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Overlanding in the Southeast

Overlanding in the Southeast

Being from Ohio, finding a place for Overlanding is pretty limited. We like to vacation down the east coast whether it’s in the Carolinas, Virginia or down to the Sunshine State. This is by no means a complete list and we welcome any additions or suggestions. Leave your recommendations in the comments.

We’ve put together some of the top trails in the Southeastern U.S. Trails are rated on a difficulty scale of 1 to 10. One is easiest and 10 is the most difficult.


Nantahala National Forest – Upper Tellico. These trails are open year-round, but ice and snow make them difficult in the winter. Summer and Fall are the best times for Tellico. Jeep Jamborees and amateur and professional rock climbing events are regularly held here. With trails that rate from 2 to 10, there is something for everyone. Most trails are beginner to intermediate, but there are expert trails for experienced drivers with purpose-built vehicles. The trail map indicates the degree of difficulty and level of modification. If you’re not camping, lodging can be found in nearby Murphy, NC. While in the area, take advantage of the paved roads and be sure to hit the Tail of the Dragon for a road with 318 curves in 11 miles!

Tail of the Dragon

Cape Hatteras National Seashore. On the other end of the state, a totally different experience awaits. If you don’t have a rig with an upgraded suspension and the best Overlanding gear, the sandy trails of Cape Hatteras are accessible by stock vehicles as well. Driving on the dunes is prohibited unless marked on the official trail map. This is a great location for off-road adventures in the sun. If you’re not planning on camping out, lodging is available in the towns of Hatteras or Rodanthe, NC.


George Washington National Forest has trail ratings from 2 to 7. There are frequent washouts, deep holes, and goat trails to provide a variety of terrain, even on a single trail. Most trails can be accessed by vehicles with stock wheels and tires, but rock obstacles and steep climbs are available for off-road vehicles. The Motor Vehicle Use Map includes campsite locations as well. You can also view interactive maps and download maps for your mobile device here. Primitive camping is free in any area not marked “no camping”. Brandywine Recreation Area has tent and trailer camping available. Lodging can be found in nearby Harrisburg, VA.

George Washington National Forest


Ocala National Forest has an 81-mile system of forest roads dubbed the Tread Lightly Trail. The forest is located north of Orlando and is the southernmost national forest in the US. These trails are a great chance to get your wheels off the pavement and enjoy the stunning wilderness at the same time. It is a very extensive trail system, so be sure to download the MVUM and plan your route before you arrive.

Ocala National Forest

We’re sure we haven’t covered all the best places to Overland in the Southeast but hopefully, this is enough to get you started. Please let us know in the comments which are your favorite trails. Additionally, before you go, be sure to check out our huge selection of Overlanding gear including Overland truck accessories, camping gear, bed racks and off-road recovery gear!

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