Are you ready to get muddy? For the true fan of off-roading, getting a little bit dirty is all part of the fun. Whether you want to get behind the wheel of your own truck, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or bike or just want to watch, there are several off-roading sites within about a three-hour drive of Chicago. And while you could argue that your Jeep gets a workout by driving over Chicago’s potholes, it’s time to take your car outside for some real off-roading. The off-roading sites offer a way to show off your skills while having fun. To get started, check out the following off-roading sites.
Badlands Off Road Park
3968 N. Xavier Road
Attica, IN 47918
Ready for some fun? Badlands Off Road Park, located just over two hours from Chicago, has 800 acres of trails for all kinds of riders. The park has a varied landscape on 800 acres that is sure to excite even the most experienced riders, as it features sand dunes, wood trails, stream crossings and more. In addition, the park is open 361 days a year, so you can have fun in both the hot sun and during snowy winters. While ATVs, dirt bikes, side-by-sides and 4-by-4 SUVs are allowed, the park does not permit sand rails or dune buggies. You will also have to bring your own vehicle, as the park does not rent out ATVs or motorcycles.
2681 E. Route 6
Marseilles, IL 61341
Located just over an hour west of Chicago, The Cliffs Insane Terrain Off Road Park is one of the most well-known off-roading sites in Illinois. The park allows ATVS, dirt bikes, utility task vehicles (UTVs), three wheelers, trucks, Jeeps and go carts onsite, making it a great meeting spot for off-road enthusiasts of all vehicles. The Cliffs is located on 300 acres and has several routes to take throughout the park. The park is family-friendly and children under the age of 18 are allowed. An onsite concession stand is also available for all-day events.
952 N. 35th Road
Ottawa, IL 61350
Are you ready for some fun in the mud? Fox Valley Off Road, located just over 90 minutes west of Chicago’s downtown, features approximately 100 acres of terrain. The park only allows motorcycles and four-wheel ATVs to ride, and does not rent out vehicles. A riding fee applies and the park also does not accept credit cards. Spectators, however, are free. If the weather looks bad, make sure you call first before heading out to the park. The park also requires participants to wear leather boots that cover the ankles, and additional rules regarding safety gear can be found on the park’s website.
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5067 W. Pines Road
Oregon, IL 61061
If you’re looking for a child-friendly track, look no further than Ki Tracks MX. Located just two hours west of downtown Chicago, the track features a Pee Wee track for younger riders to learn how to ride. Ki Tracks permits ATVs and motorcycles on the natural terrain; however, it does not rent out vehicles, so you must bring your own. The track also offers concessions and some parts and supplies, so you can make a trip to the track an all-day event.
4012 S. Main St.
Rockford, IL 61102
Located just 90 minutes northwest of Chicago’s downtown, Rocky Glen OHV Park has 120 acres for riding. If you have a four-wheel off-highway vehicle, keep this park on your list of trails and check it out. The park also allows ATVs, go carts and motorcycles on its trails and jumps. You will have to bring your own vehicle or bike, as the park does not offer rentals. If you get too muddy, don’t worry about getting cleaned off, as the park offers on-site showers.
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Megan Horst-Hatch is a mother, runner, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She loves nothing more than a great cupcake, and writes at I’m a Trader Joe’s Fan. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.