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  • Potomac Forest Trail Ride: August 08, 2008 - August 11, 2008


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DIRECTIONS: From Baltimore-Take I-695 to I-70 West (Frederick) to I-68 West (Cumberland) just past Hancock. You will exit from the left lane. Use caution, sharp turn. Continue I-68 to Exit 14 US 219 SOUTH. Stay with US 219 SOUTH on into Oakland. On the back side of Oakland, you will have to make a left at a light on a hill to stay with US 219 SOUTH. At the next large intersection you will continue straight onto MD 135 East. (from this point on, you will only pass 2 gas stations known to be open. A Liberty station at the next light on your left, or the BP station a short distance past the next turn on your right on 135. Please gas up before getting to the campsite.)

Next you will get to MD 560 SOUTH by taking a right at the light in Mountain Lake Park. You will cross over some railroad tracks and head up a steep hill. Follow 560 around by making a left on the crest of that hill, which will take you through Loch Lynn Heights.

Stay on 560 South for a while. You will go down a large steep hill. At the bottom, the road will start to veer to the right. Next your make a left turn onto White Church Road. You will go up this hill and come to a fork in the road. Go to your left. The road will drop down in service level and will feature some very sharp turns and often itís share of pot holes. You will go through a farm and then start down a grade. The road will soon become gravel/dirt. You will eventually come to another fork in the road. There will be a DNR sign in the middle of the fork. Take the right fork which will head you up hill. The road will swing right at the top and straighten out.

Look for a yellow gate on your right close to the road. The road will hit the road you are on at 90 degrees. Turn right there. You have arrived.

If you come up to a concrete outhouse on your left, you missed the turn.

If the gate is closed, just open it and let yourself in. You will see where to camp to your left. If you have a large trailer or motorhome, you may need to camp in the open area. Again, you will see what I mean. Please consider other folks, as if you have a tent or small pop-up, save the larger flat level areas for the larger rigs. This is a large area to camp with lots of options for what ever you use.

DESCRIPTION OF TRIP: This is a family oriented trip, which features outstanding primitive(dry) camping, in the woods, excellent scenery, very enjoyable four wheeling on old wooded CCC roads, possible swimming, fishing, unique shopping opportunities and a great chance to do some team conservation work.

We may do some wheeling on Friday. Probably work on a DNR directed project on Saturday in the AM (only). Lunch at the campsite. Do some more wheeling. Dinner. Do some more wheeling and then some nice campfire. Sunday, will feature some more wheeling, possible swimming, etc. Monday, chill out day. Shopping, fishing and packing.

DESCRIPTION OF FOUR WHEELING: The roads we plan on using are typically very tight, little used old Jeep trails, often there from either the CCCís work, old timber operation or another multiple use trail, such as a snowmobile route. In most cases, a stock Jeep can handle these roads. There are a few difficult sections that may be an issue. Most of these trails are not suitable for a full size rig and if the conditions are not dry, some routes would not be open to full size rigs. If conditions are very wet, some routes may have to be avoided. The area dries quickly, so if we can not do a road one day, we may be able to do it the next.

RULES: Tread Lightly! Or not at all! Everyone will air down, no exception. If you get hung, up, do not rip up the trail. These routes are typically not open. If we mess them up, they will be closed to us, too. No Alcohol on the trail rides. No exceptions! Pets are permitted. Owners must keep control of their pets and clean up after them. No independent wheeling. We go as a group, only.

FISHING: There is fishing in Laurel Run, the Potomac River or several other areas outside of the Laurel Run/Wallman area. The Jennings Randolph Lake is an excellent place to take any kind of small to medium sized power or non-power boat. Excellent fishing there. You must have a Maryland Fishing Fresh Water License and trout stamp to fish the River and Laurel Run, if over the age of 16.

SWIMMING: That last few years have been too cool to swim. Never the less, there is a nice swimming hole in the Potomac River that is a local favorite.

CAMPING: There are NO hook ups. No set camping pads on our site. There is a concrete outhouse in easy walking distance from the site, but not too close. The ground is rocky. Plastic or cheap metal stakes are generally worthless there. The camping fee is for the entire site. Thus the cost will be divided up amongst the attendees, based on camping families/units.

WEATHER: Garrett County is the wettest region in Maryland. So, rain is not out of the question. The temperatures may range as high as the upper 80ís (rare) to as low as the low 40ís at night. If it is very humid, (possible, but not typical,) Avonís Skin So Soft or a good bug repellent and save your trip.

Items required to bring:

    * Your own water, camping gear or Motel reservations, food and cash to go toward the group camping site.
    * Tow hooks on your rig
    * Tire Air gauge
    * Spare Tire and Jack(or arrangements with a friend to use his tire)
    * Start out with a full tank of gas.

Recommended gear:

    * 31Ē tires are larger
    * Skid plates
    * Flash light(s)
    * Matches
    * Small travel cooler for trail ride snacks and cold drinks (no alcohol on trail)
    * Sun glasses
    * Hat
    * Sun screen
    * Bug repellent
    * Extra water
    * Extra toilet paper
    * Air Compressor
    * Rain gear
    * Tarp to cover your tent
    * Bow and/or chain saw
    * Work gloves
    * Tools, especially to disconnect sway bar and a hammer for tent stakes.
    * Chairs for sitting around Camp Fire
    * CB radio (channel 34)
    * Cell Phone (service is limited)
    * Lantern
    * First Aid Kit

NEW RULE: The DNR has informed me that we cannot bring up our own fire wood. Fire wood has to be from within 60 miles of the camp site. There is always plenty to be found out on the trail and around there.

WHO CAN ATTEND: Any Middle Atlantic Member in good standing, potential member and invited guests. All attendees are expected to assist with what ever conservation project we work on, if physically possible.

Attendees shall mail in their non-refundable camping deposit of $5.00.

Mail your deposit to:
Preston Stevens
4928 Old Hanover Road
Westminster, MD. 21158
Include your e-mail address and I will forward you an e-mail receipt.

This is one of the nicest areas that you will ever get to wheel and camp at with your entire family. I look forward to hearing from you. We now have enough commitment to have the trip go on as planned. Please forward me your deposit, as soon as you can, so I can let the Forest Manager know as to how many volunteers we will have for Saturday Morning. Keep watching the web site in case updates become necessary.

As you near the camp site and want to make contact. If by CB radio, turn your squelch all the way off, so you can hear weak signal. Use Channel 34 and keep trying. My Cell Phone Number is (Verizon) 443-605-3573. Remember the signal is only but so good up there. Keep trying.

I need your deposit by July 15th. I need to know who all are attending.

See you there!

Preston Stevens
Potmac State Forest - Western Maryland
Forum Admin: United Four Wheel Drive Associations