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Unread 03-01-2015, 11:59 PM   #1
premo
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moving to Blacksburg this summer

Hello all, my wife and I are moving from San Diego CA this summer to Blacksburg. I've never been so I'm completely unfamiliar with the area. I'm hoping to find some good crawling and some large rocks out there. Are there any local groups to the area that go out often? Any good trails anyone can recommend? I have a tube buggy XJ, locked fr/rr, 36" bias ply swampers on internal beedlocks, hydro, etc. I'm used to the southern California crawling and hope to find something comparable. thanks!

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Unread 03-02-2015, 09:27 AM   #2
jjohnson1892
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Hey man, Hokie alum here! The local Virginia Tech/Blacksburg wheeling club is Sinking Creed 4WD Association (SC4WDA), which is made up of students and locals. They make a few trips out to big ORV parks every year.

The local wheeling trails aren’t huge, unfortunately. You’ll likely have to drive a couple of hours to find some wheeling suited for a buggy XJ. There is some smaller trails about 20 minutes from Blacksburg.

I hope you enjoy Blacksburg! I loved the area for my 4 years there and visit fairly often. I’d love to be there too but work doesn’t allow for it unfortunately
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Unread 03-02-2015, 07:56 PM   #3
premo
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Thanks for the tip! It looks like a nice area. Only drawback I can see is having to shovel the driveway again in the winter (I'm from the Sierra's, lived in San Diego the past 10yrs) and having to drive 2+ hours to surf lol. I don't mind driving a few hours to wheel, as it stands now the closest spot is an hour, the next one out is 3-4 and Johnson valley is a solid 4-5. Any idea what the names of the orv are? I'll do a search for that club you mentioned I'm assuming they have a webpage of sorts. Thanks dude!
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Unread 03-03-2015, 07:58 AM   #4
jjohnson1892
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They do have a website (http://www.sc4wda.org.vt.edu/forums/), it’s mostly active with students.

The two best within a couple of hours that come to mind are Harlan (KY) and Windrock (TN).

The close/popular spot near Blacksburg is the Smith Mountain Lake trail (forest road system), you’ll need a local to find it most likely. It goes up to a fire tower, which offers some awesome views. Some other Virginia trails to consider are Flagpole Knob (Harrisonburg, VA) and Shoe Creek (near Roseland, VA). All spots are mild, maybe a couple of fun sections with rocks and mud. Here’s a great Google Maps compilation of trails in Virginia: http://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/vi...4.kiphaovesbL8

If I think of anymore I’ll add them. I’d love to trade spots with you and move to San Diego, while the winter hasn’t been bad here the wheeling and opportunities for adventure out west are incredible!
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Unread 03-04-2015, 05:46 PM   #5
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hmm, is there anything a bit more challenging? The best I could seem to find that's comparible to what i'm used to out here is Big Dogs up in Gore, and it looks like that's private? Doesnt necassarily need to be in VA. I'm also getting the vibe that most all of the places to wheel are pay to play? I'm considering leaving the buggy in SoCal and flying back for the winter for trips. FYI Our wheeling season is in the winter as its all in the desert since its the only time its really nice out there lol

thanks again!
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Unread 03-05-2015, 07:25 AM   #6
jjohnson1892
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I bet, the winters out there are incredible. “Winter” being used differently than here

The parks I listed and Big Dogs all have some challenging wheeling (black and red trails), but it’s most likely a different style than what you’re used to seeing. Or, similar to skiing, a black diamond slope on the east coast is an easy blue slope in Colorado or Utah.

I don’t know if you’ll get good use of a buggy here, I tend to run somewhat lighter trails because I’m not built up for the reds and blacks yet. Leaving it out west would definitely leave the opportunity for great wheeling trips, and you can probably pick up another XJ, lift it, and toss it on 33s and be able to wheel a bunch out here.
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Unread 03-05-2015, 06:00 PM   #7
premo
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yea, "winters" being the key word there haha I've been down here 10 years now and feel spoiled as hell. This move will only be temporary as my wife is getting her PhD then we're moving back. So 2-3 words

I hear what you're saying on the trails. Makes sense. I really dont mind driving a whole day and a few states away, i just don't want to go thru the hassle of bringing it and all my gear, tools, trailer, spare parts etc. across the country if its going to blow LOL Having said that, I've never been there and don't know what to expect. I also like to explore and don't think my camper van is up for that LOL I also don't need another money pit. honestly at this point, if i were to start over again it wouldn't be another XJ. It sort of just snow balled into a buggy thru the past year or so. plus my wife would kill me if i bought another jeep haha

so are those the only trails that comes to mind?

anybody else care to chime in?

happy wheeling!
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Unread 03-12-2015, 08:42 AM   #8
holliewood61
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You tube ivy branch. Its a couple hours north near charelston wv. There are quite a few black and double black trails up there. It is pay to ride but its only $25 for a years pass.

Trail 93 - Cable at Ivy Branch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3M7izCGdG9k
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Unread 03-19-2015, 06:02 AM   #9
SlackJawedYokel
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Welcome to Virginia.

Closest to you is probably the property that RCFPA wheels. There's a long drawn soap opera with details I'm not privy to, but they're apparently back up and running. Just google them or contact them directly for more info.

Big Dogs as it's being called is a private campground and tree farm called The Cove. Big Dogs is actually a production company that puts on some good sized events at The Cove, not the name of the property itself.
They, Big Dogs, put on several events a year there and they have trails that your rig would be challenged on. The trails are rated 1-10 rather than green blue black red, but the numbered ratings are all over the place and not accurate. I walk my open open TJ on 33's up an 8, but wouldn't run a 7 if you paid me. The campground is in Gore, VA if you want to map it.
It is private property and they don't allow just anyone to show up and wheel. Best bet is to wheel it at a Big Dogs event or join a local club that has a relationship with the owners.

There is also Chaos ORP in Capon Bridge, WV. It's somewhat new, and is several pieces of private property managed and leased by a local Fab shop, Chaos Offroad. They also have regular events in the warmer month and you'll find challenges there as well.

Even further for you since you said you don't mind driving is Rausch Creek, about 30 miles north if Harrisburg, PA. Again, plenty of trails to keep you occupied for a weekend. The Rausch website is pretty detailed if you want more info, rc4x4.org or .com.

HTH
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Unread 03-19-2015, 02:21 PM   #10
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Much obliged gents, that's some very good info there! I'm getting the impression that the vast majority of the wheeling there is on private land. Is that correct? Any recommendations for some gentle exploring to be had in the greater Blacksburg area? I assume there's some good rock climbing, fishing and hiking? Thx again! I need to get a parks map once I get out there
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Unread 03-19-2015, 03:47 PM   #11
holliewood61
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Theres a few nice little rides in giles county nothing crazy just good rides. Mountain lake, east river mtn, dismal falls. Hog back ridge over in bland county. Pm me when you get out this way im only about 30 min west of blacksburg. Also look up the new river valley jeep club on Facebook if you have it, they do quite a few rides.
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Unread 03-19-2015, 04:45 PM   #12
premo
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Thx, will do!

Here's my junk here. It's nothing extravagant. Still needs a few more things before my next run early April. Disregard that wire hanging on the boat side, needs a bit of plating still there, etc.
I'm picking up a set of 16" coilovers this next week and will be stretching and linking the rear before the move. As soon as I can find a not way overpriced hp60 I'll be upgrading and stretching the front a ways. Been collecting parts for that conversion. They're way overpriced down here for some reason though?!






Still need to cut out the tail lights and mount LEDs, then that goes below the rear light bar. I would have preferred it to be a Cherokee logo but forgot to snag them when I sold my fenders. Doh!
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Unread 03-20-2015, 09:00 AM   #13
jjohnson1892
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Damn that’s cool! Is that street legal in CA?? If so, I’m moving my *** over to CA.

Definitely some awesome outdoor adventure opportunities in the greater Blacksburg area. Some great bass and musky fishing on the New River, solid hiking to a place called Dragon’s Tooth, some great mountain biking trails around (can’t remember the names), and caving (if you’re into tight spaces). Not sure about rock climbing, haven’t done much of that. If you’re up for cruising around and finding some backroads, just grab your keys and GPS and head toward the mountains and you’ll find something good. Mountain Lake is definitely worth driving up to and around, it’s a cool part of the area!
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Unread 03-20-2015, 10:19 AM   #14
premo
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LOL much obliged. Would you believe it looked like this whenI first got it three years ago?



Uh, it's kinda legal. I keep it registered as a formality as a lot of the places down here might require driving down a county maintained road etc. I have a piece of lexan for a windshield if need be, but I wouldn't drive it to work daily LOL also have mud flaps. I'm registered back home in the Sierras so Idon't have to smog, just send the DMV forty bucks every year

Thanks for the tip! I love caving. I'll have to check that out. I think I'm going to have to get some new rods and tackle because I'm set up for ocean fishing! I'll get on Google now on those places. Thanks again guys,I appreciate the warm VA welcome
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Unread 03-23-2015, 09:03 AM   #15
jjohnson1892
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LOL they all start that way, my JKUR is about to take a leap or two prior to the fall. The funniest thing is I told myself, family, and girlfriend that I’ll wheel it stock for a long time and not waste my money

Definitely look into Virginia Tech’s resources/clubs for a lot of Blacksburg fun. While most tend to be largely students, a lot integrate with locals and have a great mix of experience vs. energy. If you haven’t picked up fly fishing before, I would recommend it here! You can get set up for a relatively inexpensive cost and it’s a really fun style of fishing for all kinds of species.
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