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5 Great Southern U.S. Destinations to Check Out From Behind the Wheel of Your Bronco

5 Great Southern U.S. Destinations to Check Out From Behind the Wheel of Your Bronco

Spring is upon us and brings plenty of great weather that will open up plenty more destination choices to check out from behind the wheel of your Bronco. In previous posts, we’ve checked out the West, Southwest, Midwest and Northeastern parts of the U.S. and, with production of the new Ford Bronco just around the corner after so many delays, it’s time to check out the South — a region of the country where appreciation for off-roading seems ingrained in the culture.

Blue Holler Off Road Park, Kentucky

Not only is Blue Holler a widely praised off-road destination, it’s also renowned as the site of the annual Redneck Rave, billed as “America’s Wildest and Craziest Country Party”. It’s a mix of live music, motorsports competition and more.

As we’ve discussed previously, being a “purpose-built” off-road venue definitely has its advantages and Blue Holler is a great example. Catering to enthusiasts of all types, including dirt bike riders, this is a great destination to check out from behind the wheel of your new Bronco and, should you decide to tow an ATV or any other off-road toy behind you, you’ll definitely get plenty of use out of it here, although there’s plenty of fun to be had without one.

The trails are mostly two-way, so blind jumps shouldn’t be on your agenda, but visitors consistently praise just how wide they are and how there’s something here for drivers of all skill levels — from novice to seasoned pro. The “must-see” attractions accessed by these trails include the sizable Sand Dune and the ultra-scenic Bounty Hill Waterfall.

The fact that the regulations here are pretty much limited to just standard safety protocols has also won Blue Holler plenty of fans, as well as quite a Facebook following. It had been a favored destination among off-roaders for a while before temporarily shutting down a few years back and since then, it’s really hit its stride, topping the list of Best Off-Road Parks in the state in nearly every poll.
Should you decide to stay overnight, primitive camping is available and, while there are restroom facilities — and even gas — on the grounds, there are no electrical hookups to be found, although you are welcome to include a generator as part of the cargo you stash in your Bronco before heading here.

The Swamp Off-Road Park, Florida

Here’s another example of a purpose-built property optimizing itself for enthusiastic off-roaders.

The Swamp recently doubled its total acreage and features an extensive network of trails for pretty much every skill level. You’re likely to see all forms of Off-Road Vehicles represented here, from 4-wheel drive SUVs to ATVS, with dirt bikes being the only “non-grata” machines — everything entering has to have four wheels.

Just like its predecessor on this list, the park rules are pretty minimal at The Swamp — pretty much just the basics needed to maintain safety and provide a thoroughly fun environment for all patrons, so Bronco owners aren’t likely to find their enthusiasm dampened by unforeseen regulations.

While the camping facilities here are only active when there are events scheduled — and The Swamp does seem to host its fair share — there are plenty of well-maintained portable restrooms on the grounds, as well as showers and a self-serve vehicle wash that will come in handy if you plan on cleaning up your Bronco before heading home.

As you might have gleaned from its name, wet roads are a big part of The Swamp’s appeal. Check out this video:

South Mississippi Off Road and RV Park, Mississippi

Formerly known as Muddy Joe’s, this facility pulls double duty as a favored weekend destination for RV owners while providing plenty of fun for the off-roading crowd. Both customer groups are well-looked after here, as there’s plenty of peace and quiet, a nearby lake and lots of activities for the former, along with miles and miles of trails to explore in your Bronco.

While thoroughly positioning itself as a family facility, the rules here are far from restrictive, which seems to be a common theme in this part of the country. SMOFARVP Management encourages its patrons to have fun, but to do so responsibly.

In addition to its identity as an off-roader playground, SMOFARVP also hosts a number of live music events during the course of the year — their event calendar should start to fill back up once COVID-related restrictions are lifted.

Ozark-St. Francis National Forests, Arkansas

Many people, especially those living a distance from the area, have come to know the Ozark region of the country through the hit TV series bearing its name and, despite all the shady behavior OZARK viewers might witness, the series does do a good job of displaying the unusual beauty of the area, albeit focusing mostly on lakefront activities.

This is a HUGE expanse of land, Collectively, this network of forests exceeds 1.2 million acres — Arkansas calls itself The Natural State for good reason. Navigate your Bronco here and you won’t soon run out of scenery or recreational activities to pursue. There are miles and miles of roads of varying difficulty that will take you past scenery so striking that it nearly looks unreal. And, once you come to a stop at one of the many “must see” points of interest, the options are substantial. The Lake of the Ozarks is much bigger than your TV screen might let on — about 84 square miles, actually — and offers both motorized and non-motorized boating, as well as surprisingly good fishing.

On dry land, there’s also quite an array of things to do, including an unbeatable collection of hiking trails, horse rentals, rock climbing and more. Camping options run the gamut here, from fully equipped RV hookups and cabin rentals, to several campgrounds to choose from. Many adventure seekers even go the less-civilized route and opt for dispersed (primitive) camping, which is allowed nearly everywhere in this area.

Hatfield-McCoy Trails, West Virginia

What’s in a name? Plenty, in this case. You can’t possibly think about the folkloric name of this network of trails without conjuring up images of that infamous, Civil War era feud — one of the most famous feuds of all time, no doubt.

In the case of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails, that imagery is a mixed bag — it provides a colorful backdrop for this ultra-scenic setting that actually merges the jurisdiction of no fewer than 9 counties and yet this is a destination that warrants a visit on just its own merits.

The Hatfield-McCoy trails greets plenty of visitors each year, ranging from casual hikers to horseback riders, dirt bike fans, ATV enthusiasts and more, so if you decide to tow any of these machines in back of your Bronco, you’ll have plenty of occasion to use them. For off-roading SUV owners, the Bearwallow Trail System offers more than 53 miles of roads that range from mild to rugged. Like some of the other choices on our previous lists, this destination isn’t ground central for high-octane pursuits in your Bronco but the scenery is world-class throughout this nearly one-million acre region.

In addition to being favored among vacationing off-roaders, the Hatfield-McCoy Trails is also the home of TrailFest, which is an annual event that hosts thousands of motorsports enthusiasts. Think Woodstock for Motorsports and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what it’s all about.
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