14 Best Off Road Trails in CT: Connecticut

Connecticut is known for its beautiful landscape, from glimmering lakes and stunning waterfalls to dense forests and rugged hills. The Constitution State offers some of the most unique and challenging off-road experiences. It might be difficult to find places to ride, but the available spots provide excellent adventures for all skill levels.

There are several state forests in CT, but only Pachaug State Forest, Cockaponset State Forest, and Shenipsit State Forest permit off-road vehicles at certain times of the year. Since policies and requirements may change, it is a good idea to check with your state forest destination before heading out.

In the past, Shenipsit State Forest and Cockaponset State Forest used to have 4×4 trails, but now these trails have all been gated off, prohibiting 4x4s and ATVs. Motorized and non-motorized destruction of the trails have caused many closures, making it illegal to ride them.

Our picks for the 14 best off-road trails in Connecticut are as follows:

  1. Mettowee Off Road Extreme Park
  2. North Tower Hill Road
  3. Filley and Jericho Roads
  4. Pachaug State Forest
  5. Turkey Hill Marsh
  6. Pine Ledge
  7. Spruce Ledge
  8. Mottland Road
  9. East Beach Sand Trail
  10. Thomaston Dam
  11. Cockaponset State Forest
  12. Beartown State Park
  13. Milford Riders MX Club
  14. Shenipsit State Forest

Even with limited off-road opportunities, you can still enjoy unique and exhilarating adventures in CT off road trails. Let’s check out the top off road trails in CT.

14 Best Off Road Trails in CT

Off-Road Car Covered in Mud on Grass Hill

1. Mettowee Off Road Extreme Park

Located in Whitehall, NY, Mettowee offers 70 trails in more than 200 acres of land. Attractions for off-road driving include rock crawling, log trench, tire trench, mud bogging, and more. The park promises adventures for off-roaders of all levels, from beginners to intermediate to experts.

ATVs, UTVs, trucks/SUVs, Jeeps, OHVs, and bikes are permitted on the trails. The park is open for off-roading during weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Camping facilities for overnight stays are available at the park. This family-friendly park is also a popular venue for competitions. Check out their Facebook for more info.

2. North Tower Hill Road

Located in Killingworth, CT, this rough forest road is pretty straightforward and not very long. The well-maintained trail weaves through forested areas. Mud sections are abundant after rainfall and add more spice to the off-road adventure.

3. Filley and Jericho Roads

These dirt roads run through sections of the Cockaponset State Forest in Haddam, CT. Jericho Road offers some obstacles and dirt for off-roading pleasure.

4. Pachaug State Forest

The Pachaug State Forest’sForest’s more than 22,000 acres span through Voluntown, Sterling, Plainfield, Griswold, North Stonington, and Preston. 

It’s the largest state forest in Connecticut, offering more than 58 miles of trails for motorcycles and dirt bikes. The trails form a long loop and have light to moderate changes in elevation. The designated staging-off area is on Spaulding Road.

Camping facilities are available in nearby Mt. Misery Campground and include 22 sites with picnic tables, a fire ring, and several vault toilets and water spigots. Make sure to make your reservations online.

Trails are color-coded — red arrows for motorized use, blue for hikers, and orange for equestrian use. While the trail is open throughout the year, it’s best to call before heading out. Trail closures can occur during mud season.

No permit is required, but riders must be licensed and motorcycles street legal. Only dirt bikes and motorcycles can use the trail system. Contact the Pachaug State Forest for more information.

5. Turkey Hill Marsh

Located in Haddam, CT, the marsh trails call for a ready winch or strap for recovery. Also, having a travel buddy is highly recommended on these trails.

Off-roaders should make sure to stay on the designated paths. Steer clear of forest lands as these are strictly off-limits. Turkey Hill Marsh connects with Jericho Road.

6. Pine Ledge

With mud and rock crawling, Pine Ledge is not for beginners. It’sIt’s best to wheel this trail with a buddy. The trail is open for ATVs, Jeeps, and other 4WD vehicles. 

7. Spruce Ledge

Also known as “All Mud Trail,” mudding fans will surely love the adrenaline-pumping adventure off-roading on this trail. 

8. Mottland Road

If you’re looking for a true off-roading adventure, check out Mottland Road with your off-road rig. Located in the heart of Higganum, CT, Mottland Road offers off-roaders with varied terrain ranging from various slopes with dirt/mud, hills, and some rock formations. Always keep to marked trails and avoid venturing into the unknown. 

Off-Road Track in Autumn Forest

9. East Beach Sand Trail

Just right next door to Hartford, CT, is East Beach Sand Trail in Rhode Island. The beach 4×4 trail is near the Ninigret Conservation area, offering 3 miles of prime off-roading adventures.

Before heading out, make sure that you understand all the rules and policies established by the Rhode Island Parks department. All off-road vehicles must have a Barrier Beach Pass. During summer, a beach parking fee will be charged for all vehicles using the East Beach Sand Trail unless registered at any East Beach campsites.

10. Thomaston Dam

Thomaston Dam on Naugatuck River in Thomaston, CT, offers 800 acres of public land for various recreational activities. There are 12 miles of trail exclusive for motorcycles. Three-wheel and 4-wheel drive vehicles are not permitted. The path has technical sections with some short rocky climbs, ruts, and tight cutbacks.

It is generally open during the summer months and weekends. During winter, the tracks are for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.

There is a need to secure a CT All Terrain Registration (DMV) before riding. Opening and closure of the bike trail will also depend on the water level to ensure public safety. Do check out the water levels of the dam before heading out.

At present, the recreation areas are closed indefinitely to vehicles. Only foot traffic is allowed. Check out the park’s Facebook page for updates.

11. Cockaponset State Forest

Cockaponset State Forest is the second-biggest state forest in Connecticut, with its 17,000 acres of land. It encompasses Hartford, Chester, Essex, Old Saybrook, Meriden, Danbury, Norwalk, Stamford, and Bridgeport.

Enduro races organized by motorcycle clubs are held here at least once a year. Dirt bike enthusiasts can participate in these typically one-day competitions. All drivers must be licensed, and motorcycles must be registered and street legal.

Cockaponset State Forest also has four cross-country trails for mountain bikes — Conk, NosillA, Blue Trail, and Green Trail.

12. Beartown State Park

Located in nearby Monterey, Massachusetts, Beartown State Park is about an hour away from Hartford, CT. The park offers 25 miles of designated trails that allow ATVs and off-highly motorcycles during daylight hours.

The trails feature rocky hills and mud puddles and are open from May to November. Call ahead since only 75 free riding permits are issued daily. Also, trail closures may occur due to wet conditions.

13. Milford Riders MX Club

This private track is open to club members only. It’sIt’s one of the top dirt tracks in CT. There’sThere’s a wide variety of terrain suitable for riders of all levels. There are rocky sections, elevated areas, and the paths can get muddy in the rain.

14. Shenipsit State Forest

The Shenipsit State Forest is smaller in size than Pachaug and Cockaponset State Forests. It offers dirt bike trails and other outdoor activities such as horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, and skiing during winter. The location is also a site for annual racing events. Make sure your dirt bike’s registered in Connecticut.

The Shenipsit is on the northeastern side of Connecticut. It offers beautiful sights, including prehistoric boulders that existed since the Ice Age, scattered along the trails.

Conclusion: 14 Best Off-Road Trails in Connecticut

Connecticut Autumn Landscape, New England

So what are the 14 best off road trails in CT? In summary, here are our top picks again:

  1. Mettowee Off Road Extreme Park
  2. North Tower Hill Road
  3. Filley and Jericho Roads
  4. Pachaug State Forest
  5. Turkey Hill Marsh
  6. Pine Ledge
  7. Spruce Ledge
  8. Mottland Road
  9. East Beach Sand Trail
  10. Thomaston Dam
  11. Cockaponset State Forest
  12. Beartown State Park
  13. Milford Riders MX Club
  14. Shenipsit State Forest

Indeed, Connecticut may have limited off-road opportunities, but the parks and trails that are open to off-road vehicles will give you adventures that will quench your thirst for some adrenaline burst.

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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