#1 Only use trails that are for dirt bikes please. Smaller mountain bike and hiking trails just aren’t designed for dirt bikes and dirt bikes are just dangerous for hikers.
#2 Don’t treat the GPX file as gospel. Use your common sense and don’t go through private property or get over fences. Look for a way around instead.
#3 As you have seen, a lot of trails will need a dual sport bike or adventure bike that is road compliant so you are can legally ride through the road sections of the trails.
So you are looking for new places to ride your dirt bike? I can do you one better!
I will show you how to find some awesome new dirt bike trails to explore and I will also show you how to load those trails into your GPS unit to guide you through your next dirt bike adventure.
First of all, you will need a GPS unit. If you don’t have one, there are lots on the market and so I have done a review of GPS units here.
Basically though, because downloadable trail routes contain a fair bit of information such as way-points and other relevant pieces of information, you will need a GPS unit that can handle heaps of data and have full mapping capabilities.
The GPS unit will also need to be able to show you topographical maps.
These are maps that show you the elevation of mountains and hills as well as creeks and rivers to help you through the tougher areas of the trail.
You will also need your GPS unit to be waterproof and be able to handle a few knocks and lots of vibration from being stuck to the handlebars of a wild, bucking dirt bike.
A large, bright color screen is also really nice to have when the shit gets real.
If you put all these things together, Garmin is the best in my opinion and if you ask seasoned trail riding veterans, they will tell you the same thing.
They have the most experience out of all the GPS makers and they are built tough. I currently use the Garmin Montana 680.
I like it because it is super tough, the colored screen is nice and big and it still works well under heavy cover like thick trees and canyons.
The unit also has a dual battery system that contains both a lithium battery and standard AA batteries so I won’t run out of juice when I’m in the middle of a ride.
The mapping software is the best and it also has a cool night vision feature that switches to night mode automatically when the sun goes down.
It has cool tools like a compass and other geographical data and I can also connect wireless-ly with other Garmin riders to share trail data. Here’s what it looks like on a dirt bike –
I also really like the Trail Tech Voyager Pro which is a unit specifically built for dirt bike riding. To learn more about this unit and other great GPS units, read my GPS reviews article here.
Your other option is to use a smartphone such as IPhone or Android. If you want to do this, have a read of my blog post about using a smartphone GPS app for dirt bike riding.
Okay, so I have scoured the internet and have come up with the following web pages that offer GPS dirt bike trail file downloads for uploading into your GPS unit.
Most are free but a couple you need to pay a small fee for.
I will also show you how to upload GPS files into your unit later on in this article. Basically though, the files you will be downloading are .GPX (Global Position Exchange)
FIRST SOME QUICK TIPS…
#1 Only use Trails that are Designated for Dirt Bikes and ATV’s.
The last thing you want to do is blast your dirt bike down some hiking or cycling trails.
You will not only scare the shit out of the hikers but you will also attract some very pissed off park rangers.
The below websites are mainly for dirt bikes but there are also plenty of websites and apps out there that cater only for hikers, cycling or geocachers.
So please be careful to make sure you can use the trail for dirt bikes.
#2 Don’t Treat the Downloaded GPX file as Gospel.
What I mean by this is that if the GPS map leads you through someone’s backyard or through a locked fence, look for a way around and update the file in your GPS unit.
This is because the files can be old and they may not have been updated for a while.
In other words, don’t plow straight through someone’s weekend family barbecue in a park just because your GPS system told you to do it.
#3 Some of the Trails for Downloading are for Adventure Riders.
If they are for adventure bikes, then this means that you will need a registered bike to ride through the road sections of the trail.
This is especially the case with the trails in Europe which are made of both dirt and road.
Check the trail first carefully to make sure it is the type of trail that would suit your style of riding.
GPX Download Websites.
Here is the list of websites that offer downloadable GPX files sorted by country. If you know of any more, shoot me an email and I’ll add them in.
Advrider.com is a free forum that is jam packed with GPX files that are free to download for dirt bike riders.
Thousands of members contribute to this great forum and it is always very active and fresh.
There are thousands of trails available for download that span across the USA as well as Alaska, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand and some Asian countries.
It’s q dirt bike riders treasure trove of information for trails, photos, navigation tips, and it’s also a great place to chat to other riders and meet new friends.
Wikiloc is a huge international website and is probably the largest database of trails on the internet for all types of outdoor activities.
Trails are uploaded to the site from its 3.8 million active members that are made up of hikers, cyclists, runners, dirt bike riders and every other type of outdoor activity that require the use of trails.
To use the site, simply click on the type of activity that you will be doing from the top navigation and you will be presented will a massive database of trails from all around the world.
To use Wikiloc you simply become a member (which is free), choose the trail you want and download the GPX file. Easy.
You can also download their app which is available for both Apple and Android and you can use the app as a mapping tool from your smartphone.
I keep the app on my phone just so I can do a quick check for new trails that members have uploaded in my area.
Wikiloc data contains a whole host of way-points that include, photos, local businesses and other points of interest that have been tagged by previous users.
Also their maps are current so you will not hit any nasty surprises half way into your dirt biking adventure.
GPS Exchange is a massive forum of users that contains thousands of dirt bike and ATV trails broken down into 5 countries – USA, South America, Mexico, Europe and Africa.
The first section of the forums are for dirt bikers and ATV’ers only but they have also forums for 4×4, cycling, road bike, hiking, aviation and sailing.
The forum is free to sign up as a member but you have to contribute 1 GPX file to the community before you can download any for yourself.
Also, the GPX file has to be unique and doesn’t currently exist on the site.
Once you have contributed a unique GPX file, a whole world of dirt bike trails is open to you and there are thousands to choose from.
Trans America Trail is a website that is dedicated to delivering the best interstate and cross country rides in the USA.
As the trails can be interstate and contain both dirt and some legal roads, these trails are perfect for adventure bike riders that have road licences and like to go riding for a few days and weeks at a time.
Trans America Trail have 20 cross country trails on offer that span across the USA and boast over 6000 miles in total!
The trails are kept current by the owner Sam Correro and he promises that none of the trails will lead you into any locked gates or through private land.
Sam offers 20 individual trails that take in some of the greatest scenery that the USA has to offer and each GPX file is only $8 each which is amazing value for what you get.
I’m yet to see any adventure trails that are better than these for cross country riding.
Ride BDR is another awesome resource for adventure bike riders that offer cross-state and interstate adventure rides that are made up of dirt, gravel, and legal roads.
BDR have 12 trails on offer that are free to download!! and wind through 12 different states of the USA.
BDR also produce films of their adventure rides that can be purchased on Vimeo.
Check out the trailer below. They will give you a good idea of the type of riding you will be doing if you take on their rides.
BDR also have optional memberships starting from $100 a year that will provide you with all sorts of adventure bike discounts.
BDR are a huge resource for adventure bike riders so take your time when going through their site because there always seems to be something new to read and learn.
NSrides is a site that was constructed by a big dirt bike fan that wanted to share his rides with other riders online.
His trails are scattered across the USA but are mostly contained in his home town of Arizona.
To find the trails for download, just click on ride reports, choose a state or year, then click on the maps.
Unfortunately the posts have stopped in 2014 but there are still plenty of trails to download.
The Arizona Peace Trail is a 750 mile loop that spans across 3 counties in Arizona.
The trail was originally put together by a host of dirt bike clubs, ATV clubs and government agencies who came together in 2013 to form a company to manage and promote the trail for off-road enthusiasts.
The trail is all desert so make sure you prep your bike for the sand.
Because the trail is a loop, you can choose where you want to start and finish your ride.
You can also camp wherever you like and there are also many communities along the way to explore as well as restaurants and hotels to rest and eat.
All dirt bike enthusiasts need to experience the Arizona Peace Trail.
Utah is an awesome and unique state to ride in!
You can expect all sorts of terrain like sand dunes, desert, rocks, mountains, valleys and sandstone and the guys at dirt bike Utah have done a great job of assembling dirt bike rides for other riders to enjoy.
Dirt Bike Utah have 24 trails available and are all free to download for your GPS unit as GPX files.
Rides are broken up into 3 groups – Desert, mountain and hill climbing and all offer both beginner, intermediate and advanced trails for all types of riders.
Definitely a site worth checking out if you plan to ride your dirt bike in Utah.
The Okanagan is a region in the Canadian province of British Columbia that is known for its fruit orchards and wineries.
The Okanagan Dirt Bike Club have done a great job of assembling a whole bunch of cool trails in the Okanagan area which are free to download as a bulk GPX file for your GPS unit or smartphone.
The club are a wealth of information for trail riding so if you are in the area be sure to visit the club and chat to the members about trail riding in the area.
Based in the land down under, Trans Australia Trails is a basic mapping system that allows you to choose trails by each state.
Downloading GPX files is completely free and is as simple as choosing the trail you want and hitting the download button.
There are about 400 trails in total to view across Australia.
Dual Sport Australia offer 3 current volumes of comprehensive trail data for trails that are situated in New South Wales, Australia.
Each volume contains thousands of miles of trails to choose from as well as interesting and important way-points and tourist attractions, hotels, accommodation and food stops.
They sell each volume for about $25 USD plus shipping which include the GPX files.
This is a must have for dirt bike riders that want to explore the incredible and vast countryside of New South Wales and it’s also a great gift idea.
The Trans Euro Trail is a mammoth looping dirt trail for adventure bike riders that circles Europe and is nearly 24,000 miles!! in length.
The trails runs through 30 different European countries and spans from the arctic circle, all the way to the border of Africa.
The Trans Euro Trail (TET) are a completely non-profit group and is managed by a group of adventure bike riders who love to explore Europe and wanted to present their dirt bike adventures for other riders to follow.
The TET trail is completely free for download and GPX files are available country by country.
This is done so each part of the trail can be properly updated when needed so the trail remains fresh.
If you want to explore the incredible landscapes and history of Europe on the back of an adventure bike, then you need to do the TET.
If riding a dirt bike around South Africa is your thing, take a look at Motorcycle Southern Africa (MSA).
MSA have about 20 solid cross country trails available for download with comprehensive way-point information for each trails.
GPX downloads are completely free.
The MSA trails are appropriate for adventure and dual sports bikes that are road compliant.
MSA also offer bike rentals if you don’t want to ship your bike across the pond.
How to Upload GPX Files to your GPS Unit.
Instead of talking about it, it’s better to just show you how to do it on video. I’ve collected some YouTube resources for you to follow step by step.
Getting GPX data for your GPS unit is an awesome way to discover new trails in your area, in your state or interstate and even globally.
If you know of other reliable sources of gpx downloads for dirt bike riding from anywhere in the world, just let me know and I will update this page.
Remember my quick tips for using your GPS system and be safe on your riding adventures!
Title photo courtesy of Muhammad Utama