HomeTrailsATV Trails In Arkansas: Fantastic OHV Riding In The Mountains

ATV Trails In Arkansas: Fantastic OHV Riding In The Mountains

Ouachita National Forest 

  • Total Trail Miles: 300 miles
  • Location: Central East Arkansas
  • Skill Level: Varied (mostly Easy)
  • Fee: Free
  • Usage: Moderate – Heavy
  • Open: Varied
  • Closest Town: Varies by section
  • Vehicles Allowed: ATV, < 64” SxS, motorcycles, < 64″ full size

Most of the “trails” within the Ouachita National Forest are more road than trail. About 90% of this forest is in Arkansas, but a small portion is located in Oklahoma.

OHV riding is primarily on Forest Service roads that have a good surface of gravel or hard packed dirt.

Approximately 300 miles of roads are open to back country travel. Off road/off trail riding is strictly forbidden to limit environmental damage.

There are 5 Ranger Districts each with their own riding areas: Caddo/Womble, Jessieville Winona Fourche, Mena/Oden (Wolf Pen Gap), Oklahoma, Poteau/Cold Springs.

Ouachita National Forest is home to one of the most popular ATV trails in Arkansas – Wolf Pen Gap Riding Area (see below).

Most of the roads are closed during the winter, but there are 33 miles open year round.

Ouachita National Forest OHV Road & Trail Maps

Ouachita National Forest OHV Brochure


Wolf Pen Gap robert thigpen | Flickr

Mena/Oden

Ouachita National Forest

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ATV Trail Maps

US Forest Service: Mena/Oden Ranger District


Wolf Pen Gap

Mena/Oden – Ouachita National Forest

  • Total Trail Miles: 42 miles of loop trails
  • Location: Ouachita National Forest
  • Skill Level: Varied
  • Fee: None
  • Usage: Heavy
  • Open:
    • First Friday of  March –  October 31
    • Thanksgiving Holiday: Open from three days prior to Thanksgiving through two days after Thanksgiving
    • Christmas Holiday: Open from December 22 – January 2
  • Closest Town: Mena AK
  • Vehicles Allowed: ATV, SxS, motorcycles, full size

This is one of the most well known and busiest ATV trails in Arkansas.

Wolf Pen Gap is part of the Ouachita National Forest, but due to it’s popularity it’s worthy of it’s own entry.

Open dates depend on the weather. During heavy rain, the trails will close to minimize trail damage.

Currently riding is free at Wolf Gap Pen, but user fees are currently under consideration and likely to be implemented in the near future.

The main breakdown of the trails is about 1/3 easy and 2/3 moderate, with a couple small sections that are rated as difficult.

All the trails have two way traffic!

Trails feature thick forests of pine and hardwoods with mountain climbs and views. There’s also an old abandoned mine shaft and an unusual 2 footed oak tree.

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Built in the 1980s, the Wolf Pen Gap was the first OHV trail system in Ouachita National Forest. The system was put together from old logging roads, so the surface is mostly gravel or hard pack.

No camping is allowed at the trailheads, also no free dispersed camping is allowed within the Wolf Pen Gap OHV area. However, plenty of camping is available at the many designated camping areas within the riding area.

US Forest Service: Wolf Pen Gap

Wolf Pen Gap robert thigpen | Flickr

Caddo/Womble Ranger District

Ouachita National Forest

ATV Trail Maps

US Forest Service: Caddo/Womble Ranger District


Jessieville Winona Ranger District

Ouachita National Forest

ATV Trail Maps

US Forest Service: Jessieville Winona Ranger District


Oklahoma Ranger District

Ouachita National Forest

ATV Trail Maps

US Forest Service: Oklahoma Ranger District


Boardstand/Military Road OHV Trail

Oklahoma Ranger District – Ouachita National Forest

  • Total Trail Miles: 23.1 mile loop mixed use
  • Location: Oklahoma Ranger District
  • Skill Level: Moderate – Difficult
  • Fee: None
  • Usage: Light
  • Open: Year round
  • Closest Town: Talihina OK
  • Vehicles Allowed: Motorcycles

This is a multi use trail for hikers, bikers, horseback riders and dual sports.

This loop trail starts and finishes in Talimena State Park, famous for the Talimena National Scenic Drive which puts on a stunning Fall color display.

Most of the ATV trails in Arkansas are open to a variety of OHVs, but the only motorized vehicles allowed on this trail are motorcycles.

This trail was built in 1832, it follows the remains of an old military road between Fort Smith, AR and Fort Towson, OK.

Primarily moderate riding, but the section where it climbs Winding Stair Mountain becomes rocky and more difficult. 

Boardstand Road & Old Military Road Trail Brochure

US Park Service: Boardstand /Military Road


Poteau/Cold Springs Ranger District

Ouachita National Forest

US Park Service: Poteau/Cold Springs Ranger District


Belle Starr Multi-Use

Poteau/Cold Springs – Ouachita National Forest

  • Total Trail Miles: 22.6 miles mixed use
  • Location: Poteau / Cold Springs Ranger District
  • Skill Level: Varied
  • Fee: None
  • Usage: Moderate
  • Open: Year round
  • Closest Town: Mansfield AR / Hartford AR
  • Vehicles Allowed: ATV, SxS, motorcycles

Start at the bottom of Poteau mountain, climb to the top, then enjoy the descent as it winds its way down.

This trail used to be called the Poteau Mountain Multi-Use Trail.

Trail is mostly easy going on an old forest service road, but there are a few rocky sections. Nothing technical, just some sections with lots of big rocks that you’ll have to navigate.

Be prepared for a little water or mud depending on recent weather as there are some dips that hold water.

Belle Starr Trail Brochure

US Forest Service Map: Belle Starr Multi-Use


Fourche Mountain Trail

Poteau/Cold Springs – Ouachita National Forest


  • Total Trail Miles: 25+ miles mixed use
  • Location: Poteau / Cold Springs Ranger District
  • Skill Level: Varied
  • Fee: None
  • Usage: Light – Moderate
  • Open: Year round
  • Closest Town: Waldron AR
  • Vehicles Allowed: ATV, SxS, motorcycles

Formerly known as the Mill Creek Equestrian Trail.

Multi use trail open to mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding and off roading.

Riders will be rewarded with views of Fourche Mountain and Buck Knob as they meander through the forested hills.

This trail system has over 25 miles open to off roading. There are a few different interconnected loops, so you can easily add more miles to extend your ride.

Fourche Mountain Trail Brochure

US Forest Service: Fourche Mountain Trail

Buck Knob Fourche Mountain Trail robert thigpen | Flickr

Sugar Creek Multiuse

Poteau/Cold Springs – Ouachita National Forest

  • Total Trail Miles: 36.7 miles mixed use
  • Location: Poteau / Cold Springs Ranger District
  • Skill Level: Varied
  • Fee: None
  • Usage: Heavy
  • Open: Year round
  • Closest Town: Booneville AR
  • Vehicles Allowed: ATV, SxS, motorcycles

Busy trail system open to both motorized and non motorized use.

Most of the trails are easy to moderate, but there are a few rocky sections.

Sugar Creek consists of large and small interconnected loops that wind through the surrounding hills and forests.

Sugar Creek Multi-Use Trail Brochure

US Forest Service: Sugar Creek Multi-use

  • ATV trails in Arkansas that require payment have self pay kiosks at the trailhead
  • OHV are required to be registered in both OK ($11) and AR ($5)
  • Arkansas offers ATV vehicle reciprocity
  • Children under 12 years old must have direct adult supervision to operate an OHV
  • If riding on the Oklahoma side, children under 18 are required to wear a helmet when driving or riding
  • Children must ride an appropriately sized child ATV

For more great riding check out:

ATV Parks In Arkansas: Trails, Mud and Music

Ozark – St. Francis National Forests

  • Total Trail Miles: 1,000+
  • Location: North West Arkansas
  • Skill Level: Varied (mostly Easy)
  • Fee: Most free, $3 on some OHV designated trails
  • Usage: Moderate – Heavy
  • Open: Year round
  • Closest Town: Varies by section
  • Vehicles Allowed: ATV, SxS, motorcycles, full size

Ozark National Forest Service roads can accommodate vehicles of all sizes. With over 1,000 OHV trail miles, Ozark National Forest is home to most of the public ATV trails in Arkansas.

But, if you intend to ride on OHV designated trails, vehicles are required to be < 50”.

There are 5 Ranger Districts each with their own riding areas: Big Piney, Boston Mountain, Mt. Magazine, Pleasant Hill, Sylamore.

To minimize environmental damage, no off road/off trail travel is permitted.

Ozark – St. Francis National Forests OHV Road & Trail Maps

Ozark National Forest OHV Trail Brochure


Big Piney Ranger District

Big Piney MVUM


Mocassin Gap Trail

Big Piney – Ozark National Forest

  • Total Trail Miles: 36 miles mixed use
  • Location: Big Piney
  • Skill Level: Moderate – Difficult
  • Fee: $3
  • Usage: Heavy
  • Open: Year round
  • Closest Town: Dover
  • Vehicles Allowed: < 50” OHV and motorcycles

These trails are open year round. This is a popular riding area for both horseback riders and OHVers – it’s one of the busiest ATV trails in Arkansas.

Mocassin Gap was developed primarily as a horse trail, but it’s designated a multi-use trail system open to bikes and hikers with some portions also open to < 50” OHV and motorcycle use.

4 major loops and many smaller loops comprise a network of 36 mixed use trail miles with about 4 miles designated specifically as OHV routes.

This is a beautiful lush green mountainous region with lots of waterfalls.

Most of the trails are rated as moderate, but conditions vary. They’re not well maintained, so expect some rough, rugged conditions in the mix. Also expect slick dangerous conditions with lots of mud in the Spring or after heavy rains.

The daily use fee for horses and OHVs is $3.

Moccasin Gap Recreation Area Brochure

Forest Service: Moccasin Gap


Brock Creek Trail

Big Piney Ranger District – Ozark National Forest

  • Total Trail Miles: 42 miles mixed use
  • Location: Big Piney
  • Skill Level: Varied
  • Fee: None
  • Usage: Moderate
  • Open: Year round
  • Closest Town: Jerusalem
  • Vehicles Allowed: ATV, SxS, motorcycle, full sized/Jeep/4×4 (limited)

This is an excellent trail system for single track. Most of the single track is designated as technical, so it may challenge beginner riders. It’s more slow and steady than revved up banked turns.

Most of the trails are multi use and also open to mountain bikers and horse back riders, but dual sporters will find miles of dedicated single track.

Located deep in the heart of the Ozarks, this region is particularly lovely in the fall. Most of the forest in this area is Oak and Hickory, deciduous trees which begin their dramatic color display in mid September – mid October.

Riders will also enjoy views of rock bluffs and small streams while they meander through the wooded hills.

Full sized vehicles are only allowed on trails 42 and 51.

Brock Creek Trail Brochure

US Forest Service: Brock Creek Trails


Boston Mountain Ranger District

Boston Mountain MVUM


Buckhorn OHV Trail System

Boston Ranger District – Ozark National Forest

  • Total Trail Miles: 60 miles
  • Location: Boston Mountain Ranger District
  • Skill Level: Varied
  • Fee: $3
  • Usage: Heavy
  • Open: Year round
  • Closest Town: Chester
  • Vehicles Allowed: ATV, SxS, < 72” OHV, motorcycles

Full sized vehicles are not allowed on the Buckhorn Trails.

Two main big loops with short cuts and smaller interior loops make up this trail system.

Ride through the Boston Mountains from low creek valleys, through forests, to the top of mountains with sweeping views.

Creeks create small waterfalls throughout the region which make a nice backdrop for exploring.

Trails are a mix of hard pack dirt, clay and rock. Most are rated as moderate, but there are some rocky advanced sections.

So, if you’re looking for a challenge, you’ll enjoy the technical sections: Rock Garden, Slippery When Wet Hill climb, Tombstone Hill, the Three Toed Monkey, and the Fall Creek Trail.

Heavy rain and seasonal changes can leave a lot of mud and make some water crossings difficult.

Buckhorn OHV Trail System Trail Brochure

US Forest Service: Buckhorn OHV Trail System 


Mill Creek Trail

Boston Ranger District – Ozark National Forest

  • Total Trail Miles: 42 miles
  • Location: Boston Mountain Ranger District
  • Skill Level: Moderate
  • Fee: $3
  • Usage: Heavy
  • Open: Year round
  • Closest Town: Combs
  • Vehicles Allowed: ATV, SxS, motorcycles

This trail system is comprised of one big loop, the 27 mile Blue Loop with short cuts and connected smaller loops for 42 total trail miles.

Although there is some easy terrain, overall it’s mostly on the moderate side with a bit of advanced. Some fun steep climbs if you’re looking for a challenge.

Very rocky in parts, so expect to get tossed around.

Mountainous riding with heavily forested trails, interesting rock formations and plenty of small streams.

Vault toilets and a loading ramp are available at the staging area. No camping is allowed at the trailhead.

Mill Creek Trail Brochure

Forest Service: Mill Creek Trail


Mt. Magazine Ranger District

Mt. Magazine MVUM


Huckleberry Mountain Horse Trail

Mt. Magazine – Ozark National Forest

  • Total Trail Miles: 37.3 miles mixed use
  • Location: Mt. Magazine Ranger District
  • Skill Level: Varied (mostly easy)
  • Fee: None
  • Usage: Moderate
  • Open: Year round (except for Bell Springs)
  • Closest Town: Midway AK
  • Vehicles Allowed: ATV, SxS, motorcycles, < 72” full size

These trails cross old Forest Service roads at several points, giving riders multiple access points.

Huckleberry Mountain 3 Large Loop Trails:

  • Huckleberry Mountains Loop: 18.8 miles
  • Bell Springs Loop: 6.6 miles
  • Apple Loop: 11.9 miles

Ride through winding valleys surrounded by sandstone bluffs and be rewarded with sweeping views. Streams, rivers and ponds add to the areas beauty.

Big Shoal Creek crosses the trail in 6 different areas. Riders need to be aware of recent weather conditions that could lead to potentially dangerous high water crossings.

Trails are primarily old roads, so most of the riding is easy with a few more moderate/difficult sections.  

Bell Springs Loop closes in April and May to protect nesting turkeys.

Huckleberry Mountain Horse Trail Brochure

US Forest Service: Huckleberry Mountain Horse Trail

Huckleberry Mt. Trail – Big Shoal Creek by robert thigpen | Flickr

Sylamore Ranger District

Sylamore MVUM


Pleasant Hill Ranger District

Pleasant Hill MVUM


Ott Park

  • Total Trail Miles: 5 miles of trails on 200 acres
  • Location: Central Arkansas
  • Skill Level: Varied
  • Fee: None
  • Usage: Moderate
  • Open: Dawn to dusk
  • Closest Town: North Little Rock AR
  • Vehicles Allowed: ATV, SxS, motorcycles

This is a city managed OHV park open from dawn to dusk.

Mostly hard pack on flat terrain.

This park has plenty of natural mud pits. Lots of shallow indents and pot holes for water to accumulate, so riders will enjoy plenty of water and mud riding weather permitting.

Facebook: Ott Park


Featured Image Wolf Pen Gap by robert thigpen | Flickr

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