So a report on the experience and the skinny on this property/....
it was very cool of the The Green Oval Guild to invite is out for a day of trail riding...for the most part, the whole group was a great bunch of guys and gals...the rovers have more chicks that go out and play than the jeep family does...couple them weren't too shabby looking, either
So after the Columbus Zoo took over the borderline bankrupt Wilds, the operation grew much more business savvy. The GOG designed the trails out through their prairie land, which is an old strip mine. AEP still owns the mineral rights to the land, apparently. Because none of the soil out there is virgin, when it rains, even a little, It supposedly turns into a cluster ****...like drivining on a sheet of ice, which can make the tight, twisting wooded runs much more complicated.
The GOG has been surviving with volunteer workers that help with cutting the trails, hosting their events, etc. They ask the Columbus Zoo (which is kind of a big deal, if you're not familiar with them and Jack Hannah) regularly if they can change something, or asdd something, or bring new people, etc. If the guy that is running that property on the Zoos end sees a way that it can provide exposure to the public for The Wilds, or if he sees that it will bring out people that will use The Wilds in correlation with the ORV land, he throws a thumbs up and stuff happens.
I am going to try to correlate the first annual Jeep event at The Wilds, similar to what the rovers do - it's a weekend event, Friday, Saturday, Sunday...come for one day, or come for all. They ran it $100 per vehicle, and dinner tickets could be purchase to eat at The Wilds. Camp overnight, wheel one or all three days, and any participant is offered discount pricing on The Wilds trips (litterally accross the street), where you are driven through the animal's land, feed giraffes, see Rhinos upclose and personal...you saw the videos above.
This is the rovers 5th or 6th year out there, maybe? They had 85-90 vehicles, and probably 150ish people, and not even half of the campsite was used.
They are also interested in expanding the trails - currently, it is a very easy ride, that is family and newbie friendly (the little kiddos get to ride in the jeep with mom and or dad, they get to go feed giraffes, etc). Like I said, there were BRAND new, untitled Range Rovers out there from one of the dealership groups. As we drove through the wooded trails, we took our time and hopped out on a few occasions to explore further. There is A LOT of potential for extending the wooded trails and adding more complicated obstacles to appease those with a bit more experience.
Anywho - I'm going to get with the couple of guys that organize for the Rovers and start putting some details together, and see if we can't generate some enthusiasm within the Jeep family. The rovers had people traveling from Pennsyvania, Virginia, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, etc. I want to outdo the rovers in their 5/6/7th year, in our first