With this years big goal for CORE being to focus on being to help our Members and Guests become better, more prepared, off-roaders I wanted to host another Off-Roading 101 Trail Ride like we did last year. Green Ridge State Forest was the perfect place for us to have a stock-friendly run and have a place for us to stop for a while and discuss the basics that I had laid out for lasts years trip. Along for the ride were:
- Adam Wright & Courtney Becherink – Jeep Grand Cherokee (WJ2)
- Alex Hinson, Roland Brooks & Liz Miron – Jeep JKU
- Andrew Taylor – Nissan Xterra
- Jesse & Wendy King – Jeep JKU
- Toby Turpin – Jeep Cherokee (KL)
- Wook Kim – Toyota Tacoma
We met at the Citgo gas station/Oak Barrel Cafe, off exit 72 from I-68. A few folks showed up a little late, but we left around 10 which was a little later than planned. My plan was to head to a campsite and stop and host our 101 chat, then continue on. I have never seen this forest very busy with the campers, but this weekend would be different. In our multi-hour stroll I only spotted 1 empty campsite in the whole forest! Because of this we decided to stop at the entrance to the Mountain Bike Trail on Walitzer Road instead.
There we had a discussion about various aspects of off-road driving, vehicle features, recovery techniques and others that would help our newer drivers. It was a great discussion with lots of questions and answers coming from everyone in the group. At the end we decided to eat lunch and were ready to hit the trail at 1pm.
Since we were getting a late start I decided to focus on a tour through the forest, and hold the 3 optional water crossings just west of the forest as an end of day option. We toured around hitting Gordon and Twigg (which never disappoints). Some of the vehicles even got some 3 wheel action going on Twigg!
We then headed west, over the old bridge on Jacobs, onto Green Ridge Road, and then down the other side of the mountain on Mertens. We stopped at a few overlooks along the way, but our goal was Bonds Landing. It would be our only bathroom stop and also a break to check out the Potomac. The water level was super low, but that didn’t stop us from having a rock skipping competition. Not sure who won, but many participated with a few skipping rocks well past the center point of the river.
We pushed on. I was making an effort to mark some of the group sites along the way too so we’d have coordinates for future outings. One idea that came up during the trip was for a winter camping/wheeling weekend. Anyways, eventually we got to where Oldtown Orleans Road meets Dug Hill Road. It was 5pm and so I asked the group, did we want to keep going for another 90 minutes or so and hit the three water crossings, or call it a day and head back to the entrance we came in on, getting there in probably 30 minutes. It was late in the day and so ultimately we all decided we’d have to save the water crossings for another day.
We headed onto Dug Hill and eventually back onto 15 Mile Creek Road. Back near the entrance we stopped to part ways and prepare our vehicles for the drive home. It was a great trip, a beautiful cool fall day, and we had an enthusiastic group that made the 101 part an especially successful event. So when should we go back?!
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Trail report courtesy of Andrew Taylor. Pictures courtesy of Wendy, Adam, Toby, Wook, and Andrew.