10 Best Maryland Off Road Trails

Maryland, the Free State, is known for its beautiful landscape, large forests, and Atlantic beaches, making it an excellent destination for off-road enthusiasts. There are lots of public and private trails to choose from. So, where can you find the best Maryland off road trails?

Head to Potomac-Garrett, Green Ridge, or Savage River State Forest, and take on one of their several diverse trails. Expect both smooth and challenging routes with muddy and rocky terrain. If you like the beach, try Assateague Island for some over-sand vehicle riding.

Here are our 10 best Maryland off road trails:

  1. Assateague Island Beach
  2. Budds Creek Motocross Park
  3. Burkholder Road ORV Trail 
  4. Laurel Run Road ORV Trail
  5. Margraff Plantation Trail
  6. Meadow Mountain Trail
  7. Piney Mountain ORV Trail
  8. Rockburn Skills Park
  9. St. John’s Rock Trail
  10. Tuscarora Trail

Maryland is one of the most environmental states in the US due to its green initiatives. It’s an exciting place to explore since its terrain can be flat, muddy, or sandy. Expect to enjoy summer and winter activities while appreciating the abundance of nature around the entire area.

Let’s go through the best and worst aspects of each trail on the list so you’ll know exactly where to go first and what to avoid:

10 Best Maryland Off Road Trails

Off-Road Rocky River

1. Assateague Island Beach

Specifically referring to the OSV or Over-Sand Vehicle area of the Assateague Island Beach, this off-road trail displays the seashore’s pristine, raw beauty. It’s the perfect location for a break from forest trails.

However, before you can access the area, you need to get a permit. Permits ensure that the drivers are fully aware of the park’s rules. They’re quite expensive, but the location is fun and safe, so it’s worth it.

The main reason why the OSV is so safe is the reliability of the National Park Service. NPS will never hesitate to assist you when your vehicle tires get stuck in the sand.

Another condition before you can use the OSV is you need to use an appropriate vehicle. The location only allows vehicles that won’t exceed four wheels and 10,000 pounds. When it comes to the vehicle’s dimensions, it shouldn’t be longer than 26 feet and wider than eight feet. Also, make sure that the ground clearance is higher than six inches.

If you think you can use any off-road vehicle that meets all the required specs mentioned, you should know that the beach specifically prohibits ATVs, UTVs, ROVs, and MOHUVs.

2. Budds Creek Motocross Park

When it comes to Maryland dirt bike trails, the Budds Creek Motocross Park provides an excellent, well-developed track. Non-competitors can also use the track to improve their skills or just have fun. The establishment offers classes so riders or racers can master the sport in no time. It also allows minors to use the track as long as there’s official permission from their parents or guardians.

It isn’t for public use, though. You need to spend some money to enjoy the facilities. Even spectators, including kids, are required to pay. You don’t need to become a member just to access the location. More importantly, even during practice sessions, an ambulance is always prepared in case of emergencies.

3. Burkholder Road ORV Trail

Also called the Backbone Mountain Trail, the Burkholder Road ORV Trail is 2.7 miles long and open during the summer and winter.

When it’s summer, you can use a vehicle with two or four wheels. Meanwhile, during the winter season, snowmobiles are required. However, once the deer firearms season starts, you can’t access the trail even with a snowmobile.

4. Laurel Run Road ORV Trail

Like the previous location, the Laurel Run Road ORV Trail allows motorcycles, mountain bikes, four-wheeled vehicles, and snowmobiles. It also prohibits snowmobiles when it’s time for deer firearms.

This trail promises picturesque views. It covers a section of Rileys Spring Branch’s forest and the Potomac River.

5. Margraff Plantation Trail

Don’t worry if you can’t get an official map for the Margraff Plantation Trail. It’s so well-maintained that visible marks are painted in the necessary areas. Of course, some sections still need improvement, but this trail is mostly ideal for off-roading.

This location is exciting as well, especially for mountain bike riders. Expect several loops and elevations as you go further into the trail. Magnificent views also surround it.

To prevent hurting yourself as you encounter overgrown flora, make sure to wear protective gear.

6. Meadow Mountain Trail

One of the Savage River State Forest trails, the Meadow Mountain Trail, spans 14 miles. It has several access points to give riders a chance to choose between longer and shorter routes.

This area is composed of forest and gravel trails. It’s ideal for off-highway vehicles (OHVs), MTBs, snowmobiles, equestrians, and hikers. Don’t forget to secure a permit if you’re going to use an OHV.

If you’re looking for some real challenge, we suggest skipping this location. This trail is only within the easy to moderate range.

White SUV Off-Road in the Woods

7. Piney Mountain ORV Trail

If you’re into winter activities, here’s another location where you can go snowmobiling all you want as long as you’re following the rules. Specifically, on the west side of the Piney Mountain ORV Trail, only snowmobiles are allowed.

On the other hand, if you just want to go off-roading, stay away from the western part. As a plus, you can use a motorized vehicle even when it’s deer firearms season.

8. Rockburn Skills Park

Planning to enjoy off-roading with the entire family? The Rockburn Skills Park is safe for all ages, even with all the obstacles perfect for mountain biking. That’s because it’s divided into three trails.

The easiest trail only has a couple of small jumps, while the one with big tabletops is for higher jumps. Lastly, the remaining route is a rock garden.

9. John’s Rock Trail

The rules of St. John’s Rock Trail are quite strict. You can only use off-road vehicles (ORVs) in limited areas. Also, if you prefer off-roading at night, you’re not allowed to access the rock-crawls and loops.

Since this trail is narrow and has two lanes, you should be more careful. Also, Jeeps and other similar vehicles aren’t allowed. Stick to smaller vehicles like ATVs.

10. Tuscarora Trail

If what you want is an adventure that can last for days, we’re saving the longest trail for last. The Tuscarora Trail is so long that it covers four states: Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. To be more specific, it’s 252 miles long.

Just in case you’ve heard that this trail was abandoned decades ago, you should know that it’s been maintained for several years now, thanks to the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.

Conclusion – 10 Best Maryland Off Road Trails

For some real adventure, we highly recommend off-roading in Maryland. It has many trails and tracks for dirt bikes, ATVs, 4WDs, and other vehicles.

Once again, here are some of the best trails in Maryland:

  1. Assateague Island Beach
  2. Budds Creek Motocross Park
  3. Burkholder Road ORV Trail 
  4. Laurel Run Road ORV Trail
  5. Margraff Plantation Trail
  6. Meadow Mountain Trail
  7. Piney Mountain ORV Trail
  8. Rockburn Skills Park
  9. St. John’s Rock Trail
  10. Tuscarora Trail

Remember to have the necessary permits so you can freely use your vehicle in the state. Lastly, make sure to check whether the location requires membership fees and other charges so you’ll come prepared.

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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