Where To Go Off-Roading in Illinois

There are many off road enthusiasts that like to spend their free time exploring the wilderness and taking advantage of the rugged terrain that comes with it by pushing their four-wheel-drive vehicles to the limit. There are many places that a person that is looking to explore off road venues to go in order to get the fix that they are looking for. Some of these places are located on private property, on public trails, and even on beaches. Here are some locations we recommend to go off-roading in Illinois.

Private Property

There are many land owners in Northern, central and southern Illinois that have dedicated a portion of their land to off road enthusiasts. Cities such as Peoria, Carbondale, and even some southern suburbs of Chicago have private landowners that have set up challenging private courses for people to enjoy. It is important to make sure that a person gets the landowner’s permission before embarking on a day of four-wheel fun on their land.

Public Trails

There are some county parks in Illinois that offer paying visitors the opportunity to bring their four wheel, of off road, vehicles to the park in order to enjoy the benefit of thousands of acres of state owned land. Many of these places often require that a membership be bought, and dues to be paid, in order to be able to enjoy all that their parks have to offer. These county parks are more prevalent in southern Illinois, where the geography changes significantly from the rest of the state, and many of these parks even allow out of state enthusiasts to enjoy their trails for an additional fee.


Jeep On Lake MichiganThere are some beaches along Lake Michigan in Illinois that offers an off road enthusiasts the opportunity to explore massive sand dunes with their vehicle. Many of these beaches often offer these people annual passes to their beaches. It is worth noting that many of these beaches are seasonal, because of the extreme weather around lake Michigan, so they are typically only open from spring to fall.


There are many places, in Illinois, that a person that is interested in off road sports can push their vehicles to the limit. The important thing to consider with all of these places is the fact that they usually always require that some kind of payment be signed in order to enjoy their landscapes. Many times, other paperwork such as a vehicle and personal injury waiver be signed in order for the proprietors to be able to escape liability if something goes wrong.

Photo credit: Four Wheel Drive Club / Foter / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: Lee Cannon / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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