Best Places For Off-Roading Within Driving Distance Of Boston

May 11, 2013 6:00 AM

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(Photo credit: PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)

The change in seasons from winter to spring means one thing quite literally to some: mud, and lots of it. While the thought of muddy roads may make you shudder, off-roading enthusiasts could not be happier. If you are so inclined, off road adventures can be had in many locations across Massachusetts, all within a three hour drive of Boston. Off-roading is allowed in designated areas from May 1st to the last Sunday in November. Before starting your off-road adventure, be sure to review the operation and usage guidelines available from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Cape Cod National Seashore
99 Marconi Site Road
Wellfleet, MA 02667
(508) 771 – 2144 
www.nps.gov

There’s no better place than the Cape in the summertime, and for lucky vacationers, some great off-roading opportunities can be found here as well. Off-road vehicles are allowed on sandy beaches providing drivers great water views as well as a thrilling ride. Permits are required in order to use off road vehicles on the Cape. Permits can be purchased for the season, or for visitors staying a short while, seven day passes are available as well. Rental vehicles are not permitted, and permits are also required for parking. Visit the Cape Cod National Seashore website for more information. For information about obtaining a permit for off road vehicles on the Cape, click here.

Nauset Beach
239 Beach Road
Orleans, MA 02653
(508) 240- 3780 
www.capecodvacation.com

Nauset Beach, which is located on the lower Cape, is easily accessible for those who wish to visit the Cape in summer but not venture too far out. Even though it only has 10 miles of beach front available, Nauset is a solid spot for an off-road adventure. A beach sticker is required in order to park onsite. Visit the Town of Orleans website for more information about how to obtain a parking permit. For information about obtaining a permit for off road vehicles on the Cape, click here.

RelatedRoad Trip: New Hampshire Outdoor Adventure

October Mountain State Forest
256 Woodland Road
Lee, MA 01238
(413) 243-1778 
www.mass.gov

As the largest state forest in Massachusetts, October Mountain offers nearly 30 miles of trails for off-roading enthusiasts.  Should you choose to camp during your visit in addition to off-roading, your vehicle must be kept in a trailer while it is at your campground.  Parking is provided for off road vehicles at designated locations. Motorcycles are allowed here as well. For added safety when using trails, be sure to look out for hikers who may share the same trail.

Pittsfield State Forest
1041 Cascade St.
Pittsfield, MA 01201
(413) 442-8992 
www.mass.gov

Pittsfield State Forest located in western Massachusetts has nearly 14 miles of trails for off-roading. Off-road vehicle parking is highly restricted.  Parking is only allowed within Balance Rock State Park (located in the northeast corner of the park) and on Potter Mountain Road. If you choose to camp during your stay, you must keep your off road vehicle in a trailer. Pittsfield is also a popular location for hikers. Use caution when riding trails to ensure safety.

Beartown State Forest
69 Blue Hill Rd.
P.O. Box 97
Monterey, MA 01245
(413) 528-0904 www.mass.gov

Beartown State Forest has nearly 25 miles of trails for off-roading. As with other spots listed in this guide, if you choose to camp during your stay, you must keep your off road vehicle in a trailer. Swimming is also available at Benedict Pond.  An added plus should you decide to continue riding as the weather grows colder is that snowmobiling is available here during the winter months.

RelatedIs Camping The Right Activity For You And Your Family? 

Cristy is a city dwelling enthusiast, an arts, culture, and technology lover, and an all around curious person. As an examiner, she covers all things Boston. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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