Ohio: Wayne National Forest

Nelsonville, Ohio

Here at AMA headquarters in Ohio we get asked quite often, “Where do you ride?” That’s an easy one. The closest public riding area for us is the Monday Creek ORV area of the Wayne National Forest near Nelsonville, Ohio.

We casually refer to the area as “The Wayne.” The Wayne is more than just one area, though. There are three separate riding areas: Monday Creek is the closest to the Columbus metro area, while the Pine Creek and Hanging Rock ORV trail systems are farther south near the Ohio River.

The most popular and developed trailhead within Monday Creek is Dorr Run, which is just a little under an hour from our garage door.

Within the Monday Creek ORV area there are 70-plus miles of designated trails, with something for everyone. Several of the trails that are marked less difficult are wide, generally smooth, and suitable even for beginning riders.

The trails that are marked more or most difficult feature twisty trails and challenging hill climbs strewn with large rocks and slippery tree roots that will catch you off guard if you aren’t paying attention.

If you are up for a challenging longer ride, take the main corridor trail north from Dorr Run to New Straitsville. This is a long ride with a few difficult sections thrown in to make it very interesting. Look for a sandy play area along this route that is fun to ride.

Monday Creek has four trail heads: New Straitsville, Monday Creek, Long Ridge and Dorr Run. All the trails are interconnected except Long Ridge, which you will have to trailer to if you are not riding a street legal and licensed motorcycle.

Dorr Run has five parking areas that often fill up quickly on weekends, so plan to arrive early. There is no designated campground within the area, but the Forest Service allows camping in parking lots and any area large enough for you to pull into…just don’t block the trail or road.

Trail permits are $12 per day per rider or $45 for the season, and are required whether you ride an ATV, motorcycle, bicycle or even a horse. Riding season is April 15 to December 15. You can buy your trail permits and good maps at many gas stations in Nelsonville.

Ohio residents are required to title and register their ATVs. If your ATV is registered in your home state you are good to go. If not, you can purchase a 15-day permit for $7.75.

Restaurants, grocery stores and shopping, along with a Ramada Inn (740) 753-3551, are located in Nelsonville or the next closest town, Logan. For the closest ATV dealers, head to Athens or Lancaster.

If you want to stay in a campground with hookups and trail access, give Williams Campground a call at (740) 753-3611.

For more information and maps of the area, the U.S. Forest Service has one of the easiest to use and most up to date websites we have visited in a long time: www.fs.fed.us/r9/wayne. If you would prefer to talk to a live person, call (740) 753-0101. They are very OHV-friendly folks and more than willing to help.