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Attica Badlands' ORV Park Troys Trail - Assessing The Damage

Posted in Ultimate Adventure on June 1, 2001
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The trail was different from anything we had seen before, and it was ugly. Unlike the rocks that make up trails in Moab, Johnson Valley, or South Dakota, the Indiana boulders were long, jagged, damp, spotted with slippery moss, and littered with deep, huge, truck-sized holes. This was Troy's Trail, the newest trail at the Badlands ORV Park in Attica, Indiana, and this challenging nightmare was unveiled for the very first time at the Wabash Fall Fest 2000. What Is the Fall Fest?

Simply envision three days of dawn-'til-dusk 'wheeling on challenging Indiana trails in mid-autumn and you have the Wabash Fall Fest. Bob Hazel of Sports In the Rough organized the event, and his experience planning and executing such world-class events as the National Rock Crawling Championship, Superlift 4xAdventure, Hummer Challenge, and Rosser Jeep events has qualified him as the King of Organized Trailruns. The Fall Fest registration fee included access to any of the organized trailruns, five free hot meals, a goodie bag, an event T-shirt, and free on-grounds camping. The schedule of events also included some cool stuff such as a scored rockcrawl competition (which was won by John Vandergrift in his Jeep CJ), a gnarly sand hillclimb competition, and a challenging GPS navigation competition; all of these events are held on the sprawling grounds of the Badlands ORV Park.

The Other BadlandsNo, not the Badlands in South Dakota. This is the Badlands ORV Park in Attica, and it consists of more than 1,000 acres, of which approximately 700 are open to 4x4s. Previously, the area was a large-scale quarry operation, but was purchased by Troy and Lisa Myers after the operation closed. As such, there are numerous old sand, gravel, and rock quarries on the property. The Myers have created a number of trails in the wooded areas, and they include easy trails that folks in stock vehicles can enjoy and mildly challenging trails that test and sharpen your driving skills as well as the most challenging obstacles in the Midwest. The Myers frequently purchase land to add to the Park, which ensures an ever-growing number of challenges.

Troy's TrailA recent acquisition of land gave the Myers the canvas with which to create this work of art, and it's so gnarly that it's only open during organized trailruns or by appointment. The most difficult portion of the trail is a section that's sandwiched between a tall cliff and a small river. In this 1/2-mile section, the only way to go is forward over the huge boulders that have fallen from the cliff. The section is shaded and damp, which adds to its allure and challenge, since visibility and traction are both compromised. The 12 trucks in our group all met the trail's minimum requirements (4 inches of lift, aggressive 35-inch tires, two lockers, and a winch), but even so, many experienced drivers found the trail to be a major challenge. One of the vehicles in our group spit out its left ball joints shortly into the trail, and it wasn't long before two of the vehicles rolled onto their sides as if to protest the conditions. At the hardest point, drivers had three options: a relatively easy bypass, an evil line near the cliff base, or an absolutely sick line down the middle. After the two trucks rolled while attempting the middle line, the rest of the vehicles chose the slightly easier line along the cliff base. One of the most daunting aspects of the middle line are the huge, deep holes between the tall boulders. The holes aren't big enough for a truck, so it's not like you can treat it as part of the trail - you have to painstakingly maneuver your truck over the gap while traversing slippery, jagged boulders. Overall, Troy's Trail is a blast, and its challenges could be described as a mix of Tellico and the Dakota Challenge.

Your Turn!The Wabash Fall Fest is being modified for 2001, and, thanks to a Ramsey Winch sponsorship, it's going to be called the Ramsey 4x4 Olympics. The event will include all of the things the Badlands and the Wabash Fall Fest are famous for, plus a number of other exciting activities to test drivers and their 4x4s. For more information, contact: Sports-In-the-Rough, Dept. OR, 284 14th Ave. N.E., Ste. 5400, Hickory, NC 28601, (828) 261-0221, www.sports-in-the-rough.com.

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