The Black Swamp OHV Trail Complex is open year round. The area offers 8 miles of trails for off-highway vehicles with a wheel base of less than 50 inches. This trail system is popular with individuals and family groups that want a scenic OHV ride through the National Forest without rigorous challenges.
Motorized trails close when conditions are wet to prevent trail damage and erosion into streams. Check the status of your favorite trail.
North Carolina’s National Forests offer four trail systems for riding off-highway vehicles (OHVs), including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), 4-wheel-drives (4WDs), and trail bikes. These trail systems have signed routes marked with symbols showing what types of vehicles are allowed on the trails. Choose trails that are designated for the type of vehicle you’re driving and stay on signed routes. Do not drive off designated trails or create new trails or shortcuts. Most areas have maps that show trail difficulty so you can select a trail that matches your skill level.
Care should be taken in the woods during big-game season. Wear blaze orange. Riding gear recommended.
Please check the forest website for the most recent closures and openings.
If purchasing your Day Pass on-site, no printed copy of the pass will be available. Instead, your license plate number and pass stored on your device will be used to confirm compliance. If you purchase an Annual Pass you can print the pass and display in your tow vehicle.
A pass is required per OHV and covers the use of the OHV on the specified trails. You must enter the names for each rider and a license plate for each tow vehicle that will be at the trailhead. Passes can be downloaded to each rider’s phones, and/or printed ahead of time and carried on the trail. You can enter separate emails for each rider, or the purchaser can forward to an email or text the pass to each rider.
This pass is valid until 11:59 PM of the date listed on the pass, and only for the date and vehicle specified for this pass. If you no longer have the vehicle associated with the Annual Pass, you need to come into an office and get a physical pass.
Passes are non-transferrable between operators, non-refundable, not replaceable if lost or stolen, and are void if altered or reproduced.
A state driver’s license must be available to show during a law enforcement compliance check.
ATV and motorcycle operators must wear DOT-approved helmets and eye protection.
Children under 8 may not operate ATV, UTV, or motorcycles. Children under 12 may not operate any ATV, UTV 70cc or larger. Children under 15 may not operate any off-highway vehicle. Children under 16 must be under the continuous visual supervision of an adult over 18 when operating any ATV, UTV, motorcycle, or off-highway vehicle.
No passengers are allowed on ATVs, unless vehicles are deigned to carry passengers.
Spark arresters, mufflers, and brakes are required, as well as working headlights and tail lights for night riding.
Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on all trail systems or in recreation areas.
Travel only on OHV designated routes. Cross-country travel is prohibited.
Cell phone connectivity on the forest may be limited, plan ahead.