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Truck Night at Yankee Lake: Trail Rides, a Tug Pad, and Mud Bogs in Eastern Ohio

Trail rides, a tug pad, and mud bogs in eastern Ohio

Jered KorfhagePhotographer, Writer

When Friday night rolls around in the heartland of America, what better way is there to shake off the workweek than to throw on some boots, grab some friends, and take a ride on down to the mud bog?

Smack-dab in between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Cleveland, Ohio, lies Yankee Lake. Back in the 1920s, the 55-acre man-made lake was a popular swimming hole and an escape from the sticky Midwestern summer afternoons. The lake has since been drained and the property has hosted everything from motocross races to performances from David Allen Coe and Willie Nelson. Nowadays, 4x4 fans flock to the property on the weekends for line dancing, funnel cakes, and more tug-pad pullin’ and mud whompin’ than you can shake a muddy stick at.

Truck Night at Yankee Lake goes down on select summer weekends and draws thousands of fans from Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding states. Though Yankee Lake might be drained, it’s still home to enough sticky mud to swallow the bravest of drivers and their rigs. Truck Night participants can wallow in any of the open mud bogs, slog through the three-mile network of woods trails, or throw down for the crowd in the three competition-style mud drags. Heavy equipment is on-site for those who fall victim to the deep slime.

At any time during Truck Night, you can also see rigs stretching their legs across the man-made obstacles and rockcrawls, or smoking tires while dueling it out on the tug pad. Families can enjoy a midway-style array of games and food with ample views of all the boggin’, crawlin’, and pullin’ action. Bigger events at Yankee Lake can include tractor pulls, show-’n’-shine contests, and appearances by the Trucks Gone Wild crew.

We bolted on our mud tires and joined the party on the muddy eastern border of the Buckeye State. Read on for some of the coolest and dirtiest rigs from the show. For more info visit trucknight.com.

We caught Rick Costic and his Toyota mud racer before he had a chance to get on the trails. The truck has a frame from a ’94, the bed from an ’86, the cab of a ’95 and the front clip is anyone’s guess. Later on, we got a chance to see and hear the turbo Chevy 350 let all the horses loose on the trails, and eventually get tamed by a mudpit.