We catch occasional flak from East Coast guys because they claim we rarely venture east of the Mississippi and never into New England to cover trail rides. And we'll admit it: We've been guilty of not giving the other coast equal time-of course, that's because notifications for cool off-road events in the east rarely hit our desks. That's why when Paul Fischer from the East Coast Four-Wheel-Drive Association called to tell us about the Fourth Annual Trailfest in Springfield, Massachusetts, we were on a red-eye before the phone hit the cradle.
The Trailfest is unlike any other trail ride we've attended. The trails are spread across four states, and participants came from New England and beyond. Since much of the public land in New England is closed to motorized traffic, the majority of the trails are located on private land and run with the permission of the owners. Although not the most difficult in the country (the trails and mudholes were dry due to an unusual lack of rain during the summer), the Trailfest runs have several formidable obstacles, and participants can enjoy plenty of beautiful countryside in between loose rocky climbs and other challenges on the winding forest roads.
The whole Trailfest event is wrapped up in a well-organized package that includes accommodations at the host hotel and food for the entire weekend. There's also a banquet followed by an awards ceremony Saturday night. With the tremendous response from this year's participants, spots are sure to fill up fast for the next one. For information on the next Trailfest (to be held August 26-29), contact Paul Fisher at 603/497-5158. Registration forms are also available at www.ec4wda.org and www.bigdog4x4.com.