Tennessee is widely recognized as one of the best ATV states in the country. There are a ton of trails, Tennessee is a very ATV-friendly state, and there are a lot of different kinds of environments to explore.
In this article, you can find a quick overview of some of Tennessee's best ATV trails for all experience levels. We’ve also included some off-roading areas and some of the attractions and other amenities around these trails to make it easier to plan your ATV riding or off-roading vacation.
Of course, these locations are also available for local residents, and we hope we’ve included at least one or two new locations for Tennessee residents to explore.
Let’s dive in:
The Best ATV Trails in Tennessee
Tennessee is one of the best states to go ATV riding, but before you hit the trails, you want to make sure you’re riding in style. Whether you’re looking for a rack, a new roof, more accessories and features, or anything in between, Thumper Fab can help if you’re looking to upgrade your ATV ahead of your next outing.
Adventure Off Road Park
The Adventure Off-Road Park is 500 acres of land for you to explore to your heart's content, with 120 miles of trails and numerous off-roading opportunities. Trails range from beginner runs to more advanced trails and wind through Tennessee’s mountains.
As another bonus, this location has campsites and RV hookups available, just make sure to contact them ahead of time and make sure there’s a spot available if you’re looking to camp during your visit.
North Cumberland OHV Park
Cumberland is a name that’s going to come up a few times in this list, thanks to the many trails in and around this area.
The North Cumberland OHV Park covers 220 square miles of land outside of Jacksboro, TN. This area is recommended for novice operators, but we’d caution you that some more advanced areas exist inside the OHV area, including steep hills, water crossings, and rocky areas. There’s even a boulder or two mixed in with this area.
So, while novices can tackle this park, it’s a good idea to have an idea of your skill level and what kinds of terrain you should or should not try.
Prentice Cooper Trails
Just outside of Chattanooga, Prentice Cooper offers 39 square miles of forest, hard-packed dirt trails, mud, and a few loose dirt areas free to explore.
Like a lot of Tennessee outdoor recreation areas, Prentice Cooper is rated as accessible for novices because of the well-maintained trails. That said, an experienced eye will warn you that this is a mostly novice area, with a few more difficult patches you’ll need to navigate. This means that some parts of this area are not fit for a first-time ATV operator run, but also won’t require a ton of practice to be able to handle.
The great thing about this location is that you get the feeling of being in the wilderness when you’re here!
Royal Blue ATV and OHV Park
Royal Blue is one of those locations that’s a lot more for residents of the state than visitors, but it’s worth it for visitors to come and see.
The price for non-residents is $37 a day, while the resident cost is $15.
ATVs, UTVs, motorcycles, dirt bikes, jeeps, and Dune Buggies are all allowed in this area. Royal Blue is just a bit outside of Pioneer, TN. There is also a nearby resort and campground for people who want a longer stay, along with a restaurant, general store, and other critical amenities.
Just remember that this is a shared area, including horses, hiking, and other use areas.
Some of the trails are restricted, while others are shared-use areas. Make sure you follow all the signs posted and know what to expect.
From an elk viewing area to waterfalls, stream crossings, and more, you don’t want to miss the nature found in this ATV area.
Doe Mountain Recreation Area
Another multi-use area, Doe Mountain is shared by ATVs, horse riders, mountain bikes, and hikers; however, with more than 8,600 acres of land, you can still feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. This means you can get that solitude and relaxation that so many of us enjoy about the great outdoors.
This area is considered beginner-friendly, but you do want to keep an eye on the trail markings while you're there. There are different levels of trails, including some advanced trails that only experienced riders should ride.
That said, there are a ton of incredible vistas in Doe Mountain, and the chances to see wildlife out here are pretty incredible as well.
Brimstone Recreation Area
Don’t let the name scare you away. Brimstone Recreation Area is open 365 days a year and offers 300 miles of trails in the Appalachian Mountains. This is one of the most beautiful ATV areas you can find in Tennessee, which is really saying something if you’ve seen some of the other ATV trails in the area.
One of the incredible things about this place is that Brimstone is committed to the careful stewardship of the land and ensuring that the plants and animals that live here are healthy and happy and that people have as much access as possible while maintaining the smallest amount of human impact possible.
There are rental cabins in Brimstone, which are perfect for a luxury vacation trip. You can also use the RV and camping services.
Don’t have an ATV of your own? Don’t worry. Brimstone also offers SXS and ATV rentals so you can explore the Appalachian wilderness while you’re here.
Trails End Campground
If you are looking for a campground that has access to a massive amount of trails and outdoor activities, Trails End Campground is a fantastic option. With 150,000 acres of land and direct access to the Cumberland Mountains trail system, this is a trail-goer’s dream.
Like a lot of the larger areas in Tennessee, these trails are multi-use, but with over 600 miles of trails to explore, you’ll still have a lot of freedom to explore the way you want to and where you want to, on your own or in groups.
It’s a good idea to get maps ahead of time if you’re headed into the Cumberland Mountain trail system, so you can see what kind of trails are where and keep track of your location. It's easy to get lost back here, but the trails are well-marked, so you should always be able to find your way back to civilization even if you don't wind up quite where you meant to.
Wooly’s is about 500 acres of land outside of Lynnville, TN. There are a lot of great things about this location from the varied terrain, beautiful woodlands, and the various mud pits that keep driving interesting.
This off-roading area is open to ATVs, UTVs, motorcycles, dirt bikes, jeeps, and Dune Buggies, which is great because it means you can have a mixed vehicle group and all still have fun together in this location. To that point, it does also mean that you need to be very aware of your area and the other vehicles around you.
That’s important because larger vehicles can be dangerous for the smaller ones in an off-road area.
There are a few trails you can follow, and for the most part, this off-roading site is considered an amateur site. It's very easy to get around, but also beautiful and fun enough that even more advanced ATV riders should have a great time.
The cost for this area is $15 per rider.
Tennessee ATV Rental Options
Unsurprisingly, given how Tennessee is widely considered the best state in the United States for ATV riding, there are a lot of ATV rentals available here. You might notice that a lot of the rentals prefer UTV rentals though, mostly because of their increased durability.
Here are just a few of the rental company options:
ExoRent UTV Rentals
ExoRent UTV rentals charge by the hour, starting at three hours. They also offer guided tours, so this can be a great all-in-one resource for exploring Tennessee on an ATV.
Their larger street-legal UTVs are perfect for families, people exploring whether they want an ATV of their own, or visiting groups from out of state.
Pigeon Forge UTV Rentals
Another ATV rental option, Pigeon Forge offers a range of different ATVs with different amenities and seating arrangements, starting at four-hour rentals. That gives you a lot of time to ride, but you might need a longer rental if you’re looking at taking the ATV further away.
Frequently Asked Questions About Riding ATV Trails in Tennessee
Here are a couple of the most commonly asked questions about riding ATVs in Tennessee:
What are the best times of year to explore ATV trails In Tennessee?
ATV trails are open year-round in much of Tennessee, which is just one of the many reasons that a lot of people love coming to this state to ride. Some people prefer summer riding in Tennessee since that's when you have the most light and the longest possible ATV riding hours.
However, a lot of experts say that August-October is actually a better riding time because of the more temperate and moderate weather in the state during those months.
Of course, some people also come to Tennessee for winter riding, in part because it’s one of the places where winter ATV riding is possible and usually even comfortable.
Do I need any special permits to ride on ATV trails in Tennessee?
You don't need a special permit to ride an ATV in Tennessee. Drivers are required to be at least 16 years old and to have a valid driver's license. You may need to have an additional OHV permit to ride your ATV in certain places in Tennessee, but that is location-specific, rather than vehicle-specific.
Are there any beginner-level ATV trails in Tennessee?
Yes! One of the things that makes Tennessee one of the best places to ride ATVs in the United States is that there are a ton of different trails and places to ride at all skill levels, and for just about any trail preference in the state.
There's a little something for everyone in Tennessee. That’s one of the great things about riding here: there are a ton of different kinds of beginner trails and experiences all in one state.
Looking to show off your skills on one of Tennessee's more challenging trails? Protect yourself first with a roll cage to make sure your ATV can handle whatever happens.
Before heading to the Volunteer State, you’ll want to make sure your vehicle is ready to go. At Thumper Fab, our goal is to help upgrade your ATV to make sure it reflects your personal style, so you can feel your best riding through the Tennessee Mountains. Shop our new arrivals today!