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Big Dogs Spring Fling - Fine Wheelin’ In Virginia

Posted in Events on September 29, 2014
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Every spring near the small town of Gore, Virgina, off-road enthusiasts gather for the Big Dogs Spring Fling. We attended in early June 2014 where we had the opportunity to do some great eastern wheeling in the wooded Virginia hills.

Started in 1990, Big Dogs Offroad offers a number of public and private events throughout the year. The primary location sits on 6,000 acres of heavily wooded land that includes four mountains and an elevation change of 1,500 feet. The Cove Campground provides camping facilities on a property that also provides trail access and opportunities for fishing, hiking, and target shooting.

Groups at the events are divided up based on how difficult the trails are. The rating system ranges from 1 (easy) to 10 (most difficult). Come morning, just line up for the trail you want to run. There’s a short welcome and driver’s meeting from event organizer John Hunt. Recent rains meant the event started out a bit soupy, but that didn’t seem to discourage people from wanting to hit the trails. Saturday and Sunday, the weather cleared, and things started to dry out just a bit

This year, Spring Fling was a three-day event with trail rides on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The event organizers provided helpful guides for groups based on the level of difficulty they sought. After wheeling, there were in-camp activities into the night, including a turtle race, mud-bog competition, and kid’s games. There was also an RTI ramp to play on and an exo-caged Cherokee that they would let you roll if you wanted.

The weekend we attended was preempted with some healthy doses of rain, and we awoke Friday morning to another shower. This sent water down the trails and provided a few soupy spots. The weather cleared as the weekend progressed, and we had the chance to hit some challenging trails in the wooded hills. There were vehicles of all types, from stock JK Wranglers to trail buggies. It was a family friendly event, and we had a great time meeting new people and sharing trail time with friends. For more information on Big Dog events in the area, simply look to bigdogsoffroad.com.

PhotosView Slideshow
An optional hillclimb near the top of Winch 4 heads up a steep, loose-dirt hill. Planted dead center of the trail is a boulder the size of a washing machine. Most rigs got sucked into the middle of the slippery slope and high-centered on the rock. This built Jeep succumbed to the same fate. But with another high-throttle launch up the hill, the driver held the line to the left of the boulder and was soon on top of the hill with fresh Maxxis tires churning deep into the moistened dirt.
PhotosView Slideshow

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