14 Best ATV Trails in Iowa

Iowa is known for its rolling hills, hardwood forests, and flat plains. The scenic landscape and diverse terrain make it a fantastic place to explore on your ATV.

Rathbun has trails suitable for all skill levels. They even have a practice track to test your ATV. Riverview is another great area to explore. For a scenic ride, visit Lakeview OHV park, where you will encounter beautiful forests, hills, and more.

Iowa holds many exciting events throughout the year ranging from festivals, dances, and sports. Every July, bikers all across the nation join the RAGBRAI, Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. Every August, the Iowa State Fair brings about a million people flocking to Des Moines.

You don’t have to wait for these events to visit. For hawk-eyed adventurers and ATV riders, these Iowa ATV parks and trails were made just for you.

Here are the 14 best ATV trails in Iowa:

  1. Rathbun OHV Park
  2. River Farm Recreation
  3. Gypsum City OHV Park
  4. Bluff Creek OHV
  5. Riverview OHV Park
  6. Lakeview OHV Park
  7. River Ridge ATV Trails
  8. Hansen Hollows
  9. Hawkeye Downs Motocross Track
  10. Timber Ridge Ranch and Winery
  11. Nicholson-Ford OHV Park
  12. Tama County OHV Park
  13. River Valley OHV Park
  14. Cambridge Offroad Park

A lot of events and tourist destinations invite travelers to Des Moines, the capital. These parks and trails will bring you to roads less traveled.

14 Best ATV Trails in Iowa

People Riding ATV Quad on Dirt Path Off-Road

1. Rathbun OHV Park

Rathbun OHV is a great place to start. Located in Appanoose County, it has a mix of casual and challenging trails for riders of different levels. The trail itself is about 10 miles, going through a forest, hills, and bordering a lakeshore.

Aside from the rocky dirt trail, there is a practice track and a picnic area when you feel like taking a break.

2. River Farm Recreation

Among all the off road parks in Iowa, River Farm Recreation may have the most activities to offer. ATV riders have four trails to choose from: the long track, the track in the woods, the motocross track, and the sand track. They also have a freestyle ramp for fun.

But that’s not all – River Farm also has hiking trails, kayak rentals, and a camping area with a beach. You’d definitely want to stay over and enjoy all the amenities.

3. Gypsum City OHV Park

Gypsum OHV Park is located in Webster County, Fort Dodge. It has several trails, each one made for a different skill level. In the flat land of the open prairie area, novice riders can practice skills as much as they want. Kids also have a smaller track where they can learn about safety training on ATVs. Experienced riders can enjoy a forest trail with water crossings as well. The park is also open in the winter for snowmobile riders.

If you are interested in ATV dealers in Iowa, Racing Unlimited in Fort Dodge is a highly-recommended place. What’s more is, it’s only 3 minutes away from Gypsum City OHV Park. You can check out their website here.

Gypsum City OHV Park

4. Bluff Creek OHV

Out of the ATV trails in Iowa, what makes Bluff Creek unique is that it used to be a coal mine. It was converted into a park with 20 miles of trails with hill climbs and deep pits. While novices can try out the beginner’s trail, expert riders can try the “gravity cavity” trail, featuring the park’s most challenging terrain. When it’s time to wind down, Bluff Creek also has an area for picnics, camping, and fishing.

5. Riverview OHV Park

Riverview OHV Park is named because of its riverside trails. It has a 4-mile route along Cedar River of Black Hawk County, two trails for motocross, and a track for beginner riders. The only catch is that ATVs must not be wider than 65″ to enter.

6. Lakeview OHV Park

ATVs, UTVs, and dirt bikes are all welcome in Lakeview OHV Park of Johnson County. Within 160 acres of land, offroaders have trails going through the woods and hills, and a portion with sand trails. Beginners and kids can have fun on two designated trails, while experienced ATV riders can find their fun going through mud bogs and areas with ravines.

7. River Ridge ATV Trails

If the Maquoketa Caves State Park is on your itinerary, try to make room for River Ridge. Located in the Whispering Meadows Resort, this ATV trail is only 30 minutes away from the park. Aside from a lovely ride through the woods, you also get a good view of the Maquoketa River. Hikers and mountain bikers can also explore the area, and you can reserve a cabin to stay the night.

8. Hansen Hollows

If you want to camp instead of stay overnight in a cabin, Hansen Hollows may be for you. It’s 6.5 miles away from River Ridge, and it also gives you a view of the Maquoketa River. While it’s only open during the weekend, you have a lot of terrain to cover. This offroad park features a smooth ATV trail, a hilly landscape, and a lot of trees.

Hansen Hollows Iowa Trail

9. Hawkeye Downs Motocross Track

Off-road parks in Iowa are often for casual riders, but this one tends to be for racing fans. The Cedar Valley Trail Riders host the CVTR MX Championship Series from April to October, featuring races for motorcycles, dirt bikes, and 4x4s.

While this particular ATV trail in Iowa requires membership access, it is open to the general public during April and May.

10. Timber Ridge Ranch and Winery

Timber Ridge is an exclusive property by Lake Icaria in Adams County. The site offers a trail in the woods where you can enjoy steep hills, mud bogs, and some water crossings. After exploring the trails, you can enjoy the rest of the facilities on the campgrounds. Timber Ridge has a winery, a picnic area, and a water hole for swimming.

11. Nicholson-Ford OHV Park

While some ATV trails in Iowa let you cruise beside rivers, this enables you to drive through dry river bottoms. Nicholson-Ford in Marshall county has trails that were once creek or river beds. While the trail leads you through the peaceful woods, you may encounter some large rocks and a few hill climbs. It can also get muddy during the rain.

12. Tama County OHV Park

Tama County has a top-rated OHV park in Tama City. Its 15-mile trail crosses the Iowa River, and it leads you through rolling hills with tightly-packed soil. It features a motocross track and a separate track prepared for kiddie drivers. It has 23 different campsites, 10 of which have electric amenities.

In case you decide to visit this trail, you may want to consider visiting the neighboring city of Toledo, 5 minutes away from the park. It houses another recommended ATV dealer in Iowa, the USS Polaris. You can check out their website here.

13. River Valley OHV Park

River Valley is named as such because it borders the Missouri River in Pottawattamie County. It has 23-miles worth of sandy trails and hills. It is popular for tourists because of the beautiful views and vantage points you can discover as you go along the paths.

14. Cambridge Offroad Park

Cambridge Offroad Park offers 30 acres of terrain to explore on your ATV and UTV. There is a motocross track, a flat track, and a wooded area. It’s a small park, but well maintained, and the staff is friendly and helpful. There are trails for beginners and experts, so whatever your skill level, you’ll be sure to enjoy it here.

Conclusion – ATV Trails in Iowa

So, what are the 14 best ATV trails in Iowa? To recap, here they are once again:

  1. Rathbun OHV Park
  2. River Farm Recreation
  3. Gypsum City OHV Park
  4. Bluff Creek OHV
  5. Riverview OHV Park
  6. Lakeview OHV Park
  7. River Ridge ATV Trails
  8. Hansen Hollows
  9. Hawkeye Downs Motocross Track
  10. Timber Ridge Ranch and Winery
  11. Nicholson-Ford OHV Park
  12. Tama County OHV Park
  13. River Valley OHV Park
  14. Cambridge Offroad Park

The Hawkeye State is not only filled with low-lying plains and fields of corn, nor is its capital the only place worth visiting. The ATV trails in Iowa give you the thrill of off-roading, and also take you to magnificent rivers, forests, and adventurous hills and coal mines. The off road parks in Iowa are worth the visit!

Kris Peter

Adventure seeker and off-road enthusiast. I love the thrill of going off-road and taking on the elements.

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