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Discussion Starter #1
Another weekend another trail ride! Well ok Sunday only because I worked Saturday but the wife was off this time so I had some company which was really nice. We left her diesel F350 at home this time though because the trails we visited are pretty rough and her truck still has street tires and no lockers.

The area we were riding this time is another of my old haunting grounds (we lives out here for 3 years or so before the drive to work each day just got to be too much). More importantly it is a well known and very nice adventure destination... We were wheeling just up the hill from the famous "Red River Gorge" which attracts rock climbers from all over the country with its many rock faces, beautiful natural arches and other formations which are normally very rare in this part of the country. The area consists of a mix of Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky's Natural Bridge State Park and private land. It is also the site of a significant conflict over land use especially "Narrows Rd" with local government and pro access types on one side and the federal government on the other. Search FB for "Take Back the Narrows" for the whole sad story.

I'd also like to give a shout out to the folks working on "Hollerwood Offroad Park". Hollerwood will be a pay to play park consisting of 2500 acres leased by 3 county governments. This will take private land that has been a defacto wheeling area for many many years and formalize it to ensure access is preserved. Lease has been completed for awhile now and park appears to be getting ready to formally open... "permit required" signs have already gone up on a lot of trails but sadly they are not selling permits yet so I was not able to buy one but I will definitely be supporting this worthy cause with a purchase of a yearly pass as soon as they go on sale.

Speaking of Hollerwood we entered the woods at the sight of an old oil company building that is currently being turned into the Hollerwood office/trail store. The main trail heading into the soon-to-be-park immediately plunges down a steep hill but it is wide and well graveled and presents no issues for any vehicle:

A short while down the trail and we come to a swampy bottom land crisscrossed by a number of trails. Choosing the best path through is important and we did not... A little sliding and it was all over:

What a drag... Barely 20 minutes in and we were stuck as bad as could be... Both lockers and some 3rd grear rev limiter action to try and clean out the tires didn't help so out came the come-along:

Lots of reseting the come along and cussing and we were free... Had now covered nearly a half mile in 2.5 hours!

Fortunately the rest of the day went MUCH smoother... It was the only time we got stuck all day.

Pretty smooth sailing for a while... Somehow managed to stumble on a trail I had never seen in years of driving out here. Lead to a cool rock shelter and dead ended. We got out and looked around:

Trails are a mix of clay, rocks and the usual water holes:

Erosion and the fact that most traffic out here is SxSs and even smaller vehicles can make for some tight squeezes and there was more than one butthole puckering moment where a 100 foot plunge seemed like a real possibility:

It seems what I have so far is all that has uploaded so far (I am at work where we are forced to rely on 2 bonded DSL lines and I have been spoiled by the 1000Mbs fiber to the home service I get at my house).

Hopefully I will have more to post after lunch.

34 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Back from lunch and some more uploads are ready:
Many of the trails in the area are disused oil well maintenance trail and abandoned oil wells litter the area (there are a large number of active wells also though not in this specific area as the trails to them tend to be a little less fun as the oil companies keep them maintained for the most part).

Nice solid bottomed puddle or Jeep swallowing monster? Who knows that's the fun!

Seriously there are so many of these types of things its almost impossible to get out and check every one of them... We chanced it for the most part and our luck did not run out.

Playground area nearing Townsend Cave (a medium sized cave that a pretty popular wheeling destination). Signs are not legible but one say something about picking up your trash and the other identifies the rocky hill in the center of the pic as "Brady's hill" and memorializes "Brady". I assume he died trying to climb this hill but don't actually know the story.... Spent a ton of energy climbing it on a dirt bikes years ago (took a number of tries... It was very wet) and found it goes literally no where. Haven't tried climbing it since.

Did not get any shots of the cave as the normal photo-op shot with the jeep inside the cave would have been aggravating with a jeep of this level of "builtness" and I've had the dirt bikes in there dozens of times so it was sort of a case of "been there, done that"... Now of course I don't have any of those pics handy so I kind of wish I HAD got some but oh well.

There are a number of routes to Townsend cave so we headed out a different way to avoid having to re-run the same trail. This pic is just passed the cave on our way out:

Another shot closer to the rocky part... Doesn't look to bad but took a couple attempts even with lockers on:

By the way: The skid plates on these things are pretty strong right??? >:)

Another spot that needed a locker or two.

Next up was a large swap... Found a Dodge that had absolutely no business being out here but did not look like it was ever gonna LEAVE here:

Judging by the state of things I'd say odds are 90%+ it was a stolen vehicle... Full of beer cans (and water from the mud hole), all windows broken, key in the ignition left in the on position (no power obviously)... Looked to have been there no more than a couple days... Couldn't get to plates cause of the deep mud. Least we didn't find a body.

Nearby was this nice old Ford on TSLs... It looked 100% ready to wheel when we went over to it (closer pics must be on my wife's phone) but no sign of any people. Given that it was next to the sketchy other wreck and that, despite my love of classic Fords, it wasn't actually "nice" in the conventional sense and sort of looked like something a crazed meth head might drive I kept a round in the chamber until we got clear of the area... Never saw or heard a soul though. In fact only people we saw all day were 4 SxSs that passed while we were stuck. They offered their sympathy but wasn't much they could do to pull out something 4 times their size... This place is a little more popular than the places we frequent in Jackson county and I was sort of surprised we never saw anyone.

Couple miles of pretty cool wheeling followed but sadly GroPro needed a charging break so no pics.... Last couple are after it got a little joice and we were getting near the road.

Pretty much all of this are was a 2wd cake walk but views were nice:

The exit... When I lived out here this trail was called "trailer trash" because directly across the road in the center of the picture there used to be a single wide trailer one end of which was literally collapsed and yet a family lived in in. I guess in the few year since I had been on this particular trail it collapsed the rest of the way... Hillside is covered in trash and debris but no sign of the family.

That's it for this time... Hope you all enjoyed... One of these days I will edit all the videos into some sort of watchable chunk (removing the long segments of boring sections). For now pics will have to do.
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