas River on their private lands. This is also one of the few places you can participate in night rides and the club’s regular community barbecues. Porta potties and an outdoor pavilion help keep the club's riding area a bit more comfortable than most.
Memberships are annual. Still, even for those who live out of state, they can be worth getting if you’re able to come to Kansas a few times a year.
Looking for even more outdoor fun? Kansas Rocks Park has a ton to choose from, including off-roading, 4x4 riding, mountain bike trails, camping, and hiking!
Council Grove Lake ORV Area
If you’re looking for a fee-free riding area, this might be just the place for you. With 30 acres of woodland and trails crisscrossing the forest, there’s plenty of space to explore, work on your skills, and have a good time.
The one limitation here, beyond sticking to the trails and riding areas, is that this park is only open during daylight hours. There are some nearby campgrounds you can head back to at night if you want to extend your stay, but no camping is allowed in the ORV area itself.
Kansas Badlands Park is open year-round, and the only closures you need to worry about are weather-related. Mud runs and races are also occasionally held here, so it's worth checking to see if there is a competition. You don't necessarily need to participate in order to ride on those days, but you will have more limited access since you'll need to stay out of the competition area.
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Tuttle Creek ORV Area
Tuttle Creek ORV area is one of Kansas’s more popular off-roading destinations. It includes some of the rougher terrain that Kansas has to offer, including steep hills, stepped rock climbs, and more rugged and harsh trail rides.
ATV riders might find that not all of this area is accessible to them, though you can also visit the nearby Spillway Cycle Area for less chunky and difficult terrain.
Camping is not allowed in this area, but like most ORV areas in Kansas, there are plenty of nearby campgrounds to choose from.
Spillway Cycle Area
The Spillway Cycle Area is just South of Tuttle Creek Lake, which means it’s also pretty close to the Tuttle Creek ORV area. Although amenities here are limited, a vault toilet and some picnic tables make it more comfortable than some trailheads.
This OHV area is a good option for ATV riders of all skill levels, featuring trails and areas designed specifically for riding. There are novice trails for beginners and more advanced and expert trails for people with more experience looking to put their skills to the test.
Syracuse Sand Dunes Park
The Syracuse Sand Dunes Park offers 1,300 acres of off-roading terrain. Not only does that mean you will have plenty to explore even on the longest ATV riding trips, but it also means you’re likely to have a little less crowding and competition. Terrain conditions vary but are generally accessible for just about any rider’s skill level.
Also, unlike a lot of the other ATV trails and riding areas already discussed, Syracuse Sand Dunes Park also offers camping and fishing, making it a one-stop destination for lovers of camping.
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Riverside East of John Redmond Reservoir
This is another camping-permissible area, with plenty of trails winding along the woodlands as well as river access from the campgrounds themselves. There is lots to do here, including ATV trails of various difficult levels and lengths.
Perry Lake ATV Trail
This is one of the more spacious Kansas ATV trail areas, with more than 140 acres of trails to explore and crisscross through. However, there are definitely some areas that are better for people who have some ATV experience under their belt, so if you’re a beginner, it’s important to pay attention to trail markings so you know what difficulty level you’re dealing with. It’s also a good idea to have a map in case you get lost in this trail area’s twists and turns.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions we get about ATV trails and riding areas in Kansas.
1. "What are the top Kansas ATV trails?"
Syracuse Sand Dunes Park is often cited as one of the most exciting ATV areas to ride in Kansas, though the Central Kansas Off-Road Association also has a lot of fantastic trails to choose from.
2. "What safety measures should I take when riding ATV trails in Kansas?"
As always, you should make sure you are wearing appropriate gear for ATV riding, including a helmet and all other personal protection gear. You should also ensure that your ATV is in good working condition when you are heading out and avoid making overly sharp turns or relying on your brakes too much, since that can lead to your brakes locking or a brake slide.
Make sure you are familiar enough with the trail to know where you’re going, how long it is, and where your ride should end. It’s a good idea to carry a cell phone if you have a signal or another method of communication if you’re riding somewhere without a signal.
Lastly, you should always make sure someone knows where you are going and when you should return, so that the right rescue authorities can be contacted as soon as possible in the event that something happens on the trail.
3 "Are there any off-road parks in Kansas specifically for ATV riding?"
Riverside ATV park, Perry Lake ATV Trail, and Otter Creek ATV Area are all good options if you’re looking for a Kansas area that is designed specifically for ATV riding.
4. "What equipment is recommended for ATV riding in Kansas trails?"
Generally, in Kansas, you don’t need anything more than standard safety equipment. A helmet, eye protection, good riding gloves, and full protection clothing are recommended. That includes long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and boots or shoes that overlap with the bottom of your pants and offer good foot and ankle protection.
You might want more heavy-duty eye protection or even riding goggles if you’re going somewhere like the sand dunes, where sand and grit are a more serious issue. If you can handle the heat, additional protection like steel-toed boots, chaps, or a heavy riding jacket are good additions.
5. "Can beginners try out these Kansas ATV trails?"
Most ATV trail areas in Kansas have at least a few beginner-friendly trail options. For one thing, the naturally flat land in Kansas makes it easier to create and maintain beginner trails, and the landscape itself is well suited to less challenging trail design.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to research and look at any new destination you’re considering. Not all trail areas have spaces for beginners, and the last thing you want is to head to a high-skill-only ATV or off-roading site.
And there you have it! Some of the best ATV trails, most exciting trail rides, off-roading areas, and ATV and off-roading clubs in Kansas. Need even more to do during your stay? Check out TravelKS.com to learn more about the state’s destinations, amenities, and opportunities.
Looking for more accessories and upgrades for your ATV? Don’t forget about the doors. Here’s what you need to know about the Can-Am Defender doors.
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