Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to check out the first-ever Badlands Bash content creator event which took place at the Badlands Off Road Park in Attica, Indiana. We had such a blast roaming the property, and off-roading through the varied terrain, that we wanted to do an off-road destination highlight piece.
Growing up in the Midwest you quickly learn that the off-road culture here is strong. Friends, family, and good times are what it’s all about. Also, a little carnage along the way keeps things interesting. There are almost always new off-road opportunities right around the corner. This is a positive thing, and as a reader of Off Road Xtreme, we know where your heart stands. As opportunities increase, so do the chances for local communities to benefit from successful off-road parks, and one of those great parks is Badlands Off Road.
Of course, there are some things you need in order to be successful. One of those things is enough space for people to let loose. Luckily one of the great things about the Midwest is that it’s big. The Midwest roughly encompasses 821,000 square miles. That’s a lot of terrain to cover. The trick is to find places that not only allow off-road recreation, but also provide enough terrain variation to keep you engaged and having fun.
Enter The Badlands
Earlier this spring, we had the chance to check out Badlands Off Road Park in all its dirty glory. The park is located on the western side of the state. Badlands Off Road has over 1,400 acres of prime off-roading land. The property also goes right up to the Wabash River. The river has helped shape the area into an off-road destination. It has helped shape the landscape in such a way that drivers can experience everything from sand dunes to wooded trails and hill climbs. There is also always plenty of mud in the Midwest, and there is usually a high supply at this off-road park.
The overall size of the park is impressive. With over 1,400 acres available for fun times, there is no shortage of opportunity to see something new. You don’t have to take our word for it though. While at the park we ran into an old friend. You can take his word for it. He would never lie. Trust us.
Stand Back I’m A Professional
Back in 2018, we met Alex Baciu. We did a story about his 2006 Wrangler build at the time. While we were catching up and reminiscing, Alex took a few minutes to talk to us about the park and drop some knowledge.
Alex shared, “We were invited by the park to come out and enjoy the day with everyone on behalf of Rockstar Performance Garage. We’ve been to the Badlands before, enjoyed the park, and wanted to come by and see it again. We love the park. There is so much to do. We thank Badlands and all of the staff for the hospitality they provided to the Rockstar Garage Crew and us.” Even if you have been to the park before, it is large enough and varied enough to come back again and again.
Badlands Off Road Park Amenities
A lot of off-road parks have trails and staging points. However, Badlands Off Road Park has a few things that really set it apart from those other establishments. Aside from sheer size, the park also has fantastic infrastructure. Park amenities include the Off The Trail Campground right next door. This campground offers the opportunity for off-roaders to unload all of the toys and then drive right into the park without having to access any public roads. Accommodations include over 30 rental cabins and 200 campsites. The campsites are available as full hookups all the way down to primitive and dry campsites.
Upon arrival at the park, you will see plenty of signage directing you. The first stop is the main registration area. There is temporary parking to allow everyone to arrive, pay up, and get registered. Once a new arrival is checked in, they move forward through an entrance gate. There, a staff member checks for registration wristbands. At that time, the staff will also ensure you are meeting all safety requirements. This includes helmets, orange safety flags, and seatbelts. No alcohol is permitted in the park and the staff will check coolers. After all is good, guests are moved forward to the parking area to unload.
In addition to having clear signage that directs you through the process, the staff is first-rate. Everyone is friendly and welcoming. Flush toilets are located next to the main registration building, and showers are available for a fee.
Speaking of the registration building, there is also the Badlands Pro Shop. The pro shop stocks everything from apparel to protective gear. Right next to the pro shop, you will also find Attica Motorsports.
Attica Motorsport And Adventure At The Badlands
If you are in the market for a new side-by-side then Attica Motorsports has you covered. They don’t just sell side-by-side vehicles (SSVs), UTVs, and ATVs though, they are the largest dealer by volume in the Midwest. If you need a quad, dirt bike, parts, or just some service, they handle all of that as well. Looking to do a full build? They can handle that too and are a dealer for all of the top aftermarket accessory brands.
If you are just visiting, not ready to purchase a vehicle at the moment, and don’t need parts and service but still want to feel the thrills of off-roading, there are other options.
In downtown Attica, you can rent machines by the day at Adventure Rentals. Located just two miles outside of the park entrance, Adventure Rentals has both two and four-door SSVs available. Daily rates start at $250 and include admission to the Badlands Off Road Park. You can even elect to have a guided tour of the park with your rental.
Badlands Off Road Park Offers A Variety Of Trails
Once you move past the parking and unloading area you are free to explore the park. Clearly marked signs send you in the right direction. Badlands Off Road features a variety of trail systems. Some are wooded and others are open ride areas. The entire park is multi-directional. That is of course with the exception of the drag strip area.
One of the best features of the park is that certain areas are designated for specific vehicle types. A truck and SUV-only area allows drivers to not have to worry about coming into contact with UTV and ATV riders. Obstacles like the tubes and technical rock sections are especially popular. Looking to push the pace and challenge yourself in your UTV or ATV we suggest the Serpentine. Not only can you open up the throttle in some wicked twists, but you can also enjoy the sand dune area right next door.
If you would prefer a more relaxed trail run, the park just recently acquired some new space called the Turtle Trail. This area caters to stock trucks and SUVs and allows visitors to meander and explore at a chill pace down to the Wabash River. No matter what your preference is, there is something for everyone at the Badlands Off Road Park. Just make sure to bring your sense of adventure.
The Badlands Off-Road Park, Attica Motorsports, Adventure Rentals, and the Off The Trail Campground are all owned and operated by Kyle Knosp. We got the chance to catch up with him during a hectic weekend. There is a clear focus on community and family-friendly fun at the park. So we were curious how it all comes together.
Kyle explained, “I would say, and it pretty much goes with any situation, that teamwork always takes any project further. It makes things better because of so many ideas coming together! This is an excellent opportunity to give back to the community while bringing everyone together for fun games and laughs! We want our community to thrive and the best way to do that is to combine our guests and our neighbors.”
Badlands Off Road Park Is Five Stars
We go to a lot of off-road parks. Sometimes the difference between a good park and an excellent one are the details. The Badlands Off-Road Park focuses on the details. There are clear and well-made signs to direct guests, and the staff is friendly and professional. The ability to have lodging on-site is a huge benefit. The option of renting machines is a nice perk. Flush toilets and showers are pretty awesome. Throw in the additional infrastructure of an onsite dealership and service center, as well as a concert venue and pro shop, and this place is next level.
The size of the park and specific trails for specific vehicle types could be of great value to some visitors. Couple that with the well-thought-out and executed obstacles and this place is a no-brainer for those in the Midwest. We rate off-road parks on a five-point scale. Five points is the highest and best score, while one point would be the lowest. Given all that this park has to offer we cannot justify anything less than five stars. If you are in the Indiana area, or even if you are not, Badlands Off-Road Park should be on your list of places to visit.