4 Wheeler Trails in Missouri

by Lynda Altman Google

Four-wheeler trails in Missouri take you through wooded hills and rugged terrain. There are many trails designated as ORV or off-road vehicle trails. Riders should remember to respect the land that they are riding on so that the trails remain open for everyone to enjoy. Many of the trails have camping facilities as well. This allows you to plan for a complete four-wheel riding vacation.

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State Parks

Two of Missouri's state parks have four-wheeler trails. St. Joe State Park has 2,000 acres set aside for off-road use. This area includes 800 acres of "sand flats," a crushed limestone tailing used as a trail surface. The remaining acreage is wooded hills. The area is accessible to ATVs, and all four-wheel drive vehicles. There is an entrance fee to use the trails. As of July 2011, the fee is $5.00 per day. Finger Lakes State Park has a main ORV trail that is 5.25 miles long. This trail is suitable for all skill levels. The main trail is the only one that is maintained. Other riding areas are accessible off of this trail. Riders choosing to use unmaintained trails in the open riding area of Finger Lakes State Park do so at their own risk.

Mark Twain National Forest

The Mark Twain National Forest has two areas for four-wheeling. Rules governing four-wheel vehicles using the trails in the Mark Twain National Forest state that the vehicles cannot exceed 50 inches in width. As of July 2011, a season pass is $45.00 and a daily pass is $7.00. Chadwick Motorcycle and ATV use area is located in the Ava/Cassville/Willow Springs Ranger District. All vehicles must have a working muffler and spark arrester system. Utility ATV vehicles, or UTVs, are not permitted on the trails. Camping is available at Cobb Ridge. In the Salem Ranger District there is the Sutton Bluff Motorcycle and ATV Trail System. In order to use the trail system a Forest Service permit is required. These can be obtained at the Forestry Service in Salem or at Cindy's Quickstop located at the intersection of highways 21 and 72.

U.S. Army Corp of Engineers

The Cooper Creek ATV Area is located in the Kansas City District of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. Only ATVs and motorcycles are allowed in this area. Dune buggies, four-wheel-drive vehicles and vehicles that exceed 50 inches in width are prohibited. The area contains approximately 400 acres designated for ATV and dirt bike use. Riders must stay on marked trails. This is a remote area, and the nearest medical help is 10 miles away. Ride safely.

Private Trails

Private four-wheeler trails in Missouri include places such as Smurfwood Trails, Flat Nasty Trails and Bricks Off Road Park. All of these areas allow camping, and you can purchase a single day pass or a multi-day pass. Riders must stay on the marked trails, and specific rules apply as to what types of vehicles can be operated on specific trails. Most of the private trails and parks have competitions and races. The privately operated facilities have a higher entrance fee, but they have amenities that the public areas do not. Some features found only in privately owned areas include mud flats, racing areas and trails suitable for experts only.

About the Author

Education/Experience: AS from Westchester Business Institue, major Computer Systems Management. Coursework from the National Genealogical Society :Intro to Genealogy, US Census Population Schedules, US Census- Indian, Slave and Non-Population Schedules. Blackbelt Tae Kwon Do. Carpet Stain removal expert training by HOST (Racine Industries).

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