Four-Wheeling For The Forest
For those of us who enjoy four-wheeling on our local trails, there's no better feeling than knowing you're doing your best to keep them open and properly maintained. That's just what the Big Bear Forest Fest (BBFF), put on by the Inland Empire 4W Club in Southern California, is all about. Each year the BBFF event helps the Forest Service maintain and ultimately protect our 4x4 trails. All proceeds from the event go to buying equipment that the Forest Service needs in order to clear dead trees, build and preserve fire roads, control erosion, and in general keep the 4x4 trails accessible for all to enjoy.
Although this event happens to take place in and around the city of Big Bear Lake, California, every year in June, it seems that this type of charitable event can take place anywhere and truly benefit any local 4x4 community. Maybe this will inspire other 4x4 clubs to find out what their favorite four-wheeling area desperately needs in order to survive and to take action at the grass roots level.
All of the IE4W club members donate their time and, for most, their money to make this event happen. It is a testament to the will they have collectively to keep our trails open - not just for those club members, but for all 4x4 owners to pursue their passion. It takes real dedication to pull off this type of event, which includes everything from handling preregistration and vehicle inspections to preparing goody bags and coordinating companies that generously donate raffle prizes.
Hundreds of RVs and 4x4s gather at the Snow Valley Ski Area parking lot to camp and come together for this great family event. All levels of trails that surround the Big Bear area are guided by experienced trail leaders, mid-gunners, and tail-gunners to make sure all of the rigs make it back to camp safely.
Once you arrive back at camp after enjoying a long day on your favorite trail, the fun is not over. There are manufacturer and vendor booths with the latest products for your rig. Plus, there are radio-controlled trucks, tools, games, and a rock wall for the kids. Falken Tire even had RC rock-crawlers for the kids to drive on a little 'crawler course. Then there's the kids raffle, which is sponsored by caring individuals and groups in the 4x4 community.
After you've worked up an appetite, the IE4W crew serves up an incredible BBQ dinner, and some members like Cheri McRae even forego the trails and stay behind so they can spend more time preparing the meal. The main raffle - with more than $25,000 in generously donated prizes from BBFF sponsors - wraps up Saturday's events. And if you're hardcore, the Sunday trail rides serves as the perfect finish to a weekend of supporting the Forest Service and the Big Bear OHV area.
Inland Empire 4W Club