Let's talk about 4x4 offroad trails in Virginia
This article specifically covers Jeep trails, truck trails, SUV trails, and all other highway vehicle four wheeling trails in VA.
Virginia certainly isn't the mecca of offroading, but that doesn't mean that VA doesn't have its fair share of 4x4 trails where you can get your tires dirty and have some fun with your Jeep, truck, or whatever 4WD that you choose to have some fun with. I will provide a base overview of the terrain types that you can find in Virginia and then I will move from East to West mentioning any major 4x4 offroad trails that standout in VA.
East to West you will find: Starting at the Atlantic Coastline with sand/beach, then a quick transition to mud/swamp, then progressing into wooded/forest trails, and as you move into the western half of the state you move into the Appalachian Mountains where the trails are typically forested trails sprinkled with mild to moderate rock crawling sections. That's Virginia 4x4 off-road terrain in a nutshell.
Notable 4x4 offroad trails in VA from East to West include:
Carova beach isn't technically in Virginia, but it is a favorite among VA four wheeling enthusiasts. Carova Beach is 11 miles of public beach to drive along plus countless more miles sandy trails that stem off of the main beach. Be careful on these trails tho as they tend to be partially flooded most of the year and some of the water crossings can get deep enough to swallow a 37 inch tall tire. You can find more info about Carova Beach on the Where2Wheel Trails Map - it's a great place for the beginner offroader. The only downside is that even tho Carova Beach is spitting distance from Virginia Beach, the drive is about 2.5 hours to Carova because beach access can only be had from south of the VA/NC border.
Moving westward, just off the beach you will find Hampton Roads; the surfers in this coastal metropolitan are have a saying, "VA has no waves", and that mantra pretty much rings true for the 4x4 community and its offroading trails in Hampton Roads. There is one gem in the area for offroading and that is Starr Motors Jeep dealership. Starr Motors (aka Starr Motors Offroad Outfitters) has a small offroad course behind their Jeep dealership; the course has several hill climbs, rock gardens, and mud pits and is a blast to visit when open. Check out the VB 4x4 group or events calendar on Where2Wheel.com to find out when Starr Motors will be open next - they open the park with varying frequency, usually at least once every other month.
Middle Virginia, around Richmond area, used to have a handful off offroading options; however, the options have become fewer and fewer in recent years. Crozet, VA outside Charlottesville, VA used to be a hub for rockcrawling, and RedCloud Offroad Park was a favorite in the Richmond area, but sadly neither of these options are open for wheeling anymore. If in the middle part of VA you can still check out Shoe Creek trail, but even that trail seems to be threatened by closure issues.
Moving up to Northern Virginia is the fantastic Big Dogs Offroad in Gore, VA. Big Dogs Offroad is Virginia's largest offroad park and is open about a dozen times a year. More info on Big Dogs Offroad here.
Westward towards Roanoke, VA you will find many trails inside the George Washington National Forest and Jefferson National Forest, the most notable and most extreme being Potts Mountain Jeep Trail. Potts Mountain is a challenging trail that takes you up a mountain and along the trail you will be forced to navigate rock gardens, rock ledges/shelfs, and even some mud pits - don't go alone and make sure you have a capable vehicle. The western part of Virginia by far has the most 4x4 offroad trails that VA has to offer, and is well worth the drive to visit out that part out the state. The trails in the national forests are usually dirt fire roads that hunters use to access the forest during hunting season, but they are open for public access and are a great place for amateur enthusiasts; these trails include stream crossings and the occasional mud put, but make sure to stay the trail as going off trail is a ticketable offense.
For more 4x4 offroad trail information simply signup for free to Where2Wheel.com or login to W2W to check out the Where2Wheel Trails Map.