Back 40. Mongo. Murphy's Law. Tall Dog. Lake Shore Drive. What do all of these names have in common? They're all part of the Two Rivers Jeep Club trail system in and around Pittsfield, Illinois. And as interesting as their names are, the origins of these trails are more so.
Its beginnings date back to 1991 when Tom Wombles and a group of Pike County residents got together to host the Land of Lincoln Jeep Jamboree, and since that time, the trail system has increased to 15 working trails and 250 Two Rivers Jeep Club members to run them. The interesting thing about the trails is that each one is on private land. Two Rivers Jeep Club members work year-round in building and maintaining the trails on a volunteer basis. They also work closely with the landowners and the Pike County community to ensure that the trails continue to remain available. In fact, Two Rivers Jeep Club events bring more money into the Pittsfield, Illinois, community than any other event held throughout the year. Though the trails aren't open for public use, they can be used during Two Rivers Jeep Club events. The '01 4x4 Blast is where we got our first taste, and believe us, these guys and gals know what they're doing.
Our first day among the Two Rivers crowd brought us to the trail known as Atlas, which deserves every bit of its 9-rated difficulty. We experienced thick mud, off-camber and rutted hillclimbs, a few rollovers, and plenty of Low-gear crawls down loose, slate rock faces. Day two brought us to more of the same in a renegade run, jumping from trail to trail and even experiencing a yet-to-be-named trail that's soon to be added to the Two Rivers trail menu. It offered much more of the same in addition to creek crossings, steep, technical climbs, and enough rocks to make us think we were back in California.
So what does Illinois and the Two Rivers Jeep Club have to offer the 'wheeling community? More than you can imagine. It's 'wheeling at its best with a lot of great folks mixed in. Once you see for yourself, you'll want to go back. We know we do. Except next time, we hope to park the camera and drive it for ourselves.
For More InformationThe Two Rivers Jeep Club Web site is a great resource of information about the club and the events they host. Check out the newly redesigned site at www.trjc.com or contact them via mail or phone at Two Rivers Jeep Club, Dept. 4WDSU, P.O. Box 94, Rockport, IL 62370, (217) 437-5337.