New to Off-Roading trail ride to Peter’s Mill

About once a year CORE has a trail ride focused on folks who are just starting out with stock rigs. There’s a trail in the Blue Ridge outside of Edinberg, VA that we like to use for new folks. It is definitely off-roading, more than just a poorly maintained dirt road, but the rocks, ditches etc. can be handled with a stock 4×4. We do it as a day trip.

Check out this Facebook group for some background on the trail.

Here are the details:


  • Mike O’Grady – CORE VP – Dark Red Wrangler
  • Cherie, Ethan and Andrew Taylor – CORE Board – Silver Xterra
  • Ken Kyler and John Danko – CORE Guest – Red RAM Big Horn 1500
  • Kathy King – CORE Guest – FJ Cruiser (green)
  • Michael Stakkeland – CORE Guest – Cherokee Trail Hawk
  • Niels Vilstrup – CORE Member – Black Wrangler
  • Steve & Mary Polacek – CORE Guest – Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Kevin Clasing – CORE Guest – Cherokee Trail Hawk
  • Zach Pittman – CORE Treasurer – Gray Wrangler
  • Eric Olson – CORE Guest – Ram Rebel
  • David Zarate – CORE Guest – Cherokee Trail Hawk

We met at the parking lot (38°47’20.8″N 78°31’10.3″W or 38.789111, -78.519528) at 11AM Sat 3/27.  We aired down our tires, made introductions and were on the trail a little after 11AM.

The trail is about 6.5 mile up Powell Mountain. We had lunch at the turn around point. We were running two groups. There was a more experienced group that ran the trail a little faster and a less experienced that had the option to run the trail at a slower pace. In practice there wasn’t a big gap between the two groups.

Photo Album: 03/27/21 Peter’s Mill

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On the way back the slower group had an unexpected turn though mid-day. The “slow” group went the whole way to the north trail head, several folks ducked out at that point, and then after a bathroom break Steve, Kathy, and the Taylor family turned around to head back down the trail to the southern trailhead. At almost the exact middle of the trail they found a truck with a trailer diagonal across the trail, very Suez Canal-like. When they got out to see what was going on, they found out the trailer frame rails had both broken just in front of the main trailer body!

Because they were first “on the scene” and Mike, the trailer owner, was kind of unsure of what to do next they kind of took charge of the recovery effort.

About 45 minutes later they had the trailer secured enough to at least back it up far enough to unblock the trail. The trail was super busy that day. I’ve never seen so much traffic, and by the time they could move him there were about 20 vehicles waiting to go north and about 10 waiting to go south. While the traffic was passing the CORE vehicle drivers had a quick chat and decided to lead/follow Mike and his broken trailer off the trail to make sure he got back to pavement at least. They spent a few more minutes making the trail fix even more secure and headed on their way at about 5:30. Other than one quick fix near the mud pits the trail repair worked perfectly. They got back to the northern trailhead aired up. The Taylors followed Mike into town. They all left the parking lot at 9pm!

A little more adventure that we thought we would have, but a great day and a great group of people.

Photo Album: 03/27/2021 Trailer Repair

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Trail Reports written by Mike O’Grady and Andrew Taylor. Pictures contributed by Eric Olson, Cherie and Andrew Taylor, Ken Kyler, David Zarate, and Michael Stakkeland. Video provided by Jendra Rambharos. GPS track provided by Andrew Taylor.

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