Does your idea of the ultimate winter vacation include heading to a far-off trail with your ATV in tow? From Utah to New York and everywhere in between, there are some fantastic, snow-blanketed trails begging for your weekend warrior prowess. When planning your trailblazing over the river and through the woods to ring out 2014 with a bang, why not look beyond the usual local day trips? America is brimming with once in a lifetime trails.
Pack up your Kymco, Kawasaki or Pioneer and prepare for the open road. Just make sure you have all requisite and applicable licensing and permits for the state you’re going to. Many state licenses are valid throughout the US, but always double check. Nothing puts a kink in your plans worse than not being able to ride. Once you’re set, consider one of these top trails:
1. Oregon Dunes, Florence Oregon
Prefer your winter riding free of snow but with a nip still in the air? The Oregon Dunes offers miles of sandy hills and valleys nestled close along the Pacific coast and highway. Located just a few miles from the famous sea lions in Florence, Ore., the Dunes is one of the few places along the Oregon coast where camping right on the sand is permitted. After a day of kicking up sand, tuck into some homemade eggnog or hot chocolate over a roaring fire.
2. Hayward Lakes, Wisconsin
Sawyer County has been awarded top billing for ATV trails in Wisconsin for years, receiving the prestigious TREADY—and yet it’s still never too crowded. The trails are challenging and take you through the Chequamegon National Forest where you’ll never see the same view twice when exploring over 140 miles of trails. Choose from loops, scenic tours or advanced options reserved only for the experts.
3. 1,000 Acres Ranch Resort, New York
The name says it all—this private resort offers sprawling trails alongside the Hudson River. Wind your way through hardwood forests that put you smack in the middle of a winter wonderland. While passes are available, you might want to consider a special package that includes meals, lodging and of course unlimited trail access. Sometimes a little pampering after a long day on the trails hits the spot.
4. Bangs Canyon, Colorado
Situated in high desert regions, you’ll discover thousands of miles of trails, plateaus, staggering canyons and steep rocks. While there are staging areas for those who prefer that kind of recreation and hiking trails when you need a saddle break, nothing compares to just taking off and exploring this gorgeous landscape on your own.
Who says Santa has to be the one having all the fun? Try your own hand at making spirits bright this season—complete with your sleigh (ahem, ATV) of choice.