HomeTrailsWayne National Forest - Ohio ATV Trails And Camping

Wayne National Forest – Ohio ATV Trails And Camping

  • Location: 67+ miles SE of Columbus OH
  • Trail Miles: 145 miles
  • Skill Level: Varied
  • Usage: Heavy
  • Fees (Trail Passes):
  • Single Day Pass – not available
    • 3 Day Pass – $20
    • Seasonal Pass – $35
  • Open: April 15 – December 15
  • Closest Towns: Athens, Ironton
  • Vehicles Allowed: Motorbikes, ATVs less than 50” wide
  • Vehicle Registration Required: Yes, license plate and registration sticker or Ohio decal

Wayne National Forest Overview

Without a doubt, Wayne National Forest has the best ATV trails in Ohio. This areas offers 145 miles of trails of well marked trails for various skill levels. There are easy family friendly rides, moderately challenging rides all the way up to advanced trail conditions.

Located on over a quarter million acres in the Appalachian foothills, Wayne National Forest is hard to beat for off-roading, camping and family fun.

The trails are well marked and color coded, so they’re easy to navigate.

Easy access from Columbus makes it a popular getaway, so don’t expect to have the trails to yourself.

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This forest is a bit different in that it’s not one big whole forest, it’s actually spread out over 4 separate sections. These sections aren’t connected, so you can’t freely ride from one section to another.

The ATV trails are located in two of these forest sections. These two sections are managed by two separate ranger districts: the Athens Ranger District and the Ironton Ranger District.

If you want to access all the trails you’ll need to trailer.

US Forest Service: Wayne National Forest OHV Riding And Camping


Wayne National Forest – Best ATV Trails in Ohio!


Wild ATV
  • No trails in this system are accessible for vehicles over 50” wide.
  • All drivers and passengers 16 and older must have their own pass to ride on the OHV trails. Hikers and other users don’t need a trail pass.
  • This area is open to the public from mid April to mid December in order to limit environmental damage during the snow/wet season.
  • Riding at night is permitted as long as you have lights
  • Wayne National Forest is a multi use area for off roading, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking.

Wayne National Forest ATV Trail Systems

  1. Monday Creek OHV System
  2. Hanging Rock OHV System
  3. Pine Creek OHV System
  4. Superior OHV System


2 Separate ATV Areas: Athens And Ironton

Athens ATV Trails

Monday Creek OHV System

ATV Wayne National Forest
Wayne National Forest – Monday Creek US Forest Service
  • Open To: OHV, mountain biking, and hiking
  • Total Trail Miles: 75 miles
  • Trail System:
  • 8 Trailheads
    • Elm Trailhead
    • Long Ridge Trailhead
    • Monday Creek Trailhead
    • New Straitsville Trailhead
    • Red Oak Trailhead
    • Scarlet Oak Trailhead
    • Sycamore Trailhead
    • White Oak Trailhead
  • Trail Map: Athens OHV Trail Map

Wayne National Forest ATV

Athens ATV Trail Camping

Private Campgrounds With Athens Trail Access

Begley’s

  • Sites: 64
    • RV w/Electric– 28
    • Primitive – 36
  • Cost:
    • 30 amp: $12
    • Primitive: $7
    • Cabins – $50
  • Water: Drinking water available
  • Dump Station: Yes
  • Bathrooms: Flush
  • Showers: $2
  • Day Parking: $2
  • Open: Seasonally
  • Location: Straitsville OH

Located in the ATV friendly town of New Straitsville, you can ride your ATV into town to access services. You can also ride directly from the campground onto the Wayne National Forest OHV trails.

Reservations can be made for electrical sites, but primitive sites are first come first serve. No water hookups are available, but they do have a fill station. They also have a dump station on site.

They sell snacks, drinks and trail passes at their office/snack shack.

Begley’s


Williams Campground

  • Sites: N/A
  • Cost:
    • RV w/Electric: $15 per person
    • Tent: $10.00 per person (children 8 to 15 – $5, 7 and under – free)
  • Water: Drinking water available
  • Dump Station: N/A
  • Bathrooms: Flush
  • Showers: $2 (if just parking)
  • Day Parking: $2
  • Open: Seasonally
  • Location: Logan OH

They don’t sell trail permits on site, so be sure to pick one up prior to arrival.

Family owned and operated campground located on the border of the Monday Creek ORV Area. Ride from the campground onto the trails.

Veteran discounts are available. Onsite convenience store at the main entrance.

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Williams Campground


Athens Trailhead Camping – Wayne National Forest

Athens Trailhead Dry Campgrounds With Sites

*These trailhead campgrounds have 8 sites each, good parking, ADA vault toilets, no ADA campsites, no water, no amenities

  • Elm Trailhead
  • Monday Creek Trailhead

Athens Trailhead Primitive Dispersed Camping

*All trailheads have good parking, ADA vault toilets, no water, no amenities

  • New Straitsville Trailhead – loading ramp
  • Red Oak Trailhead
  • Scarlet Oak Trailhead
  • Sycamore Trailhead
  • White Oak Trailhead – loading ramp

No camping is allowed at the Long Ridge Trailhead, but there is an ADA vault toilet.


Ironton AVT Trails


Hanging Rock OHV System

ATV Wayne National Forest
Wayne National Forest – Hanging Rock OHV System US Forest Service
  • Miles of Trail: 26 miles
  • Difficulty Level: Difficult
  • Access: Hanging Rock Trailhead
  • Main ATV Trails
    • Copperhead Trail
    • High Knob Loop
    • Gas Well Loop
    • Hanging Rock Trail
    • 105B Connector
    • Lakeview Trail
    • Pine Cutoff
    • Powerline Trail
    • Oak Spur

This area was strip mined in the 1960s and 1970s. The strip mining left the area ugly and scarred, but it also made for some excellent off roading. The bare steep slopes make for challenging riding, so most of the trails in this section are rated as more difficult.

Be sure to pack your fishing rod! The Hanging Rock OHV System also has 51 fishing ponds.


Pine Creek OHV System

  • Miles of Trail: 20 miles
  • Access:
    • Lyra Trailhead
    • Telegraph Trailhead (trail closed from this trailhead)
    • Wolcott Trailhead
  • Main ATV Trails:
    • Telegraph Trail (partially closed)
    • Wolcott Trail
    • Lyra Trail
    • Wolcott Loop
    • Wolcott Connector

The Wolcott Connector Trail and the Howard Ridge Connector Trail link the Pine Creek OHV System with the Superior OHV System. This allows you to easily access and enjoy trails in both systems.

ATV Wayne National Forest
Wolcott Trailhead – Pine Creek System OHV System US Forest Service

Superior OHV System

  • Miles of Trail: 16.5 miles
  • Access:
    • Superior Trailhead
  • Main ATV Trails:
    • Bear Top Loop
    • Superior Corridor
    • Bear Claw Trail
    • Superior TH (trail head) Connector

The Superior Trails can be connected to the Pine Creek Trails by using the two connector trails.


Ironton ATV Trail Camping

Ironton Trailhead Camping – Wayne National Forest

Ironton Trailheads Dry Campgrounds With Sites

None available


Ironton Trailhead Primitive Dispersed Camping

*All trailheads have good parking, ADA vault toilets, no water, no amenities

  • Hanging Rock Trailhead
  • Lyra Trailhead
  • Wolcott Trailhead
  • Superior Trailhead

Wayne National Forest Developed Campgrounds – Ironton OHV Trails

Lake Vesuvius Campgrounds

The Lake Vesuvius campgrounds are in the Wayne National Forest section that has the Ironton ATV Trail System. This trail system includes the Hanging Rock OHV System, Pine Creek OHV System and Superior OHV System.

The camping at the ATV trailheads and on the trails are either primitive and dispersed or dry campgrounds with no amenities. Wayne National Forest doesn’t have any camping with hookups/amenities located directly on the ATV trails within the forest. However, there are private campgrounds that do offer amenities and direct trail access.

You will have to trailer from the Lake Vesuvius campgrounds to the trails.


Lake Vesuvius Camping Amenities

If you’d like a few more amenities and don’t mind trailering to the trailheads, Wayne National Forest does have a have 3 nicer campgrounds that have water/electric and flush toilets.

You can also enjoy lots of nice hiking trails in the Lake Vesuvius area. Here’s a nice .gov pdf with trail descriptions, mileages and an overview map: Lake Vesuvius Hiking Trails

Only non-motorized boats and boats with electric motors are allowed on Lake Vesuvius. Kayak rentals are available from Kountry Kayaks.


Iron Ridge Campground

  • Sites:
  • RV – 21
  • Tent – 11
  • Cost:
  • Electric/Water: $20
  • Water Only: $15
  • Reservations: May be reserved. Some first come, first serve available
  • ADA Sites: Yes, 3
  • Water: Drinking water available
  • Dump Station: Yes
  • Bathrooms: Flush
  • Open: May 30 – October 25
  • Location: 6.5 miles north of Ironton, Ohio

Newly renovated. This campground can accommodate large RVs.

RV Size Accommodation

  • 20’ back in w/electric – 2 sites
  • 20’back in no electric – 1 site
  • 40’ back in no electric – 1 site
  • 45’ back in w/electric – 16 sites

This campground is located on a ridge above the lake, so the hike to the lake is 150” elevation change.

A short hiking trail from the campground takes you down to the shores of Lake Vesuvius and gets you on the Lake Shore Trail.

Lake Vesuvius offers boating, swimming, fishing and hiking.

Iron Ridge Campground


Oak Hill Campground

  • Sites:
    • RV – 25 (+ 2 group hookups)
    • Group Site: 1
  • Cost:
    • Electric 15W/Water: $20
    • Group Site: $35
  • Reservations: May be reserved. Recommended.
  • ADA Sites: Yes, 3
  • Water: Drinking water available
  • Dump Station: Yes
  • Bathrooms: 2 Flush with showers, 1 vault
  • Open: May 30 – October 25 and during Ohio deer gun season. During deer gun season, only the Pine Knob Loop is open for camping, but without water.
  • Location: 6.5 miles north of Ironton, Ohio

Newly renovated. This campground is a short drive or hike to the boat dock where you can rent kayaks. The trail from the campground to the docks is less than 1/2 a mile.

This campground also has SHOWERS! which is a huge selling point.

Of the two Lake Vesuvius campgrounds, this is the busier of the two. This is the closest campground to the Big Bend Swimming Beach and the boat ramp.

The beach is open Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend, 10 am – 8 pm, 7 days a week. A $3 per car use fee is charged (Senior and Access Passport discounts apply).

RV Size Accomodations

  • 30’ back ins – 2 sites
  • 40’ back ins – 3 sites
  • 45’ pull through – 1 site
  • 45’ back in – 18 sites

Four short hiking trails connect different areas of the campground and the boat dock. Other longer hiking trails are also easily accessible from the campground.

Oak Hill Campground



Wayne National Forest Developed Campgrounds – Athens OHV Trails

This campground is in the Wayne National Forest section that has the Athens ATV Trail System/Monday Creek OHV System.

There are no developed campgrounds located directly on the ATV trails.

You will have to trailer from this campground to the trails.


Leith Run Recreation Area

  • Sites: 21 sites (18 with hookups)
  • Group: 2 sites
  • Cost:
  • Electric 30/50/Water: $20 (only 3 sites, #2, #5 and #17, have 50 amp)
  • Tent/no electric: $15
  • Group sites: $55
  • Reservations: May be reserved. Recommended.
  • ADA Sites: Yes, 21
  • Water: Drinking water available
  • Dump Station: Yes
  • Bathrooms: Flush
  • Open: April 15 – October 15

This campground can accommodate large RVs.

Sites #2, #5 and #17 are the only sites with 50 amp. All the other sites are 30 amp.

RV Size Accommodation

  • 30’ back in – 2 sites
  • 50’ back in – 11 sites
  • 50’ pull through – 1 site
  • 60’ back in – 6 sites
  • 90’ pull through – 1 site

Located on the banks of the Ohio River with access to the Willow Island Pool, a popular water recreation area for boating and fishing.

Leith Run Recreation Area


Wayne National Forest Undeveloped Campgrounds – Athens OHV Trails

*These are additional campgrounds throughout Wayne Forest. They are not at the OHV trailheads or on the trails.

Hune Bridge Campground

  • Sites: 3, no hookups
  • Cost: $10
  • Reservations: No
  • ADA Sites: No
  • Water: No
  • Dump Station: No
  • Bathrooms: Vault
  • Open: April 15 – October 15

No amenities, no hookups. This campground has only three sites just below the covered bridge. It’s also a canoe access point for the Little Muskingum River. There is also a trailhead for the 5 mile hiking trail to the Rinard Covered Bridge.

Hune Bridge Campground


Lamping Homestead Recreation Area

  • Sites: 6 walk in campsites, no hookups
  • Cost: $10
  • Reservations: No
  • ADA Sites: No
  • Water: No
  • Dump Station: No
  • Bathrooms: Vault
  • Open: April 15 – October 15

Located on the shores a small picturesque pond that is stocked with bluegill, bass and catfish. This area also has 8 picnic tables and a shelter open for day use.

Campground has two short loop trails, one 3 1/2 miles long, the other 1 1/2 miles long.

Lamping Homestead Recreation Area


Lane Farm Campground

  • Sites: 4 campsites, no hookups
  • Cost: $10
  • Reservations: No
  • ADA Sites: No
  • Water: No
  • Dump Station: No
  • Bathrooms: Vault
  • Open: April 15 – October 15

Located on the banks of the Little Muskingum River.

Lane Farm Campground


Ring Mill Campground

  • Sites: 3 campsites, no hookups
  • Cost: $10
  • Reservations: No
  • ADA Sites: No
  • Water: No
  • Dump Station: No
  • Bathrooms: Vault
  • Open: April 15 – October 15

Located on the banks of the Little Muskingum River; this campground stands on the grounds of former farmstead and mill. The mill is gone, but the original stone house built in 1846 is still in place and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Ring Mill Campground


Top 10 ATV Trails In Ohio



Wayne National Forest Camping Rules

  • Camping is allowed at OHV trailheads and OHV areas (few restrictions)
  • 2 week maximum stay
  • No more than 8 people per campsite
  • You must locate your camp at least 100 feet of the trail
  • Although you must camp 100 feet from the trail, you can’t ride your ATV off trail to your campsite
  • Your ATV must be kept parked off the trail, but right next to the trail (to limit environmental damage)
  • Campsite need to be kept clear of debris when in use
  • Make sure campsite is clean when you leave
  • Do not obstruct trails or roads
  • Campfires
    • To limit the spread of invasive tree-killing pests, firewood from outside the area is not permitted. Some states have quarantines and may confiscate your firewood
    • Allowed in fire rings or surrounded by rocks
    • They must be monitored and safe
    • Fires must have 10’ foot clearance around it and either be in a fire ring or surrounded by rocks
    • Make sure fires are fully extinguished before leaving camp
    • No bonfires (large) fires allowed
    • Check the bulletin board to make sure there is not a fire ban in effect
    • Downed wood can be used for fires
    • Cutting down trees is not allowed
  • You can’t occupy more than three developed Wayne National Forest camping sites at one time (one RV and two tents sites)

Wayne National Forest Rules OHV Rules

  • Only open from April 15 – December 15 for motorized travel
  • OHVs are only allowed on designated trails marked with orange diamonds
  • No off trail travel allowed
  • Do not ride through streams or wetlands
  • Cross streams only at designated bridge crossings
  • No vehicles over 50” wide
  • Operators and passengers 16 and older must have a trail permit
  • Operators 16 and older must have a current valid state driver’s license
  • Riders under 16 years old must be accompanied by a rider 18 years or older who possesses a valid state driver’s license.
  • Learner’s permit do not qualify as a valid driver’s license
  • People 16 years and older who do not have a valid driver’s license can only ride as a passenger (permit required)
  • ATVs and off road motorcycles must be registered in Ohio or your home state
  • Ohio offers registration reciprocity
  • Eye protection and US DOT helmets are required
  • No drinking and driving
  • No alcohol possession within 100 feet of cleared edges of OHV trailheads
  • No alcohol possession within 100 feet of OHV trails
  • Drug possessing in violation of state or federal law is prohibited
  • Possessing drug paraphernalia in violation of state or federal law is prohibited
  • It is prohibited to operate any vehicle in an unsafe manner,
  •    This includes:
  • Operating without safety equipment
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Disturbing animals, soil or vegetation
  • Operating at night without lights
  • Driving an unsafe vehicle (no brakes, etc)
  • Night driving without break lights
  • Driving a vehicle without a spark arrester
  • Operating a vehicle that emits a noise in excess of 99 decibels at 20”from the exhaust outlet
  • Carrying passengers in excess of the manufacturer’s recommendation
  • All campfires must be in a fire ring on or within 150 feet of any designated trail and developed parking area
  • Fires must be safe and attended at all times
  • Fires must be properly extinguished
  • Be sure to verify that a burn ban isn’t in place
  • Must follow all state gun laws
  • Must obey all state hunting, trapping, and fishing laws
  • It is illegal to use an OHV to pursue, capture or kill animals or birds.
  • Official .gov pdf: Wayne National Forest Rules For Operating/Riding Off Highway Vehicles (OHV)

Ohio Vehicle Registration Laws

  • In Ohio, ATVs and SxS are referred to as “all-purpose vehicles” (APVs). All APVs, off road motorcycles and snowmobiles are required to be registered in Ohio. Ohio OHV Registration 
  • Ohio offers ATV registration reciprocity. This means that if your ATV is registered in your home state, then Ohio will honor that registration as valid and you will not be required to register your ATV in Ohio.
  • If your home state does not have ATV registration then you will have to register it in Ohio.

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