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Off pavement travel/dispersed camping in Pennsylvania. Or anywhere

devildodge

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Found a new interest from an old hobby.

On our trip to Fowler's Hollow (which isn't in Bald Eagle State Forest) I got interested in how you can backpack camp in State Forests.

Been to Bald Eagle State Forest numerous times. But just going to the different state parks.

Well, looking for places to get offroad in PA is hard, as most land is private or gamelands. All the private land seems to have been bought with free gates and posted signs and gamelands do not allow vehicles(except certain roads during hunting season).

So with this Google search

I have begun a new plan for my trucks.

Anxious to hear if any one hear has been through here.
 

devildodge

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Yeah, rausch creek and rock run are off road parks. This is just actual nature that I am looking for. We used to have 100s of acres in Muddy run, but when the stip mines 10 year wait was up, people and the game commission bought it all up.

Thanks for the reply, have you been to rausch creek?

 

DeDax

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i went once on an atv/camping weekend with the guys. Considered buying a 4 dr rubicon and got involved with the jeep scene for a minute, but the jeep ultimately didn't fit my families needs everyday. So the Ram it was. I'm in Delaware where there is nothing other than beaches to off road or overland so I've always looked at other area's in the mid atlantic for adventures.
 

devildodge

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Awesome. We do have a good bit of ATV and UTV trails, extensive snow mobile trails, but 4x4 jeeps and trucks don't have many places to be.

When I was young, the Army Reserve/National Guard used Muddy Run for training and you could go everywhere. Now it is all posted

For just some mild offroad/views the gamelands open many roads for Hunting season from September to January.

As it turns out, it seems this Purple Lizard map company has quite a few places in central PA mapped out.

I plan to get their maps, as my old top maps have seen better days and so much has changed.

They just released their newest maps in 2018, so they should be pretty up to date.

Learning about the difference between State Parks and State forest has changed my path for our excursions.

Looks like Bald Eagle State Forest will be my learning grounds. Seems like a pretty enjoyable place. I am not looking for something hard core, just some washouts to power through, some hills to climb, some mud to churn up and some primitive camping.

Hope to get some maps soon and plan a trip ASAP

We also do geocaching and want to get into some orienteering.
 

spinxt

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There are 3 world class off roads parks all in northeastern PA.
1) Rausch Creek
2) Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA)
3) Reading Off road park

I’ve been to Rausch and AOAA several times with my Jeep Grand Cherokee . It’s super narrow in a lot of places. They actually offer special guided rides for fullsize trucks. My buddy has been on regular trail rides with me in his Silverado. He’s done some damage to running boards (due to high centering) and scratches the crap out of his truck because the trails are so narrow. I actually saw a guy wedge a lifted Ram between three trees. It’s took us an hour to get him out and he still dented the hell out of his bed side. Frankly those, parks are made for Jeep’s, not trucks. I’m not saying it can’t be done, just be prepared for what you’re getting into.
 

NorthEdition19

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Hey devildodge not trying to highjack your thread but you mentioned there’s a good amount of area for atv/utvs, is there a map or a place online to look at? I’ve always wanted a UTV for the family but live in the southeast pa and not too many places around me.
 

devildodge

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The link above has some info about the parks. ( I need to add the AOAA and the reading one)

As far as ATV trails. Ramey Fire company and Madera Fire company host ATV poker runs that cover quite a few miles her in central Pennsylvania. There are trail rides pretty much every weekend here, but you got to get in with the various groups.

As far as a map goes, I am not sure these particular areas are mapped for it.

But Purple Lizard has maps of alot of Pennsylvania that allows offroad travel.

If I get more time I will be more specific, if you run into any trouble searching yourself with this info.
 

devildodge

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This particular trail I photographed above starts out from an old railroad bed...one of the few not turned into rails to trails. It then is ATV paths, But I still took the Big full size crew cab longbed on them...love seeing people's faces when the cruise up on us in there SXS...but then have you seen the size of some of those lately.
 

devildodge

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Got out into nature today. You can not camp here, but it is the style of roads that would be encountered in a state Forests were you can disperse camp. 20191025_164409.jpg 20191025_164029.jpg
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These were the only other travellers 20191025_164718.jpg
And this ended the expedition 20191025_170156.jpg
 

devildodge

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This would help with my travels.

 

devildodge

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So, to repurpose this thread, show that I am not talking about offroad parks, but rather just drives that are off road and places to disperse camp, we hit the dirt again today.

20191103_134004.jpg

The wind storms last week took the fall foliage with them
20191103_134324.jpg

Wanted to show my son the fire tower. It was gated so we hiked in.
20191103_130825.jpg

It also had a fence around it.
20191103_131410.jpg

And he wanted me to climb this hill. 20191103_134650.jpg 20191103_134811.jpg

I backed back down, but looking at the pic I may have been able to go up, was afraid to drag the rear bumper.

I definitely need to take the front valance off...it sure does get beat up.
 

devildodge

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Hopefully going to attend this orienteering class. This will help refresh my memory and allow my son to see what I have been telling him about in a more controlled setting.

Really hoping to get offroad some this weekend aswell.
 

devildodge

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So we got the orienteering class in and did some roaming. We got to watch the snow storm start on our way out.

20191214_154952.jpg 20191214_155215.jpg
These are from the same spot of the pics above. You can see visibility is very short.

Can not wait to go out with some inches to feet of snow to play.
 

JustMe

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Google & YouTube Searches are your friend . "Having said that," Chris Shontz has his JK overland adventures Vlogged on YouTube. VENTURE4WD. He is from Pennsylvania and has a few Vlogs from his home state . . . the most recent from THIS past week . . . but you can quickly browse thru and see a # of others to get not just ideas, but SEE those places via His video work . Of course there are a number of other overland videographers doing similar work showing just about all the States & Canada too.
 

devildodge

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So we went out again today. Total snowfall was only an inch...but ice underneath.

Explained some information to my son. He is only 6, but the more he hears and experiences it the more he will remember it.

Explained to him about how momentum trumps traction everytime. I showed how locking the brakes will make you slide out of control...also explaining how the ABS and Traction control work and the sound and feeling it gives.

Showed him how the anti spin works and how 2wd and traction control can keep you Showed him how stopping in the middle of an icy hill will make even 4wd useless.

I then showed him how the CAD front axle can run your day if your not prepared.

On the hill, the axle shafts were not quite lined up. And therefore would not let 4ed engage. Of course it was fixed by coasting back a few feet. But, I explained to him how had we been on flat in mud, we were screwed and to always select 4wd before the stuck happens.

We ended the trip when we came to the end of the trail, he made a snow angel and we drove back out. All the way him talking about what he learned.

Was a beautiful day Driving in the woods is always calming. Even saw a doe and her fawn.
 

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