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Warn Takes On Windrock OHV Park

Posted in Events on January 12, 2019
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We were along for the inaugural Warn customer appreciation trail run event at Windrock OHV Park in Oliver Springs, Tennessee, in 2018. It marked the first “After Jeep Invasion” wheeling event organized by Brad Goodfellow from Warn Industries. Off-road industry legends such as Fred Perry and Chris Durham were some of notable names joining us for this epic day of hard-core adventure. The inaugural event, co-sponsored by Chris Durham Motorsports, Clemson 4 Wheel, BFG, and SpiderWebShade, was designed to get Jeepers out on the trail after the Jeep Invasion event held in Pigeon Forge. The trail run was by invitation only and some hard-core trails were the recipe for the day.

Brent Galloway, the GM of Windrock Park, assisted in choosing some of the most difficult off-road terrain in the park. With total trail mileage for the day at a mere 3 miles, we were assured it would take our small group of Jeeps the entire day to complete. Our morning began on Trail 15; we then exited the area on Trail 38 to head back to the main parking lot for lunch. With our bellies full of fine barbeque smoked to perfection by Southern Rock Bouncin’ BBQ, we headed up the mountain to Trail 39, also known as Cadillac Hill. Some serious carnage ensued, and a few had to limp back down the mountain on the main road. Those that remained unharmed were treated to a rocky descent into a heavily forested valley, followed by a long and steep climb, deep water crossings, and a view of a small waterfall along the trail. A happy, dirty, and trail-weary group returned to the park entrance near sunset.

During the driver’s meeting we were informed that the day wouldn’t be for the “faint of heart,” and that carnage was likely. This was your last chance to change your mind.

Future events are planned and will allow a limited number of folks to sign up at the Warn booth during Jeep Invasion for Sunday trail runs. Trails offered will range in difficulty, so if you are new to off-roading or have a lot of wheeling experience, there will be a trail option for all skill levels. Small groups of 10 to 12 Jeeps will break off with industry professionals for a morning of guided trail runs. Lunch will be available to purchase, and then the groups will return to the trails for a more challenging run to end the day. A Monday invitation-only run will also be a part of the event schedule; this day will test the ability of the drivers and their Jeeps to navigate the toughest trails Windrock has to offer.

The 2019 Warn customer appreciation event will be held at Windrock OHV Park on Sunday, August 25, but you must sign up for the event at the Warn booth during the Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Space will be limited, so make the Warn booth one of your first stops! The Monday “test your metal” run will be by invitation only. Warn reps and co-sponsors of the event will be hand-selecting and issuing the coveted “golden ticket” invitations during Jeep Invasion, so make Tennessee your August 2019 vacation destination for a chance to wheel with industry legends at Windrock Park!

Trail 15 was our first challenge of the morning. The obstacles start just a few yards from the main road. Low range, lockers, and good tire tread are needed, as this section offers ledges, mud, and sand.
The 0.2-mile Trail 15 can take some time to get through. After navigating the entrance, you slip in to the “ditch.” Very few Jeeps can straddle this chasm due to the near-vertical slippery wall on the driver side. Chris Durham positions the driver side in the trough and eases his way through.
Corby Phillips isn’t afraid to test the limits of his Jeep. He has been known to defy the odds on more than one occasion, and he succeeded in taking the driver side high on the wall through the ditch section. Just look at that flex!
The exit of Trail 15 is another rock ledge sequence that will test your Jeep. Off-road legend Fred Perry of Clemson 4 Wheel makes this look like a walk in the park.
Extra wheelbase is your friend on the exit of 15; however, you can make it out by taking the far-left approach then cutting hard passenger along the ledge and then back hard driver.
Our morning was far from over. We still had 0.7 of a mile to go on Trail 38, aka Little School Bus, before we would break for lunch. The first half of this difficult trail is fairly serene, but the final few hundred yards will throw everything at you but the kitchen sink.
Found between a rock and a hard place, it was time to give that Warn winch a workout. We pulled a lot of cable and rope on this warm August morning.
Only a few hardy souls attempted this optional section on the exit for Trail 38. Empty stomachs and the smell of BBQ in the air directed several towards the narrow and off-camber bypass.
After an awesome BBQ feast prepared by Southern Rock Bouncin’ BBQ we headed out for more wheeling. Trail 39, better known as Cadillac Hill, was our destination, and it would be the demise of some of our group’s Jeeps.
The narrow, steep, and boulder-strewn descent on Cadillac Hill wreaked havoc among our numbers. Some of the carnage was severe enough to require winching the Jeep back up the incline to the road.
After trail repairs to his steering, Corby Phillips piloted his way up the final obstacle of the 2-mile-long Trail 39.
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