7 Off-Road Trails & Areas To Explore In Tennessee

5th Gen 4Runner Off-Roading in Tennessee

4×4 Trails Rated For All Levels: User-Sourced Overland Resource

When it comes to off-roading adventures, Tennessee might not be the first destination that comes to mind. However, hidden amidst its picturesque landscapes are a plethora of thrilling trails waiting to be explored. And you can’t forget about all the camping opportunities.

While camping, especially in the iconic Smoky Mountains, is a big hit with locals, today, we’re shining a light on some lesser-known areas that can provide just as much excitement. Let’s dive into this week’s top trails!

1. Coalmont OHV – Tracy City

5th Gen 4Runner at the Coalmont OHV in Tracy City, TN

Submission By: Josh (@feralpigrig)

Tell Us About Your Favorite Spot

Coalmont is in the south of Tennessee, kind of near Chattanooga. It’s a really scenic area with lots of water crossings, caves, and overlooks. The cool thing about the Coalmont OHV is that the city of Coalmont owns it. It’s the first city-owned OHV in Tennessee and one of the few in the nation. They really keep up with it and keep their trails free of debris and litter.

What Would You Rate This Spot?

I think the overall difficulty rating for this spot depends on where you are exploring and during what time of the year. Coalmont offers a variety of difficulties, and it all changes depending on the weather. You can go fully into extreme trails or enjoy a scenic ride. There’s quite literally something for everyone. They mark the trails for their difficulty, and you can obtain a trail map at the park office.

2. Sylco Ridge – Ocoee

3rd Gen 4Runner at Sylco Ridge in Ocoee, TN

Submission By: Trevor (@smokymtnovrland)

Tell Us About Your Favorite Spot

This area is located just 20 minutes east of Ocoee, TN, and it offers a mix of easy and technical trails. I love exploring this area because there is something for everyone and plenty of dispersed camping options nearby. This area also offers options for overlanding routes in every direction. It’s perfect for a weekend getaway with the family or the start of a multi-day trip.

What Would You Rate This Spot?

I would rate this area a 2/10 difficulty. There is nothing too technical, but there are plenty of areas that will require 4WD. But there isn’t a ton of need for any of the extra gear you may need on some of the harder trails.

3. Old Mill Creek Rd – Lyles

3rd Gen 4Runner on the Old Mill Creek Rd in Lyles, TN

Submission By: Wyatt (@wstokes.615)

Tell Us About Your Favorite Spot

Old Mill Creek Rd is a great area fit a day trip that doesn’t require a whole lot of experience or any crazy mods. It was one of the first trails I got out on when I first started off-roading in Tennessee. I think it’s a great area for anyone who is looking to start off-roading to explore, especially with a group of people.

What Would You Rate This Spot?

I’d rate the difficulty of this area anywhere from a 4/10 to a 6/10, depending on recent weather. It’s got a couple of creek crossings, and very rutted-out hill climbs that can get more difficult if there’s been recent rainfall. Just keep this in mind if you are planning on heading out during the rainy season. If you’re out when it’s dry, it’s a lot easier ride.

4. Big Frog Wilderness – Ducktown

2nd Gen Tacoma at Big Frog Wilderness in Ducktown, TN

Submission By: Nathaniel (@taco_nate_07)

Tell Us About Your Favorite Spot

Nestled in the green expanses of Tennessee, the Big Frog Wilderness in the Cherokee National Forest captivates me as a nature lover with its rugged charm and untamed splendor. This sanctuary, which covers over 8,000 acres of untouched wilderness, entices me with its diverse topography, which ranges from lush valleys to soaring peaks, and its large network of trails running through dense forests and along crystal-clear streams.

For me, the Big Frog Wilderness provides a haven to immerse myself in the soothing melodies of chirping birds and rustling leaves, discover peace in the solitude of its isolated landscapes, and form a profound connection with the natural world. Whether it’s embarking on a challenging hike to reach panoramic views, casting a line into its sparkling waters in search of trout, or simply cruising in my Toyota Tacoma amidst the towering trees, the allure of the Big Frog Wilderness lies in its ability to awaken the senses, rejuvenate the spirit, and instill a deep appreciation for the wonders of the great outdoors.

What Would You Rate This Spot?

The difficulty of the Big Frog Wilderness Forest service trails can vary widely depending on factors such as weather conditions and trail maintenance. However, on average, the trails tend to range from moderate to challenging. I would rate them 2/10 to 8/10 in terms of difficulty. Some trails feature steep inclines, rugged terrain, and obstacles such as fallen trees or rocky sections, which can pose significant challenges. Additionally, adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain or snow, can further increase the difficulty level of these trails.

5. Bule Trails in the Coalmont OHV – Tracy City

5th Gen 4Runner on the Blue Trails in Coalmont

Submission By: Loni (@trd_ironhide)

Tell Us About Your Favorite Spot

First of all, I love how clean all of the trails are, and it’s really nice that they are all clearly distinguished based on difficulty. I’ve really enjoyed exploring all the green and blue trails.

The green trails offer a great introduction to off-roading with easy terrain and gentle inclines. The blue trails are just a step up from the green, with steeper inclines and moderately technical obstacles from sharp turns and rockier climbs.

Of course, if you are looking for something even more technical, you can find lots of options out in the park.

What Would You Rate This Spot?

I really enjoy the blue trails. They are perfect for those who are just starting to go off-road and can definitely help grow a beginner driver’s confidence in their vehicle. These ones are rated between 3/10 – 5/10, depending on which ones you go on.

If you’re looking for something a lot easier, the green trails are great, and I would rate them a 2/10 or 3/10.

6. Prentice Cooper – Chattanooga

3rd Gen 4Runner within the Prentice Cooper area in Chattanooga, TN

Submission By: Sean (@ronda.the.runner)

Tell Us About Your Favorite Spot

One of my favorite trails in Tennessee is a great trail called Hailey’s Road, located within Prentice Cooper. This is a great trail for those who really want to test their rigs. But wherever you go in this area, it can go from mild to wild. Plus, you’ll find a few creek crossings along the way, which is always fun to do.

Besides the trails, you’ll find lots of wildlife in this area, which can be pretty cool to see.

What Would You Rate This Spot?

The Prentice Cooper area itself is a 1/10, but Hailey’s Road is a bit harder at a 7/10. It can be pretty wild the deeper you go into it. But as for Prentice Cooper, it’s mainly gravel road with many side trails, which can also all differ in difficulty rating.

7. Coalmont OHV – Tracy City

5th Gen White 4Runner in Coalmont OHV Park

Submission By: Brandon (@bw4runr)

Tell Us About Your Favorite Spot

Coalmont OHV Park offers offroad and overland enthusiasts a spot to test out their rig’s capabilities in Tennessee. There’s a mixture of beginner-friendly black diamond trails to explore within the area. It’s great because if you want to do something super easy and quick, you can do that on the beginner trails. If you’re looking to do something more technical, you also have the option to do that.

What Would You Rate This Spot?

There are terrain levels from beginner to spicy with guided trail markers, which offer enthusiasts a wide variety depending on your experience. I would overall rate Colamont OHV Park a 5/10 to keep it well-balanced, but there are trails that are 1/10 and can go up to an 8-9/10.

8. Land Between The Lakes – Dover

3rd Gen Tacoma at the Land Between the Lakes trail in Dover, TN

Submission By: Adam (@adamdavistn1)

Tell Us About Your Favorite Spot

I absolutely love exploring the Land Between the Lakes area in Tennessee. One of the best parts is the abundance of small forestry roads, just waiting to be explored. As you wander, you’ll come across all sorts of wildlife, from deer to birds; plus, the area is full of history, with Civil War structures and old graveyards scattered around, offering glimpses into the past.

What Would You Rate This Spot?

Overall, I would rate this area a 6/10. There are plenty of roads that are easier to drive, but there are also quite a few that can be more technical and tricky. There is truly something for everyone in this area, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a day’s adventure.

Final Thoughts

3rd Gen 4Runner Overlanding in Tennessee

And that wraps up this week’s fan-favorite trails!

These trails truly cater to a wide range of preferences. No matter what, there’s bound to be a trail that suits your skill level and preferences. If you’ve only stuck to the well-known areas in Tennessee so far, now’s the time to broaden your horizons. These lesser-known trails promise endless thrills and unforgettable experiences that’ll have you coming back for more!

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Nathaniel Whitmill
Nathaniel Whitmill
1 month ago

Thank you for the feature!

Wyatt Stokes
Wyatt Stokes
1 month ago

Thanks for the feature!

1 month ago

..and it’s Tennessee. So it is already rad.

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