Iowa ATV Trail Guide
We’ve only highlighted a very few of the wonderful ATV trails in Iowa, but there are many other great areas for ATV and UTV riding located all across the state. Some of them are highly-rated, privately owned like Timber Ridge Ranch, Hansen Hollows, Hawkeye Downs, Fan Ridge and Oak Ridge that continue to be among the favorite ATV parks in Iowa.
Bluff Creek OHV Park
Location: Mahaska County, southwest of Oskaloosa
Built primarily into an abandoned strip coal mine, the 350-acre off-road Bluff Creek Off-Highway Vehicle Park offers 20 miles of unique trails with steep hill climbs and deep pits giving ATV riders and UTV riders of all experience levels just what they want. Newbies will enjoy the beginner’s ATV trails while expert ATV riders will thrill to the challenging “gravity cavity” trail. Additionally, wooded trails wind through trees, and the family-friendly perimeter 4-wheeler trails circle the entire area.
Gypsum City OHV Park
Location: Webster County, southeast of Fort Dodge
Noted around the state as one of the best places to find ATV riding trails and UTV riding trails, this 800-acre OHV Park offers fifteen miles of rolling hills and perimeter trails ideal for various skill levels, in an area that previously was a gypsum mine. In the flat land of the open prairie area, novice ATV riders can practice skills as much as they want, while more experienced riders will appreciate the ATV and UTV trail riding through heavily timbered areas with water crossings and mudding trails as well.
Lakeview OHV Park
Location: Johnson County, north of Iowa City
Here you’ll find over 160 acres to explore which includes an extensive, ten-mile ATV trail riding network with areas ranging from sandy shoreline flats to heavily wooded areas intermingled with lowlands that will facilitate all skill levels of ATV riding. The varying terrain includes sand trails, mud trails, hard-pack trails and steep hills. Novices and kids will have fun on two designated trails, while more experienced ATV riders will enjoy the challenging mud bogs and areas with ravines.
Nicholson-Ford OHV Park
Location: Marshall County, on the northeast side of Marshalltown
This OHV Park is a 110-acre complex with 20 miles of woodland trails that were once creek or riverbeds. Both beginners and experienced ATV riders will enjoy driving through the tight, wet, or dry, river-bottom forest trails that lead through peaceful woods, past large rocks, and up steep hills. And, if you want to go mudding, this can be a great area depending on the weather.
Rathbun OHV Park
Location: Appanoose County, on the southwest arm of Lake Rathbun off Highway 142
Formerly a rock quarry, Rathbun offers 120 acres open to ATV riding on trails that wind and loop through the area, crossing dirt, rock, and many different features. The 20 miles of ATV trails and UTV trails provides a mix of casual, leisurely cruising and challenging trails for riders of different experience levels. Dirt and rock trails meander around trees, forests, rocks and hills, and alongside a lake shore. There’s a fenced tot lot, a practice track and expert-only tracks to practice for 4-wheeler riding competitions. Expect plenty of scenic views during your ride.
River Ridge ATV Trails Recreation Park
Location: Whispering Meadows Resort, Spragueville
Just 30 minutes from Maquoketa Caves State Park and providing a great view of the Maquoketa River, this 200-acre park offers 21 miles of ATV and UTV trails. As part of Whispering Meadows Resort, it’s private property so there is a fee, but it remains a very popular area for ATV riding in Iowa. Head through the winding trails that cut deep through the forest, ride on perimeter trails or drive up hills and perhaps plow through muddy pools of water. Great accessibility to nature.
River Valley OHV Park
Location: Pottawattamie County, along the Missouri River in Council Bluffs, IA
Part of the appeal of this 300-acre off-road vehicle park is that offers a winding, looping, 23-mile-long trail network through dense forest along the eastern shoreline of the Missouri River. The terrain consists primarily of loose dirt and sandy ATV trails with some smaller hills in succession, and small sand hills, all of which offer spectacular views. Prone to flooding so can be a good option when you want to go mudding.
Riverview OHV Park
Location: Black Hawk County, on Hawthorne Street in Waterloo, IA
Lying along the Cedar River, this 180-acre off-road vehicle park is noted for its scenic riverside trails. With 5 miles of trails that offer a variety of terrains through sandy areas and forests, there’s a series of mini jumps, a 4-mile perimeter trail and a pee-wee track for novice ATV riders.
Tama County OHV Park
Location: Tama County, south of Tama on Hwy 63
One of the largest off-road vehicle parks in Iowa, Tama encompasses 300 acres and offers 15 miles of tight curves and rolling hills along river bottom forested trails that also include hard-packed areas where you can really open up the throttle. Can be a great place for mudding, and exploring the woodlands surrounding the Iowa River, including a handful of scenic bridge crossings.