Resources for finding Off-Road Trails and Trip Planning?

GreyZ

Badlands
Well-Known Member
First Name
Eric
Joined
Sep 16, 2021
Threads
3
Messages
46
Reaction score
88
Location
Gulf South Louisiana
Vehicle(s)
350z
Bronco
Badlands
Clubs
 
I searched with no luck.

We have all of these new people getting broncos, and tons of talk on how to upgrade and a thousand different ways to modify to suit the needs of every buyer, but I cannot find good resources on where to take the Bronco off-road. It almost seems like there should be a forum subtopic for it, similar to trip journals, but more on the planning and resource side instead of the after trip documentation. I know the famous trail systems in southwest Colorado and Moab, but is there a good resource for finding good trails and off road recreation areas? I am specifically interested in Texas, Arkansas, Tennesse, Carolinas, but I am sure there are others with the same newfound interest in finding trails near their current locations.

I do realize there are off-road sites that list trails, but every site I can find is affiliate link marketing BS so far and I am looking for some actual feed back on good resources for finding trails.


Advertisement
 

BigSteveO

Badlands
Well-Known Member
First Name
Stephen
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Threads
2
Messages
440
Reaction score
1,017
Location
Maine
Vehicle(s)
Subaru Outback
Bronco
Badlands
Clubs
 
I searched with no luck.

We have all of these new people getting broncos, and tons of talk on how to upgrade and a thousand different ways to modify to suit the needs of every buyer, but I cannot find good resources on where to take the Bronco off-road. It almost seems like there should be a forum subtopic for it, similar to trip journals, but more on the planning and resource side instead of the after trip documentation. I know the famous trail systems in southwest Colorado and Moab, but is there a good resource for finding good trails and off road recreation areas? I am specifically interested in Texas, Arkansas, Tennesse, Carolinas, but I am sure there are others with the same newfound interest in finding trails near their current locations.

I do realize there are off-road sites that list trails, but every site I can find is affiliate link marketing BS so far and I am looking for some actual feed back on good resources for finding trails.
I'm agree with you, I'm clueless in the off-road world but would love to get involved and practice some basic off-road trails but don't know how to find them. I'm in NE, you would think they would be every ware out here but there not. I don't want to venture into someone’s property and get shoot which is a real possibility out here. A trail and tip resource would be great.
 

RHeinz

Badlands
Well-Known Member
First Name
Ric
Joined
Aug 14, 2021
Threads
15
Messages
153
Reaction score
291
Location
Houston, TX
Vehicle(s)
1950 CJ3A, 2015 Explorer
Bronco
Badlands
I use an App called Topo Maps + (iPhone) when I go backpacking. The free App is not very useful, but for the minimal subscription fee, it has extremely detailed map sets of every road and trail in the US. Excellent for planning. You do have to download map sections of the area where you will be going. I have used it with great success navigating back roads in southern Utah, and backpacking in Arkansas, Arizona and Utah. If I had to criticize it, I would say that at times it is difficult to distinguish between footpaths and FWD trails. It’s has been extremely accurate and with the Bronco you can use Apple Play (Car Play?) to stream it on the 12” display. It uses the phone GPS system so it functions without cellular service or WiFi.

I also use a Garmin InReach Mini. Highly recommended if you’re going off on your own.
 

RagnarKon

Badlands
Well-Known Member
First Name
Bryan
Joined
Aug 5, 2021
Threads
11
Messages
1,492
Reaction score
3,578
Location
New England
Vehicle(s)
Ford Focus
Bronco
Badlands
Clubs
 
If you live out west all you have to do is buy National Park and National Forest maps... and you will have plenty of options available to you. I grew up in Arizona and we used to literally just pull out a tattered & torn national forest service map and pick a forest road to drive on. Easy, fun, it's great.

If you are unlucky and live out east like me and @BigSteveO ... there isn't a whole lot of options. For New Englanders specifically there are a few trails in White Mountain National Forest, but beyond that you're looking at privately owned trails, which usually cost money. If you live in the southeast... Tennessee, Kentucky, and parts of Virginia/West Virginia are your best bet for free trails, but there are a few private trails throughout. There are two in Alabama I know about that are fun and don't cost a ton of money.

If you live in the midwest or plains... go romp through some corn fields maybe?? I got nothing for you.

There are also cell phone apps that have many of these maps pre-loaded... the two most popular apps are onX Offroad and Gaia GPS. onX is somewhat new to the game but Gaia has been around forever
 
OP
OP
GreyZ

GreyZ

Badlands
Well-Known Member
First Name
Eric
Joined
Sep 16, 2021
Threads
3
Messages
46
Reaction score
88
Location
Gulf South Louisiana
Vehicle(s)
350z
Bronco
Badlands
Clubs
 
I'm agree with you, I'm clueless in the off-road world but would love to get involved and practice some basic off-road trails but don't know how to find them. I'm in NE, you would think they would be every ware out here but there not. I don't want to venture into someone’s property and get shoot which is a real possibility out here. A trail and tip resource would be great.
This is exactly the scenario I am envisioning as needing a writeup, with real experience.


I use an App called Topo Maps + (iPhone) when I go backpacking. The free App is not very useful, but for the minimal subscription fee, it has extremely detailed map sets of every road and trail in the US. Excellent for planning. You do have to download map sections of the area where you will be going. I have used it with great success navigating back roads in southern Utah, and backpacking in Arkansas, Arizona and Utah. If I had to criticize it, I would say that at times it is difficult to distinguish between footpaths and FWD trails. It’s has been extremely accurate and with the Bronco you can use Apple Play (Car Play?) to stream it on the 12” display. It uses the phone GPS system so it functions without cellular service or WiFi.

I also use a Garmin InReach Mini. Highly recommended if you’re going off on your own.

Thanks RHeinz! This is a good suggestion. I do agree with the lack of clarity sometimes between hiking trails and vehicle legal trails. Does this app have trails all over the US? or is it more concentrated on a particular area?
 

Advertisement
OP
OP
GreyZ

GreyZ

Badlands
Well-Known Member
First Name
Eric
Joined
Sep 16, 2021
Threads
3
Messages
46
Reaction score
88
Location
Gulf South Louisiana
Vehicle(s)
350z
Bronco
Badlands
Clubs
 
If you live out west all you have to do is buy National Park and National Forest maps... and you will have plenty of options available to you. I grew up in Arizona and we used to literally just pull out a tattered & torn national forest service map and pick a forest road to drive on. Easy, fun, it's great.

If you are unlucky and live out east like me and @BigSteveO ... there isn't a whole lot of options. For New Englanders specifically there are a few trails in White Mountain National Forest, but beyond that you're looking at privately owned trails, which usually cost money. If you live in the southeast... Tennessee, Kentucky, and parts of Virginia/West Virginia are your best bet.

If you live in the midwest or plains... go romp through some corn fields maybe?? I got nothing for you.

There are also cell phone apps that have many of these maps pre-loaded... the two most popular apps are onX Offroad and Gaia GPS. onX is somewhat new to the game but Gaia has been around forever
I am envious of the trail systems through the National Forests and Parks of the Rockies. The 1k mile drive for me to get there though gets old and takes so much time. I am pretty okay with pay to use OHV areas also. I recognize that is likely one of the best options for areas of the country without abundant National Parks and Forest Service Land.
 

NeoS281

Badlands
Well-Known Member
First Name
Jared
Joined
Aug 21, 2020
Threads
6
Messages
206
Reaction score
459
Location
Bellevue, WA
Vehicle(s)
2021 Bronco
Bronco
Badlands
Vehicle Showcase
1
Clubs
 
@GreyZ - you might also checkout onX Offroad. They are a sponsor of the TFL channels as they use them for their trail driving. I received a 6 month subscription for being a Jeep Wrangler owner. I wouldn't be surprised if Ford did something similar once off-road trail maps are available.
 

UhOh

Badlands
Active Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Threads
2
Messages
25
Reaction score
88
Location
Oregon
Vehicle(s)
Explorer
Bronco
Badlands
https://www.onxmaps.com/offroad/app

if CarPlay for OnX isn’t done already, it is coming very soon. Remember: you will need to download maps thru OnX for the area you are heading if there is no cell service… and ALWAYS figure there will be no cell service. (I also always carry a Garmin Sat Messenger with me as well in case I break down with no cell service)
 
Last edited:

Coldsmoke

Badlands
Well-Known Member
First Name
Knuckles
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Threads
1
Messages
399
Reaction score
1,266
Location
Northern Illinois
Vehicle(s)
Ford F150 Lariat
Bronco
Badlands
Clubs
 
Try using the OnX road app for IOS and Android devices.
it has off road trails across the country and also allows you to filter trails based on the type of off-road vehicle. It provides details on the trail rating and type of challenges encountered. There is a reasonable annual fee for the premium version but there is also a free version which is still useful. Hope that helps.
 

RHeinz

Badlands
Well-Known Member
First Name
Ric
Joined
Aug 14, 2021
Threads
15
Messages
153
Reaction score
291
Location
Houston, TX
Vehicle(s)
1950 CJ3A, 2015 Explorer
Bronco
Badlands
This is exactly the scenario I am envisioning as needing a writeup, with real experience.





Thanks RHeinz! This is a good suggestion. I do agree with the lack of clarity sometimes between hiking trails and vehicle legal trails. Does this app have trails all over the US? or is it more concentrated on a particular area?
Entire US I believe. Does not differentiate between BLM/Forrest Service/Public lands and Private lands however.
 

Advertisement

broadicustomworks

Badlands
Well-Known Member
First Name
Dave
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Threads
18
Messages
2,077
Reaction score
7,833
Location
Hanging Rock, North Carolina
Vehicle(s)
19 Z71, 06 VTX1300, 94 Cobra, 21 BL Bronco 4dr.
Bronco
Badlands
Vehicle Showcase
5
Clubs
 
For me, personally, I've spent uncounted hours researching blogs, trip journals posted online, National and State park websites, FB groups, etc.
I find a lot of good info from a conglomeration of all the above, most of it by perusing maps found on the various parks websites and like-minded FB groups.
for NC there are several Jeep pages, overlanding pages, off-road enthusiast pages I've learned about trails and places I never knew existed near me.

As an example, I've spent probably over 20 hours cumulative looking at maps, satellite views, webpages, and trip blogs for Big Bend to plan a trip there. Watched YouTube videos of people wheeling there....
Bottom line is there is an overload of info out there, you just kind of have to browse around the web and form your own trip/plans to what you are looking to get out of it.
It's easy to get info overload and lose track of what you've looked at and what you haven't.

I've also found a good source of info being the different clubs on here in various areas.
I joined a few in TX even though I am in NC, as that is my first trip off road when I pick mine up.
The locals who are on those pages helped a lot, and some PM even more info.
 

vrtical

Raptor
Well-Known Member
First Name
Doug
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Threads
18
Messages
4,053
Reaction score
8,502
Location
GSMNP, TN
Vehicle(s)
Fords
Bronco
Raptor
Clubs
 
I have been digging around since the Bronco was launched, there is a lot out there but like stated it has come from multiple sources. There are a ton of ORV parks east of the Mississippi, but its hard to differentiate the small subset that allow full size vehicles.
 

smahones

Badlands
Well-Known Member
First Name
Shane
Joined
Jun 24, 2021
Threads
26
Messages
351
Reaction score
689
Location
Denver, CO
Vehicle(s)
Ford Expedition
Bronco
Badlands
This is exactly the scenario I am envisioning as needing a writeup, with real experience.





Thanks RHeinz! This is a good suggestion. I do agree with the lack of clarity sometimes between hiking trails and vehicle legal trails. Does this app have trails all over the US? or is it more concentrated on a particular area?
The hiking ap All Trails also lists 4x4 trails…but I’m spoiled here in Colorado.
 

Merc4x4

Badlands
Well-Known Member
First Name
steve
Joined
Jul 8, 2020
Threads
9
Messages
1,246
Reaction score
2,777
Location
NYC
Vehicle(s)
2021 Bronco
Bronco
Badlands
Clubs
 
  • 4x4 parks. Private land, fee and waiver.
  • Join a local 4x4 club. Trails out east (USA) are usually not shared publicly as once they become popular they are shut down.
  • Open trails out east tend to be roads, therefore mapped. County road maps will show different road types. Search for unmaintained roads.
  • Spend days/weeks/months looking at satellite views on google maps/earth, bing maps.
  • Look for nearby state/national forests and wildlife preserves, then find their respective Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM). Then back to the satellite photos to try and find the 'best' roads.
  • Lots more internet searching.
  • Lots of driving / exploring once you've narrowed down a location.
Advertisement

 

 
Top