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Black Swamp OHV Area

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Alt Names

Croatan National Forest, Croatan OHV, Catfish Lake Road

Last Known StatusTemporarily Closed  (due to wet trail conditions)

This area offers about eight miles of ATV trails that wind through a mixed pine and scrub oak forest. The terrain is mostly flat but can get extremely muddy during wet weather. Deep mud puddles are common even during dry weather.

The main staging area offers plenty of room for parking and has a vault toilet and trash cans but no running water so come prepared. Dispersed camping is permitted.

The trails are open to machines that are 50 inches or less in width. The forest is open daily, year-round except during extreme weather conditions.

Visitors should note that a trail permit is required to ride here and must be obtained prior to arrival since there is no self pay kiosk. Passes can be purchased by visiting nearby vendors or by contacting the Croatan District Office.

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***ANNOUNCEMENTS*** (May 2019)

 * Trail Status 

The Black Swamp OHV Area is still closed as of Thursday, May 16 due to recent hurricane damage and flooding. For current updates contact the Croatan National Forest at (252) 638-5628.


Nearest CityNew Bern, NC
Go Back To North Carolina List
Street Map
Trail MapGo To Trail Map
From: New Bern, NC
1) Take US-70 east about 10 miles
2) Turn right (west) on FS1100/Catfish Lake Road, continue 9 miles
3) Turn left (south) on FS152, staging area is on the immediate left.


LandNational Forest


Our RatingRatingGood
Recommended StayFull Day
Comments(Scroll Down For Visitor Reviews & Comments)


Approx Size200 acres
Miles Of Trail8
Climate TypeSwamp
Elevation35 to 45 ft.
Trail MaintenanceMarked, Not Rated, Lightly Maintained
Loose DirtThis trail has little loose dirt.Little
Hard PackThe trail has some hard pack terrain.Some
SandThis trail has little sandy areas.Little
MudThe trail has mostly mud after it rains.Mostly
DustThe trail has little dust on typical days.Little
RocksThis trail has little rocks.Little
TreesThe trail has many trees.Many
Steep HillsThis trail has no steep hills.None
Small JumpsThis trail has no small jumps.None
Large JumpsThis trail has no large jumps.None
BermsThe trail has no berms.None
Sand/Gravel PitsThis national forest has no sand or gravel pits.None
Single TrackThis national forest has no single track trails.None
HazardsThis trail has few hazards.Few(hazards assumed marked but use caution)
Easy Terrain NoviceThis trail has some beginner terrain.Some
Moderate Terrain AmateurThis trail has mostly intermediate level terrain.Mostly
Difficult Terrain ExpertThis trail has little expert terrain.Little


Permit RequiredYesTrail Riding Permit
Dates OpenYear-Round
Reciprocity OfferedUnknown
Spark ArrestorYesA spark arresting silencer or end cap is required for all vehicles.
Noise LimitYes (99 dB)
Whip FlagsNot Required
Maximum Vehicle WidthYes (50 inches)has entrance gate or posts
Allow Dirt Bikes, Trail Bikes and Motorcycles MotorcyclesPermitted
Allow All Terrain Vehicles / Quads / Four Wheelers Four WheelersPermitted(maximum width 50 inches)
Allow Utility Terrain Vehicles, Side by Sides (SXS), RZR UTVs / SXSPermitted(maximum width 50 inches)
Allow 4x4 Jeeps, SUVs and 4 x 4 Trucks with License Plates SUVs / Jeeps (registered)Prohibited
Dune Buggy/Sand Rail
4x4 (unregistered)
Two Strokes /
2 Cycle Engines
No Restriction
Helmets RequiredYes
BicyclesNo RestrictionNot Recommended
HikingNo RestrictionNot Recommended
HorsebackNo RestrictionNot Recommended
Camping / Overnight RV Parking CampingSome Areasdispersed camping is permitted
Campfire Restrictions Campfires
Night RidingUnknown
Cross CountryProhibitedstay on trail
Emergency / Law EnforcementManyDedicated Rangers/Officers
Insurance*Disclaimer: RiderPlanet strongly recommends that all visitors get insurance for their ATV, UTV or motorcycle before visiting any of the locations shown on this website.


RidingYes ($5.00 per rider)


First Aid First Aid5-20 Miles (NE)Carolina East Medical Center (252) 634-6400
Gasoline Gasoline5-20 Miles (E)Fuel Market (252) 633-1976
Diesel Diesel5-20 Miles (E)Fuel Market (252) 633-1976
Potable Water Water5-20 Miles (E)Paul's RV Park & Boat Ramp (252) 444-4929 or (252) 229-6421
RV Hookups RV Hookup5-20 Miles (E)Paul's RV Park & Boat Ramp (252) 444-4929 or (252) 229-6421
RV Dump Station RV Disposal5-20 Miles (E)Paul's RV Park & Boat Ramp (252) 444-4929 or (252) 229-6421
Primitive Camping Campground5-20 Miles (E)Flanner's Beach Campground (252) 638-5628
Convenience Store Conv Store5-20 Miles (E)Fuel Market (252) 633-1976
Swimming Swim Area5-20 Miles (E)Flanner's Beach (252) 638-5628
Body of Water Water Body5-20 Miles (SE)Great Lake
Boating Launch Boat Ramp1-5 Miles (SE)Great Lake Boat Ramp


Contact InfoCroatan National Forest
141 E. Fisher Avenue
New Bern, NC 28560
(252) 638-5628


Black Swamp Trail Photo

Black Swamp OHV Area Trail

Photo Submitted 7/28/2013 (Thanks!)

Black Swamp Trail Photo

Young man sitting on Polaris Sportsman 4x4 ATV with camoflauge plastic carrying two motorcycle helmets tied to the front.

Photo Submitted 7/28/2013 (Thanks!)

Black Swamp Trail Photo

A young woman with muddy face sunglasses propped on top of head standing next to young.

Photo Submitted 7/28/2013 (Thanks!)

Black Swamp Trail Photo

Young man standing alongside trail with camera taking group photo riders on ATVs.

Photo Submitted 7/28/2013 (Thanks!)

Black Swamp Trail Photo

Young standing next to Polaris Sportsman 4x4 ATV with camoflauge plastic carrying two motorcycle helmets and winch in the front.

Photo Submitted 7/28/2013 (Thanks!)

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