Where to Ride an ATV or UTV in Texas: Parks, Trails & More

So—you want to ride in Texas, huh? Join the club! Billy and the rest of the Side By Side Stuff crew love the Lone Star state for UTV, ATV, and any other type of off-road adventure. There’s a ton of variety in trails, types, parks, and parties across the state. 

In this quick read, you’ll find the best ATV and UTV riding in Texas.

Public UTV riding trails in Texas

If you’ve got a good crew of buddies and private trails, that’s great. Some of the best rides are started on private land. But, if you’re getting tired of the same honey holes, the same rocky crags, and the same old style of riding, taking to a public trail is the easiest (and cheapest) way to find a new thrill.

Don’t feel like you’re braving it all on your own. When home’s a little more than a holler away, there’s a few key pieces you need to ride in comfort and ride legally. Public trails are a great option, and here’s a quick list of what you’ll need.

What you need for UTV riding in Texas

Texas has a pretty standard list of equipment for ATVs and UTVs operated on public lands. The required equipment includes the following:

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  • A working muffler
  • An operational brake system
  • A head and tail light (during the hours between 1/2 hour before sunrise and 1/2 hour after sunset or reduced visibility)
  • A USFS-qualified spark arrester
  • The Off-Highway Vehicle decal issued by the State Parks and Wildlife Department.
  • Safety helmet and goggles or other eye protection (on public property)

If you are in need of a great helmet or goggles, check out our recommended gear

With the right equipment, you’re almost ready to ride… but don’t feel bad if you still have a few questions. Here are the ones we get asked most often:

Can You Drive A UTV on ATV Trails in Texas?

It depends. On public lands and state lands where OHV (Off-Highway Vehicles) riding is permitted, they don’t make a distinction between ATVs and UTVs. Both are classified as OHVs. 

If you’re riding on private lands or Texas ATV/UTV parks, it varies by location. Your best bet is to check their website or give them a call before you bring your vehicle.

Do you have to register a UTV in Texas? 

ATV and UTV registration is no longer required in Texas for off-highway use. However, registering your vehicle is a huge benefit if it gets lost or stolen

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Can you ride a UTV on a beach in Texas?

There are many beaches that allow UTVs and ATVs as long as they have the proper safety equipment. Lights, flags, turn signals, and the right tires to make it through. If you plan to dig through the dunes on your SxS this year, check out the best sand tires available.

Do you need insurance on a UTV in Texas?

Insurance is not required for UTVs in Texas. That being said, it’s something hundreds of riders have kicked themselves over not having when they needed it. A few dozen bucks a month can save you thousands in repairs down the road.

The most popular UTV trails in Texas are part of larger parks like Big Bend, and are an accessible, affordable way to get out and ride. When you visit these parks, make sure you do so responsible by following these general rules for riding UTVs and ATVs on trails in Texas.

ATV Operator Education Course

To operate an ATV on public land, operators need to complete an ATV Safety Course.

Information about these programs are available at the ATV Safety Institute website.

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General UTV and ATV trail rules

  • Off-highway vehicles (OHVs) are allowed only on the designated Multiple-Use Trail System; cross-country travel is not permitted.
  • Only street-legal vehicles are allowed on Forest Service roads.
  • OHVs used on the Multiple-Use Trail System must be no wider than 50 inches.
  • OHVs must be equipped with an exhaust that has a spark arrestor that emits 96 decibels of sound or less.
  • OHVs must have a current, properly mounted Texas OHV decal 
  • OHV operators must carry a valid ID, proof of day-use payment, and if riding an ATV, proof of ATV Operator Education Course completion.
  • Riders must wear an approved helmet and eye protection.
  • Passengers are not allowed on an OHV unless it is specifically designed by the manufacturer for multiple riders.
  • OHVs operated after sunset and before sunrise must be equipped with working head and tail lights.

Find the UTV headlights and taillights or safety gear you need to meet these requirements on our site.

UTV Trails in Texas

If you’re looking for a laid-back adventure with family and friends, public UTV trails are the way to go. Some of the best scenery and longest rides start by taking to public trails. 

Starting with a trusted guide for Texas ATV and UTV trails can jump-start your next best adventure. With Side By Side Stuff, you’re always sure that the in for and parts you find are top-tier and ready for the road!

Black Gap UTV trail

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This 16.3-mile out-and-back UTV trail is located near Terlingua, Texas. It’s a great option if you want some space for you and your friends to experience real ATV riding in Texas. Running into others is a little rare out here. It can be a moderately challenging route,  but most UTV and ATV trail-goers say they’re able to see everything in a day or so. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. You’ll need to leave dogs back home — unfortunately, they’re not allowed.

It’s very affordable for entry, starting at $15 per person per day for trail use.

Big Bend National Park Entrance Fees

  • Vehicle: $30
    • Admits one private, non-commercial vehicle (15 passenger capacity or less); valid for 7 days.
  • Motorcycle: $25
    • Admits one non-commercial motorcycle; valid for 7 days.
  • Individuals: $15
    • Admits one individual. Typically used for bicyclists and pedestrians; valid for 7 days.

UTV & ATV Parks in Texas

A UTV/ATV trail like Big Bend is a beautiful, scenic natural destination. If the scenery isn’t top of your list, UTV parks might be more your speed.  UTV and ATV parks are man-made, excitement-fueled tracks and trails made for extreme riding. People go to them because they’re built and redesigned to offer the most fun per sq. foot available to ATV and UTV riders alike.

 

 Sabine ATV Park

There’s a reason this park is home to the famous Mud Nationals. It’s a total dream to ride, and a must-see because it caters to every level of experience. Whether you’re mudding in your ATV or cruising in a decked-out Polaris RZR, you can’t find much better terrain in the state.

Located just south of the Toledo Bend Reservoir, Sabine’s trails range from mild to wild and offer a full range of activities and terrains to conquer. As a family-friendly establishment, they keep a tight ship making sure everyone is equipped to ride as safely as possible.

Rules and Regulations

  • The park closes at 2 pm on Sundays unless otherwise noted.
  • In-camp speed limit is 5 MPH
  • No glass bottles or containers allowed. Violators will be asked to leave the park.
  • No firearms allowed
  • No parking In RV spots. If you haven’t reserved an RV spot and park there, your car may be towed.
  • No riding after park close
  • No fireworks
  • RV camping reservations are non-cancellable or transferable.
  • Smoking or pets in family cabins is prohibited
  • A 14-day notice is required for all cabin cancellations. Cancellations that occur 14 days prior will only incur a $25 cancellation fee charge. Any cancellation made less than 14-days prior must forfeit the first night’s fee.

Cost of Entry/Passes 

Friday passes: $40

Saturday passes: $30

Sunday passes: $20

With a very “do-able” price for their day passes, people love coming to Sabine to get the chance to test their skills on the trails the pros ride and get some well-deserved miles in over the weekend.

Trail Map

Once you’ve had your fill of fun on the trails, it might be time to kick back and enjoy some sun on the edge of the water. The sandbar and swimming hole are a favorite of guests and are even more relaxing with a burger or dog from the Sabine Grill!

This is the picture-perfect weekend for the UTV or ATV rider looking for a large park with lots to offer. Be sure to stay in touch with Side By Side Stuff on social media, and we’ll see you out on the trails!

Sabine’s one of the best parks for a reason: they’ve got some of the gnarliest trails for riders and always have great events on the calendar. For riders that are looking to get more out of a day on the trails, parks with tons of events and competitions are the ultimate weekend getaway. That’s why Side By Side Stuff loves General Sam’s, Off Road Park as well.

The ownership at this park is phenomenal—in 706 acres, they’ve built out one of the most dynamic trails around the Huntsville area. RVs, tents, and cabin campers are all welcome for weekend-long events, and their site makes it easy to snag reservations, download waivers, and learn all the rules and regulations.

General Sam’s Offroad Park

Where: Huntsville, TX

Size: 706 acres

Riding types: Mud, trails, sand, creeks, rocks, hills

Vehicles allowed: ATVs, UTVs, 4x4s, dune buggies

Experience levels: All

Entry: $20/day

The ownership at this park is phenomenal—in 706 acres, they’ve built out one of the most dynamic trails around the Huntsville area. RVs, tents, and cabin campers are all welcome for weekend-long events, and their site makes it easy to snag reservations, download waivers, and learn all the rules and regulations.

PRICING

  • Kids 10 and under: Free
  • 10 AM – 10 PM Day Pass: $20 Per Person
  • 10AM Friday – 6PM Sunday Weekend Pass: $40.00 Per Person
  • Tent Camping: free in primitive camping areas
  • RV Camping: $10/Night in Primitive area, $30/Night for water and electrical hookups. Deluxe RV hookups with water, electrical and sewers: $40/Night (non-event)
  • Small cabin (sleeps 5): $100/Night
  • Large Cabin (sleeps 10): $125/Night

RULES & REGULATIONS

  • No fighting or physical altercations of any kind. You WILL be handed over
  • to the proper authorities and removed from the park.
  • Theft of any kind will result in you being handed over to the proper authorities
  • and removed from the park.
  • NO underage drinking of alcohol, State Law requires you must be 21 years of age to consume alcoholic beverages.
  • Glass containers are NOT allowed at General Sam’s. Glass containers will be confiscated and returned at your departure.
  • Gathering of ground wood for campfires is allowed. Do not cut or destroy any trees or fences in or around General Sam’s.
  • DO NOT burn your trash. Please place all trash in the proper trash barrels located throughout the park.
  • Firearms are NOT allowed at General Sam’s.
  • Illegal drugs are not permitted at General Sam’s.
  •  All patrons visiting General Sam’s are required to wear the wristband furnished upon entry. New wristbands can be purchased at the office if lost. If you are caught sneaking into the park, you will be banned from General Sam’s indefinitely.
  • 5 MPH SPEED LIMIT in all camping areas is strictly enforced.
  •  No reckless driving.
  •  Dogs must always be on a leash, you are responsible for ALL your dog’s actions, please clean up their mess.
  •  Keep loud music to a minimal in the campgrounds and cabin area after midnight please, respect your neighbor.

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BILLY’S PRO TIP: Their New-Years’ Ride is not to be missed—every year’s a new adventure! Some of the most enthusiastic and welcoming groups of UTV park riders in Texas always attend, and the park lights up like you wouldn’t believe. If you want to match the energy, check out the upgraded lights or sound systems available.

If you’re looking a little farther north in the Lone Star state for an event that you won’t forget, there are parks all throughout the Neches River area. Our favorite at Side By Side Stuff is special for a couple of reasons. First, we love mud. Second, we love the 2000+ acres to ride!

RIVER RUN ATV PARK

Where: Jacksonville, TX

Plot size: 2,000+ acres

Riding styles: Trails, mud

Vehicles allowed: ATVs, UTVs, motorcycles, dirt bikes, 4x4s

Experience level: All

Cost: $20

The ticket price is average. That’s where the “norm” stops, and the “gnar” begins! Coming out of this Texas ATV and UTV park without a proper cover of mud on your boots is almost impossible. That’s not the only draw, however. With tons of events like the Mardi Gras ride, friends, family, spectators, and riders alike are all geared up for a great time. 

Mild mud trails or deep honey holes—whichever way your riding style goes, there’s a trail for you to take on. Sand pits, a bikini beach, and ponds galore means this is one park where you’re never getting bored.

Fans of the extreme are always looking for the next best thing. At Side By Side Stuff, we’re always excited to take a trip to the “Xtreme” when we visit Crosby TX. If you feel the best with the hammer all the way down, these next 400+ acres of ATV and UTV trails in Texas are where you need to be!

 

Xtreme Off Road Park and Beach

ride map texas

Where: Crosby, TX

Plot size: 400 + Acres

Riding styles: Trails, mud

Vehicles allowed: ATVs, UTVs, motorcycles, dirt bikes, 4x4s

Experience level: All

Cost: $20

With over 1.5K reviews and an average rating of 4.6 stars, Xtreme Off Road Park and Beach in Crosby, TX, is a must-go for any UTV or ATV riding fanatic who wants to kick up some mud and show off what their buggie can do. Fishing, riding, racing, mudding and more are all a great time at the park, and the family-friendly environment is great as well.

If you’re looking for cool events, every year, the park does an Xtreme haunted trail ride where lifted trucks, UTVs, and ATVs alike can get a good scare in a safe environment—it’s the perfect Halloween activity for the spooky season!

ATVs and UTVs are welcome to ride as long as you have working lights and some type of flag or light whip to make sure your vehicle is seen at night. 

What you need to bring for UTV and ATV parks in Texas:

If you’re planning on riding your ATV or UTV at Sabine or any other UTV park, there’s a couple of key pieces you’ll need and a few more you’ll definitely want:

  • Light Kit and whip light. For visibility at night when you’re getting to camp or heading home, it’s key to be able to see—and be seen. A full light kit and whip light adds an upgraded aesthetic to your buggie, and helps keep everyone safe.
  • All-terrain (A/T) tires. When there’s trails that seem timid and offroading routes that test even the pros, you don’t want to get stuck with too little—or the wrong kind—of tire tread. Falcon Ridge makes dependable and sporty A/T tires that are a favorite here at Side By Side Stuff.
  • Bluetooth soundbars. You’ll be kicking yourself when you’re out on the trails and stuck with just the wind whipping in your ears. Bluetooth speaker kits are plug-and-play, simple to install, and give you the versatility to jam on the trails, at the campsite, or wherever you may roam. 

Texas UTV trails and parks: the list keeps growing

These are only a few of the best spots to ride. Everyone who’s ridden TX has their own favorite, and their own secret spot as well. Every year that we get to provide parts and accessories for top riders, racers, and fans, we learn more about the best rides around. 

Keep in touch, follow us on social media, and tag us in your favorites! Next year, we might even feature your favorites in the next installation of the best places to ride UTVs in Texas!

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