This year the Rausch Creek was the location for the annual Middle Atlantic Four Wheel Drive Association trail ride. Three trail rides where scheduled for the day, morning, afternoon, and evening.
” You had to be a bit careful as you did not want to go too far to the right or left, otherwise you would end up in an uncomfortable off-camber position.”
This is event, the CORE group included:
- Gil Campos, 99 Jeep TJ
- Steve Backus, Jeep TJ
- Mike V and Donna, 1990 Jeep YJ
We agreed to meet Saturday morning at the Rausch Creek staging area around 8:30 AM. When we got there, Steve was already present. He had come up on Friday and spent the evening “roughing-it” camping. We signed in. On this run, if the driver is a Mid-Atlantic member (CORE members are), the Mid-Atlantic picked up the costs for this run, a $25 value. Additionally, Mid-Atlantic agreed to pay the annual Rausch Creek member ship fee, a $10 value. Not bad deal to ride for free in a nice pay-for-play park! Now don’t you wish you made it also?
Around 9:30 there was a short driver’s meeting. It looked like there was representation from most the local clubs affiliated with Mid-Atlantic. I believe I heard that in addition to CORE, there was members from at least Mid-Atlantic Early Broncos, Baltimore 4 Wheelers, and probably others. For the morning run, there was a turn out of about 15-20 vehicles. The morning run was billed as a mild easy run, focusing trails in the Western portion of the park. Donna and myself and Gil only made the morning run, as we had other plans for the afternoon (I hope that Steve made the other runs and can provide us some details).
After the driver’s meeting, we loaded up and headed out from the staging area. We took the short-cut out to trail A and 3. Along the way we encountered a few rocky areas that tested our abilities. Nothing too hard, just enough to make it interesting. We turned right onto A, left on F, and right on G. These trail are basically dirt road. There were a surprising number of water/mud ponds on these trails – probably due to the recent rains from the hurricanes. From here we headed up Pole Line to Tower Road. This brought us into the West part of the park.
Here things got more interesting. We turned on to green rated trail J. The heavy recent rains had washed large ruts onto the initial decent on trail J. These required that you straddle each side of the rut with the wash out immediately below your vehicle. You had to be a bit careful as you did not want to go too far to the right or left, otherwise you would end up in an uncomfortable off-camber position. Everyone took this slow and navigated without incident. With all of the ruts along trail J, these provided a mild challenge for everyone.
We took a right on to blue rated trail 15. Of all the times I have been to Rausch Creek, I have never been on trail 15. This trail had several rock climbs and a few tight areas to navigate. I noticed many new trails on the latest Rausch Creek trail map, and the map indicates that new trails are currently under construction. From trail 15 we headed onto green 11. This is known as the outer loop. This is a mild trail with several stream crossings. Again with all of the recent rain, the streams were flowing rather heavy. We picked up “new” trail 19 and/or “new” trail Keystone Krawl (not sure which one we ran).
After this, we continued on trail 11 around the West end of the park. The air was crisp, and the leaves on the trees were just beginning to change color. This was a nice enjoyable ride around the park. We continued through the park and worked our way back to the staging area. The last obstacle was a nice hill climb up to the top of the staging area. A rock formation greeted us at the top that may of the builts up rigs climbed. Once back at the staging area, we broke out the lunches and enjoyed the company and converstation. After lunch, as the afternoon trail ride as assembling, we started heading back, to go about the rest of our afternoon activities; this time on-pavement.
As always, wheeling at Rausch Creek is ways a great experience. The park has lots of variety from easy to hard. Most of the difficult obstacles have by-passes. With the addition of the new trails, Rausch Creek continues to offer new challenges and experiences.
Another great day of wheeling with good friends. Let’s do it again.
Trail report written by Mike Vincenty.