Any wheeling (not mudding) within an hour of SE VA?

dan1977p

New member
Looks like our Utah experiment is coming to an end sooner rather than later so we will be moving back east next spring. I'm trying to determine if it's worth the effort to haul my POS across country for it to just sit in my driveway. Any beaches we would be on are accessible by stock pickups and I'm pretty sure we aren't going to make the 5 hour drive to the Appalachians in a beat up old XJ just to find a secluded camp site. If we are going to be putting that many highway miles on a Jeep, we'll find a JKU instead.

So to my question, any wheeling within about an hour of Suffolk, VA or should I just sell the XJ and shift my focus to helping my cousin with his drag cars when I get back home?
 

Lowrange2

Member# 2368
NAXJA Member
Your two closest places are Potts Mountain, VA (5 hour drive) and Uwharrie National Forest in NC (4 hour drive).

That being said, I'd sell the XJ. Coming from Utah wheeling, both of those places are going to bore you to death.

You're 8 hours from Harlan, KY.

6 hours from Rausch Creek, etc.
 

dan1977p

New member
Blast. I figured as much but was hoping I missed something growing up. It's a very low possibility, but we are considering moving more toward the Smith mountain lake area which would change the whole ballgame, but it's very unlikely we will want to be that far away from family.
 

Lowrange2

Member# 2368
NAXJA Member
From Smith Mountain Lake/Roanoke:

Gulches - 4.5 hours.
Uwharrie - 2.5 hours
Potts Mtn - 30 minutes
Harlan, KY - 5 hours
Rausch Creek - 6 hours
Hatfield - McCoy - 5 hours
Windrock - 5.5 hours
Golden mountain - 6 hours
AOP - 7.5 hours

Moral of this story is that living pretty much anywhere on the East Coast requires 4-6 hours of driving to get to any decent wheeling spots. And none of them are anything like Utah.
 

themauler

New member
I will chime in here just how I see things living on the coast far from any mountains. Lowrange is spot on for the distance/travel times to any sort of trail riding. It is pretty harsh but I agree that ditching the XJ might be a smart move now. I have mine because I am young and have invested a lot of time and money into it and Virginia Beach isn’t going to be long term.

With a JK on 35s you can have challenging trail rides and still a jeep to DD if you wish. I like to see any sort of wheeling on the east coast as a add on to a weekend/roadtrip adventure.

•Big Dogs Offroad park is in Winchester, VA. Nice park and Winchester is a very scenic place to spend a weekend.

•Potts Mountain is close to Roanoke, VA but again more scenic mountains and one trail to relax on. Hardly any sort of trail traffic and camping has always been quiet.

•URE is a chit show :anon:

•There aren’t really any parks in proximity to Asheville, NC but it too is another beautiful city to spend a night on a trail riding road trip if you are heading west into Tennessee.
 

01tj

New member
I will chime in here just how I see things living on the coast far from any mountains. Lowrange is spot on for the distance/travel times to any sort of trail riding. It is pretty harsh but I agree that ditching the XJ might be a smart move now. I have mine because I am young and have invested a lot of time and money into it and Virginia Beach isn’t going to be long term.

With a JK on 35s you can have challenging trail rides and still a jeep to DD if you wish. I like to see any sort of wheeling on the east coast as a add on to a weekend/roadtrip adventure.

•Big Dogs Offroad park is in Winchester, VA. Nice park and Winchester is a very scenic place to spend a weekend.

•Potts Mountain is close to Roanoke, VA but again more scenic mountains and one trail to relax on. Hardly any sort of trail traffic and camping has always been quiet.

•URE is a chit show :anon:

•There aren’t really any parks in proximity to Asheville, NC but it too is another beautiful city to spend a night on a trail riding road trip if you are heading west into Tennessee..

You've got The Flats and The SHOP which are both in Marion NC that's less than an hour from Asheville.
 

Lowrange2

Member# 2368
NAXJA Member
You've got The Flats and The SHOP which are both in Marion NC that's less than an hour from Asheville.
Aren't both of those privately owned and rarely open to the public? That's why I didn't list them.
 

xjtrailrider

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
I'm in Roanoke, if you ever want to run Potts, PM me and I can take you up there.

Its not an easy trail but its not hard core either! The NFS requires that we keep the trail in good enough shape that a mildly lifted/modded rig can make it through with maybe a winch as extra equipment.
 

Ghost

Member Number 257
Board of Directors
NAXJA Member
I'm in Roanoke, if you ever want to run Potts, PM me and I can take you up there.

Its not an easy trail but its not hard core either! The NFS requires that we keep the trail in good enough shape that a mildly lifted/modded rig can make it through with maybe a winch as extra equipment.
IF I ever find the time and money I will be pm'ing you because I want to run it some day. OP this guy knows VA.
 

xjtrailrider

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
We have been running some recon almost every Sunday trying to find new public and private trails. Most turn out to be easy fire roads or very difficult private trails that require the landowners permission of course.

When we find something special, I will post it here.
 

themauler

New member
Glenn here is a teaser of the view from the top of the ridge. Also one of the local clubs with the support of the FS have cut and added two or three more large rig obstacles. Probably only possible with rigs with 37" tires and up.

 

themauler

New member
Dirk,

This is a photo from Potts Mountain Jeep Trail I took on Saturday. Here is the only official website for the area. This is the campground most everyone congregates at to unload/get ready to take the five minute ride further north to the trail head.

It is a one way trail about 4 to 5 miles long. About 4 to 7 obstacles evenly spread out of course. Our group had 16 jeeps and it took us about 6.5 hours to get to the end. A few rigs pulled cable plus a little break for lunch and checking out the view that I posted a picture of.

I took two videos of the same trip from last summer.

https://youtu.be/vOMzipGEVU4

https://youtu.be/R-F3fvKpyKA
 

xjtrailrider

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
Nick, sorry I missed you all coming up! My rig is down right now for upgrades.

Our club, SWVa4WD added the obstacles last year and more are on the way. Unfortunately, our club president who has such a great repore with the NFS is no longer with the club and I'm not sure where the future is heading for us.

He has asked me to spur off a new club with him, we will see how it goes.

I know that the NFS is more than willing to let us add more obstacles.

A note to anyone running Potts Mountain;

This is a public road! You must have a current state safety inspection from your state, tags, and insurance! You must have a valid drivers license! I have known the DNR and other authorities to be waiting at the beginning and the end of the trail to check rigs and drivers.

Stay on the marked trail! If you venture off the trail you are then in protected wilderness and can face fines.

Lastly, please take more trash out than you carry in!

Have fun but be safe! Its very remote on that mountain with little to no cell service. If something goes wrong, it could take hours to get help there.
 
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