Switching gears, wheels grinding on dirt, and riders putting their lives on the line. Off-roading in Texas is an experience that you shouldn’t miss while alive. Texas is the land of off-road enthusiasts, No matter which pub, off-roading is a topic that you’ll consistently hear from adults and teens.
If the easy off-road tacks are becoming boring, Texas is the place that will renew your passion for off-road driving. Texas can cater to all kinds of off-road vehicles. This is why I assure you that the Lone Star State won’t waste your time.
If you’re from afar, it might be good to know a little about off-roading in Texas before coming. That said, come with me and I’ll provide essential information that you need to know about off-roading in Texas.
Off-Roading In Texas As A Sport
Off-roading is a very popular sport in Texas. People go crazy over it as much as how Swedish, Finnish, and Swiss people go crazy over football. Locals in Texas see professional off-road riders as celebrities. This is why engaging in off-road driving someday is not only a dream for kids but adults as well.
There are hundreds of off-road trails in Texas. Some are suited for motorbikes, ATV, SXS Jeeps, SUVs, etc. Regardless of what type of off-road vehicle you decide to bring, Texas can cater to your needs. This is the reason why it’s pretty common for you to hook up with different off-road drivers here.
The numerous off-road trails in Texas also make it a great place for various off-roading events. Various off-road shows commence in Texas year after year. One of these is the ever famous Texas Motor Speedway. Also, off-road competitions are held during summer, and up to end fall. Austin is one of the places in Texas where large off-road competitions are held. Austin became the host of the X Games for two consecutive years (2014 and 2015).
Texas state laws regulate the sport of off-roading. Therefore, you can’t just barge in, pick a site, and start riding your vehicle. Regulations include types of vehicles that are suitable for off-roading, rider age limit, environmental regulations for riders and off-road trails, etc.
Best Types of Vehicles For Offroading
Here are the ideal vehicles for off-roading in Texas:
- ATVs, Monster Trucks, Chevy trucks and Jeeps for rock crawling
- ATVs, Jeeps, UTVs, and Motorbikes for muddy off-road sites
- Motorbikes, Dune Buggy, and Sand Rail for rocky to sandy off-road sites
In general, all kinds of vehicles that are great for off-road transportation are ideal for off-roading in Texas. For motorbikes, I recommend that you ride those with 2-stroke engines, have a lightweight yet sturdy frame, and have excellent suspensions. For 4 wheelers, I recommend that ride those with 4 wheel features. Using an off-road vehicle without 4×4 is very stupid because you’ll be a sitting duck for muddy, steep, and rocky trails.
Best Places in Texas To Go Off-Roading
Where are the best locations for Off-Roading in Texas? I scanned online forums and various websites. Here are the best places for off-roading in Texas according to reviews, user comments, and website rankings
Red Necks With Paychecks is an off-roading location at St. Jo, Texas. Derrick Morse owns this off-road site that professionals shouldn’t miss. Red Necks With Paychecks have mud trails, rock trails, biking trails, and other kinds of off-road trails that you will love.
That said, you will enjoy your time on Red Necks With Paychecks no matter what kind of off-road vehicle you choose to bring. Nevertheless, I recommend that you come here if you’re a monster truck or an ATV driver.
Additional perks that Red Necks With Paychecks offer are nearby campgrounds, late-night gigs with drinks, and community get-togethers.
That said, you badly need to visit here if you’re looking for an off-roading site that has it all.
Rabbit Creek is an off-road location in Kilgore, Texas. It features a 1200 acre off-roading trail consisting mostly of mud and water crossings. Off-road vehicles that you can bring here are ATV, UTV, SUV, and SXS, This regulation is not open for discussion. Therefore, bringing an off-road vehicle aside from what I mentioned earlier might get you kicked out.
Rabbit Creek Off-road park is an ideal off-road location for amateurs. You should opt to go here if you’re a beginner. The muddy trails of Rabbit Creek Off-road park have enough difficulty for you to master the basics of off-road driving. Furthermore, the trails aren’t too hard for an off-road vehicle that doesn’t have customizations in the engine and design.
Rabbit Creek is open daily and you don’t need a permit to enter.
If you’re one of those guys that take pride in the sport of rock crawling, Wolf Caves Off-Road Park is the place to go. Wolf caves is a 430 acre privately owned ranch that features a unique granite landscape that’s perfect for the sport of rock crawling. It has rocky cliffs, flat rocky trails, and downhill or uphill rocky roads. Ideal vehicles that you may bring here are Dune Buggies, ATVs, SUVs, and motorbikes.
Going to Wolf Caves Off-Road park will also expose you to the wonderful drives of Hill Country, Texas. By the way, you might want to read my article about the best scenic drives in Texas if you’re in for a relaxing drive after off-roading.
State Laws In Texas That You’re Required To Follow When Off-roading in Texas
Off-Highway Vehicle Program
This state law took effect in 2006. In a nutshell, the OHV program requires all off-road riders to purchase an OHV decal before riding on any public off-roading location in Texas. The purpose of this state law is to provide a safer riding environment for tourists and locals. Also, it aims to fund the growing off-roading industry in the Lone Star State.
Texas State Law Limiting The Size of Off-Road Vehicle
I’m not sure about the law’s name but there is a law in Texas that might put a limit on the size of your off-road vehicle. Accordingly, vehicles must not exceed 13.5 feet tall or 45 feet long. Furthermore, they can’t be higher than 52 inches from the ground.
In connection, headlights (if there are any) must not have the colors of red and blue.
ATV and UTV Laws
In Texas, riders under 14 can’t ride an ATV or UTV unless an adult is with them. This law applies to all riders visiting or living in Texas.
Important note: You’re not exempted from Texas state laws even if you’re a foreigner. The federal government of the U.S. allows states to craft their own rules and regulations and punish trespassers for their violation. That said, you have to follow Texas state laws strictly so long as your under its jurisdiction.
Best Maintenance for Off-roading
Here are some maintenance tips when off-roading in Texas:
Oil Is Important
Off-road driving is very demanding for your vehicle’s engine. This is why you shouldn’t forget to put oil before heading out. Oil helps to optimize the engine’s temperature and prevent damage due to overheating.
Customize Customize Customize
It’s not a bad idea to customize so long as you’re not breaking any Texas state laws. Giving your vehicle modified and better components are useful for off-road driving on difficult sites.
Be Picky About Fuel
Fuel affects your vehicle’s performance. Some fuel works better than others. This is why you should take note of which companies offer the best fuel for your vehicle.
Ditch Useless Components
Some off-road vehicles come with useless components. Usually, these components only to cater to design. If they’re not integral to your vehicle’s performance, consider removing them. Useless components only make your off-road vehicle heavier, harder to control, and lesser efficient.
Off-roading in Texas is great! The locations that I presented should be on your bucket list. Surely, they won’t disappoint you. Also, don’t forget to adhere to the state laws that Texas has because the least of thing that you want is a policeman chasing your tail! Lastly, follow some of the maintenance tips that I discussed. They will help you get a hassle-free off-road driving experience. Now that you’re all set, head to Texas now, and show your driving skills!