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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-21-2014 01:01 PM
bobbiejowoo Looking for a few open trails near flag pole. Suggestions anyone? I'm having trouble figuring out what's open and whats not, and the names of trails. Any help is much appreciated.
03-01-2014 09:03 PM
gobluewayoflife
looking forward to it

Quote:
Originally Posted by kawa001 View Post
At someone's request I just put together an easy but scenic day trip that hits Reddish Knob and some of the ridge trails. Once I get feedback I'll post it.
thanks for the notes and all around info on the trails. I am planning to explore a great deal of GWNF this summer and the info herein will be invaluable. would love to join you on a trail ride.

again thanks and see you on the trail

Mitch
02-28-2014 12:36 PM
willwork4sushi Great thread and info OP. Where in Loudoun are you? My parents live in Brambleton.
02-28-2014 11:40 AM
BigDaddyAt AK at Chaos has started up Wheeling 101 courses at the new offroad park as well. Probably a decent place to start. I'm definitely planning on doing Flagpole again this year (hopefully with some old friends who have random non-Jeep 4x4s), and hopefully checking out Shoe Creek and Second Mountain as well. I don't usually post on here when I'm going anywhere, but you'd be more than welcome to join in. Not that I'd be alot of help, since I'm about as new at this as Kawa is, but you'll always find great guys willing to help, especially at the planned events like Big Dogs, Chaos, VA4WDA, etc.
02-19-2014 10:32 AM
kawa001
Quote:
Originally Posted by keviper1 View Post
Awesome thread guys, and a lot of information that I totally don't understand!

If you guys ever would let a newbie on a day trip, I'd be happy to join on a Sunday or something. Just full disclosure, I have very little idea what I'm doing and you guys seem super experienced, but I'm more than willing to learn.

Now I just gotta wait for my Jeep to be built...

Thanks for all this great info, and videos!
Thanks much. I'm still learning myself. Believe it or not, by way of encouraging you, I've only been wheeling seriously for a year. I can remember my first group outing to Flagpole with some trepidation. Best thing to do is to join one or more of the many clubs. Nova Jeepers, OCC and VA Jeep Offroad come to mind. Nova and OCC both offer training. I was able to jump start my wheeling with the Rausch Creek 101 and 201 training shortly after buying my Jeep. I'm headed back up there next month for some advanced one on one training with one of the owners. It also helped that I went to every Big Dogs event last year plus some unadvertised events as well.

Regarding building up your Jeep. There are people more experienced than I who can write volumes on this subject. I started with lights, a CB, and discos. Then an AEV 2.5" lift kit. Then a winch and a bumper. Then armor. Then rockrail guards. Then more armor. Then fenders and rear bumper. Then more armor. I intentionally didn't go to 35s right away because I wanted to build wheeling skills by learning to pick good lines, etc rather than just driving over stuff. I still wheel on 32s for the GWNF. I don't think I'll ever be done putting stuff on the Jeep. Chaos Fab Shop sees to that. Next week the Metal Cloak 6Paks go on and we start prepping for an eventual 37" build.

Hope this helps. Happy to have you along.
02-19-2014 09:30 AM
keviper1 Awesome thread guys, and a lot of information that I totally don't understand!

If you guys ever would let a newbie on a day trip, I'd be happy to join on a Sunday or something. Just full disclosure, I have very little idea what I'm doing and you guys seem super experienced, but I'm more than willing to learn.

Now I just gotta wait for my Jeep to be built...

Thanks for all this great info, and videos!
02-19-2014 04:28 AM
kawa001 Just a quick update. My wife and I took a trip up to Spruce Knob, WV near Seneca Rocks this past Sunday. Spruce Knob is the highest point in WV. We were hoping to claim first deep snow summit of 2014 bragging rights but less than 4 miles from the top we hit a 200 yard long snow drift that forced us to turn back. It I had to pick between Flagpole and Spruce Knob as a place to snow wheel, I'd choose Spruce Knob.


I'll post a better trip report and video later in the week. Here are two pics from our little outing.


01-18-2014 05:56 PM
Turbostixxx I am available all the Sundays besides that one I stated I should say
01-18-2014 03:13 PM
Turbostixxx I am out of town the 14,15, and 16th of March, but available every other weekend of that month. Just let me know. I'm always happy to do a Sunday run, especially to plot out everything
01-18-2014 02:48 PM
pcwolf Turbo ... I'm planning a Club run for new members in mid to late March. You got any time then? Maybe meet up with you for a Sunday run.
01-17-2014 10:42 PM
Turbostixxx
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcwolf View Post
Kawa, I was asking regards running PAST Flagpole on the run up. FR227 (labelled Dunkle Hollow Road) runs up to a "T" - Map Quest shows Dunkle Hollow Tees with NF-85 ... right to FP left to Meadow and Union Springs. So if I turn right and continue past FP to WV/VA stateline - that is the section I have yet to run. But it sounds like none of this area is technical, I'll just have to get back soon.
PC. I would be willing to run up to flagpole one weekend. Problem is I work until 9pm Saturday nights. We could run up then? And do a quick camp set up. Or we can run up one Sunday Morning. We could map out all of flagpole in a day and explore everything.
01-17-2014 08:53 PM
pcwolf Kawa, I was asking regards running PAST Flagpole on the run up. FR227 (labelled Dunkle Hollow Road) runs up to a "T" - Map Quest shows Dunkle Hollow Tees with NF-85 ... right to FP left to Meadow and Union Springs. So if I turn right and continue past FP to WV/VA stateline - that is the section I have yet to run. But it sounds like none of this area is technical, I'll just have to get back soon.
01-17-2014 05:32 PM
Turbostixxx The Miracle Wash across from the 7-Eleven on 33? I used that car wash this past weekend. It does do some amazing wonders!!!

As far as FR227 and FR1197. I camped there this past weekend (Can get coordinates for 2 very nice but primitive camping locations there) We came in Switzler Lake Road off of 33, right before the WVa/VA Line and You are about 7 miles from the Top of Flag Pole. I know our camping location was 5.4 miles from the top of Flagpole down FR227.

Now the big thing about FR1197 and FR227. I think it splits about half way down, if so we played down it for a little while this weekend, but it Seemed to dead end, however it was dark and would maybe be a good place to explore a little more.

The Road for FR227 and FR1197 were both in good condition. A little better condition than Flagpole. Some downed trees this weekend, but I took care of the ones I ran into.

Good little trail, and fun. Excited to explore more.

Quote:
Kawa: Are you saying that you run FP in a downhill manner starting at Briery Branch Road? I've run it both ways but prefer the uphill trek starting at Union Springs. One advantage of the downhill route is that you can run through Harrisonburg and wash your vehicle at Miracle Wash on Hwy 33. Best darn coin operated wash I've ever used.

FR 227 is the Switzer Lake road. I've only done it once about a year ago. It was in good condition. FR 1197 (Skidmore Fork Rd) is off of FR 227 and is on my to do list. FR 227 would be a good alternate for the traditional FP ride.
01-17-2014 09:31 AM
Highlandman Thanks for the great report and all the useful information. I live near the GWNF and spend alot of time in the western portions of the forest. PM me if you would like another jeep on your trip. My son and I love to explore Western Virginia.
01-17-2014 05:22 AM
kawa001 Thanks for reaching out and the kind words.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcwolf View Post
Kawa ...

Thanks a LOT for your long and accurate trip report in the GWNF. Seems we have run a lot of the same dirt. I was a Coast Guard navigator at sea for 32 years and now I'm landlocked but can't seem to quit my map addiction.
Kawa: It's addicting. I have so many places I want to check out in the GWNF. I also hike and mountain bike in the GWNF. We're taking our bikes out this weekend to check out some of the gated forest roads near Wolf Gap.

Spending money local: Check. The gas station cafe at Rawley Springs makes the best $2 handmade sandwiches ... also 100% gasoline no ethanol. Don't let them scare you city slickers with all their bear talk!
Kawa: Are you talking about McDorman's Grocery on Hwy 33?

In my experience, the MVUM is *useless* for navigating ... the Nat'l Geo maps are best and DeLorme Gazetteer next best, drive to where you want to be on them, then pull out your MVUM to determine where and what kind of property surrounds you. My 0.02$
Kawa: I like your technique. Figuring out what is private property can be a challenge.

I have been to Flagpole a handful of times, and always led people out the back way down Union Springs Road back to Harrisonburg. I always wanted to continue the trail (FR 227) *past* Flagpole and on up to the WV/VA state line. Perhaps you could help me out:
Kawa: Are you saying that you run FP in a downhill manner starting at Briery Branch Road? I've run it both ways but prefer the uphill trek starting at Union Springs. One advantage of the downhill route is that you can run through Harrisonburg and wash your vehicle at Miracle Wash on Hwy 33. Best darn coin operated wash I've ever used.

FR 227 is the Switzer Lake road. I've only done it once about a year ago. It was in good condition. FR 1197 (Skidmore Fork Rd) is off of FR 227 and is on my to do list. FR 227 would be a good alternate for the traditional FP ride.

Question 1: How much further is it, and what kind of shape is the road in?
KAWA: I think I answered this above. If not let me know.

Question 2: Turning left at the top, I take it that trail leads back down to Red Knob? KAWA: Are you talking about Reddish Knob Road (FR 85B). If so, I love Reddish Knob. Ideally, all uphill FP trips should finish up on Reddish Knob overlook with a BBQ and air up. The roads back in there are worth exploring. There's a whole 'nother trail system back in there. Years ago, I raced the Shenandoah 100 back in there.

I have heard some rumblings that private property owners are agitated and about to close down Shoe Creek. I agree with you that Big Levels is a nicer trail and thinking about shifting my Club's "Newbie Run" from Shoe.
KAWA: Closing it down won't be easy because it's a state road- not Forest Service but I could see why locals would want it closed. Not that I think it should be.

At the risk of giving away my biggest secret: try staying at the USFS Campground at Sherando Lake. It is central to a whole lot of the trails you detail, costs $20 ($25 with electrical outlets) with hot showers and flush toilets. Ahhhh, bliss!
KAWA: Cool. Every time I've been in the area I was short on time and haven't been able to check it out. Thanks for sharing. Here's one for you. If you are wheeling in the FP area stay at the Sugar Grove Navy NIOC. They have cabins and trailers to rent and a decent club. Don't bring your guns though.

I will share with you any intel I gather up there myself, although it seems you have done an exhaustive study already. Thanks again!
KAWA: Please do share. Error Cooled is the real trail expert. An OCC guy and I are going to try and plan a mega 2 or 3 day wheeled orienteering event in May my work schedule permitting

-Phil
Middle Penninsula Jeep Assn. Trail Committee Chairman
VA4WDA Land Use Coordinator
Yorktown, VA
01-17-2014 04:38 AM
kawa001 [QUOTE=error cooled;7337657]Is that from White Rocks? QUOTE]


How did you know?
01-16-2014 09:55 PM
Turbostixxx Alright, FR227 is also known as Skidmore Fork Road. I just spent the weekend on there this past weekend.

There are 2 camping spots about 5 miles down that Trail. It is basically flagpole type trail, I was cruising at about 7mph down it. You can actually turn off of 33 on to FR227. You would turn onto Switzer Lake Road, which turns into Skidmore Fork Road then FR 227 and takes you right in between The Meadow (To the Left) and Flagpole (To the Right). It is about 6-7 miles long I can give Coordinates of Camping spots with fire rings.
01-16-2014 09:47 PM
Turbostixxx
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcwolf View Post
Kawa ... Thanks a LOT for your long and accurate trip report in the GWNF. Seems we have run a lot of the same dirt. I was a Coast Guard navigator at sea for 32 years and now I'm landlocked but can't seem to quit my map addiction. Spending money local: Check. The gas station cafe at Rawley Springs makes the best $2 handmade sandwiches ... also 100% gasoline no ethanol. Don't let them scare you city slickers with all their bear talk! In my experience, the MVUM is *useless* for navigating ... the Nat'l Geo maps are best and DeLorme Gazetteer next best, drive to where you want to be on them, then pull out your MVUM to determine where and what kind of property surrounds you. My 0.02$ I have been to Flagpole a handful of times, and always led people out the back way down Union Springs Road back to Harrisonburg. I always wanted to continue the trail (FR 227) *past* Flagpole and on up to the WV/VA state line. Perhaps you could help me out: Question 1: How much further is it, and what kind of shape is the road in? Question 2: Turning left at the top, I take it that trail leads back down to Red Knob? I have heard some rumblings that private property owners are agitated and about to close down Shoe Creek. I agree with you that Big Levels is a nicer trail and thinking about shifting my Club's "Newbie Run" from Shoe. At the risk of giving away my biggest secret: try staying at the USFS Campground at Sherando Lake. It is central to a whole lot of the trails you detail, costs $20 ($25 with electrical outlets) with hot showers and flush toilets. Ahhhh, bliss! I will share with you any intel I gather up there myself, although it seems you have done an exhaustive study already. Thanks again! -Phil Middle Penninsula Jeep Assn. Trail Committee Chairman VA4WDA Land Use Coordinator Yorktown, VA
phil are you talking about taking a left between flagpole and the meadow when coming up the briery branch side and going TOWARDS union springs? If so shoot me message, I just spent the weekend down that road, and a Friend of Brad B. Who is a bit part of VA4WDA
01-16-2014 09:16 PM
pcwolf Kawa ...

Thanks a LOT for your long and accurate trip report in the GWNF. Seems we have run a lot of the same dirt. I was a Coast Guard navigator at sea for 32 years and now I'm landlocked but can't seem to quit my map addiction.

Spending money local: Check. The gas station cafe at Rawley Springs makes the best $2 handmade sandwiches ... also 100% gasoline no ethanol. Don't let them scare you city slickers with all their bear talk!

In my experience, the MVUM is *useless* for navigating ... the Nat'l Geo maps are best and DeLorme Gazetteer next best, drive to where you want to be on them, then pull out your MVUM to determine where and what kind of property surrounds you. My 0.02$
I have been to Flagpole a handful of times, and always led people out the back way down Union Springs Road back to Harrisonburg. I always wanted to continue the trail (FR 227) *past* Flagpole and on up to the WV/VA state line. Perhaps you could help me out:

Question 1: How much further is it, and what kind of shape is the road in?
Question 2: Turning left at the top, I take it that trail leads back down to Red Knob?

I have heard some rumblings that private property owners are agitated and about to close down Shoe Creek. I agree with you that Big Levels is a nicer trail and thinking about shifting my Club's "Newbie Run" from Shoe.

At the risk of giving away my biggest secret: try staying at the USFS Campground at Sherando Lake. It is central to a whole lot of the trails you detail, costs $20 ($25 with electrical outlets) with hot showers and flush toilets. Ahhhh, bliss!

I will share with you any intel I gather up there myself, although it seems you have done an exhaustive study already. Thanks again!

-Phil
Middle Penninsula Jeep Assn. Trail Committee Chairman
VA4WDA Land Use Coordinator
Yorktown, VA
01-15-2014 11:40 PM
Turbostixxx hey V, didn't know if you go my last message. Bestjeeperalive@gmail.com is my email.
01-10-2014 02:37 PM
error cooled
Quote:
Originally Posted by kawa001 View Post

See if you know where this view is. My buddy and I hiked in last Saturday. Hint, it's an east view further north. You have to hike or bike in.
Is that from White Rocks?

V - Did you get my email? Would love to know how things went...
01-08-2014 09:17 PM
kawa001 You need a gpx reading program to make it useable. BTW, you are downloading waypoints and tracks. Not maps. Here are some options:
Garmin BaseCamp free but you have to buy the maps if you want mapping. Not necessary if you just want to import gpx files.
Delorme Topo North America ($$). You get a topo map with this
TopoFusion (inexpensive). Uses publically available maps.
Google Earth (free).
Those are for PCs. I use other programs for my tablet and smart phone.

Keep in mind that while you can transfer routes, waypoints and tracks to your GPS with these program you can't transfer maps unless you buy the maps. A maps are proprietary to the GPS maker. You can't put a Delorme map on a Garmin for example. Hope this helps.
01-08-2014 06:42 PM
vatsalagi WOW! a good review. I tried to download the maps via the wililoc site, my computer doesn't recognize the .gxp(?) extension. Now the site is telling me I don't know who I am, lol. will hand record this for future reference but does make one want to go exploring now.
01-08-2014 01:45 PM
kawa001 Indeed it is the place that must not be named. The last open trail on what must have been amazing jeep trail network thirty years ago. :-(

See if you know where this view is. My buddy and I hiked in last Saturday. Hint, it's an east view further north. You have to hike or bike in.
01-08-2014 01:11 PM
error cooled
Quote:
Originally Posted by kawa001 View Post
Wheeled for 4 days in the northern GWNF after Christmas. Here's the video. Be sure to watch in HD. Wheeling, camping and hiking in the northern George Washington National Forest - YouTube
The opening autopilot scene was taken on Rader Mountain seasonal forest road.
Simply awesome Kawa001! I thought the point where your wife was standing on the rocks looked familiar - and then the hemlock grove made me realize where you were

I will shoot you an email - would love to catch up!

Here are our shots from the same spot back in October.

View:



Hemlocks:

01-07-2014 09:14 PM
kawa001 Wheeled for 4 days in the northern GWNF after Christmas. Here's the video. Be sure to watch in HD. Wheeling, camping and hiking in the northern George Washington National Forest - YouTube
The opening autopilot scene was taken on Rader Mountain seasonal forest road.
01-01-2014 06:47 PM
kawa001
Quote:
Originally Posted by HRPinDC View Post
Looks like a nice trip. Were you running chains then?
For the mid-Dec trip in the snow that I videoed. Yes, chains on front. For last weekend, no.
01-01-2014 04:57 PM
HRPinDC Looks like a nice trip. Were you running chains then?
01-01-2014 04:56 PM
kawa001
Quote:
Originally Posted by rust-o View Post
great post! thanks.
I'm curious, How can i find out when seasonal roads are open?
I've been wanting to run 85-2 but is it closed in January?
You can reference the GWNF MVUM at www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5392127.pdf‎

Harris Spring (85-2) closes on 1/10 as do most the seasonals in that area. I recommend driving up on 85-2 off of Hwy 33, hitting Rader Mtn (FR597) in and out and then going down FR 152. Rader Mtn and FR152 are both seasonals and worth doing. Rader Mtn. is very muddy. Once you come down the mountain you'll be on CR31 (Camp Run Rd). If you turn right (east) you can refuel in Bergton and head back up the mountain on German River road (nice) or you can turn left (west) and hit CR3 (Sweedlin Valley) and either hit FR 87 up the mountain or continue on to FR 151 (State Forest Rd) and come out back on Hwy 33.
01-01-2014 04:37 PM
kawa001
Quote:
Originally Posted by HRPinDC View Post
That's great information Kawa, thanks much. I am hoping to plan a second trip down there soon. Another friend just bought a JK and is itching to get it dirty. The one thing I will likely need based on your recommendations are tire chains.
I'm sure you guys will have fun. The nice thing about the GWNF is that you can run stock and do nicely. I do recommend M/T tires though. A/T do fine up to the point when there's mud or snow/ice.

As for chains, if you are using the stock JK 32" wheels go with the Type S chains unless you use spacers. I use the HDDS07 Diamond Type "S" from tirechain.com. Last year I ran them on the back. This year I'm using them on the front but with spacers. Here's a vid from a few weeks ago.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6rPDrwCXOg

When I was up there last weekend there was no snow to speak of.
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