Ultimate Destinations - UA 2013Posted in Ultimate Adventure: 2013 on September 10, 2013 Comment (0)
The goal of the Ultimate Adventure is to take our 4x4s on a road trip that involves fun, challenging, and exciting wheeling waypoints. Every year we go to a different part of the country, and every year we run trails that test the abilities of both truck and driver. Plus, when everyone tells us there is no place to go, our tour guide, Editor-in-Chief Péwé, finds something amazing hidden in the woods, hills, or swamps of our destination. This year was no different. We found a variety of terrain, obstacles, and challenges with a great bunch of hosts at every stop.
Morris Mountain ORVP
Morris Mountain has been open for about nine years and was started by brothers Randy and Kris Morris with help from family and friends. The 400-acre park (www.morrismountainorv.com) has more trails than they can keep count of and was one of those places where we would have liked to spend the whole week. Located in Delta, Alabama, it’s not far from Oxford, where there are plenty of hotels and parts stores, and there is even primitive camping available on the park grounds. We attempted such trails as the Good, Bad and Ugly, Gauntlet, Punisher, Copper Head Ledge, and Los Primos during our visit. Special thanks to our guides John Gallbreth, Mark Penn, and Sam Patel.
One of the benefits of going on the UA is getting special access to locations that are not always open to the public. Though we try and hit trails that anyone can enjoy, sometimes that isn’t possible. This year we got to run the River Rock park, an off-road area on private property that isn’t currently open to the public but which was made available to our group under special circumstances. Nestled outside of Milledgeville, Georgia, this property started as a hunting camp, was later modified into an off-road recreation area, and now is the home site of owner Steve Renfroe and family. We had a great day of four-wheeling, wrenching on broken trucks, camping, and surviving a massive southern thunderstorm that turned the rocky trails into a river under the deluge.
Gulches ORV Park consists of 80 privately owned acres in the heart of South Carolina (www.gulchesorvpark.com). The popularity of four-wheeling in South Carolina is what keeps shops like Clemson 4Wheel Center busy, but Gulches owner Skip Wilkenson realized that wheelers had nowhere local to test their mettle (and their metal). Gulches currently has 45 trails packed into 80 acres ranging from stock-friendly to buggy-only and everything in between. None of the trails are on flat land, and when it is wet (like during our visit) the already difficult trails get significantly harder. Sometimes excessive rain will even close the park, so be sure and check that they are open before going. We were led up the Sidewinder Trail then down Death Valley and up Shipwreck by Miller McArthur. Thanks go to Miller and all the Gulches Rangers for their help during our visit. If you’re looking for a place in S.C. to go wheeling, check out Gulches. They have plenty of year-round off-roading.
Mud Muckers is a great Florida park of nearly 11,000 acres designed for muddy muddy fun (mudmuckers.com). The park has an area for mud bogging and many trails for side-by-sides and UTVs. We got special permission to run our 4x4s where the smaller vehicles usually roam. Though the park is hidden in the swamps just north of Daytona Beach, Florida, we felt like we were worlds away from civilization when bogging through the awesome wooded trails. The park contains plenty of wildlife (though we only recorded attacks by fire ants, not alligators) and deep slippery mud pits. Mud Muckers is touted as the “world’s largest family mud park” and holds plenty of events throughout the year. Special thanks to Gadget, Iron Horse Billy, Ophelia, Moo Moo, and Bob for hosting us.