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Important Potts Mountain info, please read before heading up there!

Mid Atlantic West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina

Important Potts Mountain info, please read before heading up there!

Old 05-31-2013, 09:42 PM
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Default Important Potts Mountain info, please read before heading up there!

Today, Brandon(bajonesy77) Martin Morrison(President of SWVa4WD), Cindy Shiffer (NF Ranger who oversees Potts Mountain) and myself ran the trail from the top to the bottom.

Cindy is our best friend for keeping this great trail open. She often goes to bat for the off-road community so we can keep it. Lets help her out by doing our part.

The trail is well marked with "red" diamonds with arrows, we fixed all of the signs today. You have to stay between the arrows and on the trail! All "obstacles" which are play areas are well marked. Anything other than the marked trail is considered "wilderness" and if caught there either in person or in photo you will be charged(Officer Price is a Jeeper and frequents all of the Jeep XJ/Wrangler forums). License tags are easy to look up by law enforcement. Please remember that all public road rules apply on the trail. DUI, open container laws apply and have stiff fines and charges attached to them. Make sure your rig is in top condition, tagged/insured/inspected.

Minimum requirements;
At least 31"tires
Recovery points front and rear
Fire extinguisher
Full size spare tire
Food/Water

Recommended equipment;
33" tires/4" lift
Skid/rocker protection
F/R lockers
Winch
Tools/spare parts that normally break on your rig or that can leave you stranded.


Some major concerns, please read;

The bypass that people are using to go around "The Stacks" is illegal! Don't get caught in there, if your picture gets posted on any of the boards you will probably get a ticket from Officer Price mailed to you! The bypass will be blocked off as soon as the Rangers can get back in there with a saw crew. We will be doing some work on The Stacks to make it a little easier to get up and down them.

The second mud hole from the bottom is legal BUT people are going around the tree to the right(from the bottom) That area is "wilderness" stay out of it! The mud hole is fine to run just don't go on the right hand side of the tree. This will also be blocked off by the Rangers


Some minor concerns;
The bypass at The Ledge is getting rough. The NFS will be in there soon to do some much needed maintenance there.

The sign at the top trail head was stolen! This sign is valued at more than $500 and carries a felony charge with it. Its been rumored this sign is hanging on someone's garage wall! Anyway, if you know any info about the whereabouts of the sign please PM me here.

Please pass this on or link this thread on any boards that you see a Potts Mountain ride posted on. Its up to us to police the trail in order to keep it open! If you see someone "off-trail" or doing any illegal wheeling up there please pass the info on to me, I will be glad to pass it on to Officer Price and/or anyone else that has authority to take care of the situation.

The great news is that Cindy was pleased at how the trail has been cared for other than the two concerns. It was clean and unmolested! Keep up the great work guys and gals!

Thanks!

Jon

Last edited by xjtrailrider; 05-31-2013 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:37 PM
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I really need to get up there one day.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by lowrange2 View Post
I really need to get up there one day.
You would enjoy it Andy! Come on up! 5 hours from your house
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:22 AM
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I need to get there too this is the second time I heard about how awesomeit can be.
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:45 AM
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Directions to Potts Mountain and other local info;

Directions to Potts Mountain Jeep Trail;

From Salem take SR311 north to New Castle. Go right on SR615. At "The Pines" restaurant go left on SR609. Turn left on SR611. Turn right on SR617. You will see a sign that says "Potts Mountain Trail" on your left. This will take you to the top entrance, just follow the signs.

For the bottom entrance continue straight on SR617 until you pass "The Pines" campground, the lower entrance will be on your left a mile or so past the campground. Its not marked very well so slow down and look for it.

Once at the top there are two ways to get back to New Castle;

1) turn right out of the parking area then make an immediate left on Potts East Road. Drive straight until reach SR311. Go left to get back to town.

2) turn left out of the parking area and stay on the fire road until you reach a "T" in the road, go left. This will take you back to SR617 where the "Potts Mountain Trail" sign was at. If you go left you will go back to the campground and lower trail entrance. If you go right you will turn left on SR611 then right on SR609. This will take you back to "The Pines" restaurant and some great food!

Gas; New Castle has gasoline/diesel

Food/supplies; The IGA in New Castle will have whatever you need

Restaurants; The Pines is on SR615 just past the NF Ranger station. Swinging Bridge is further up SR311 from New Castle in Paint Bank Va, good food and a favorite stop for motorcyclists in the area. The Homeplace is in Catawba also on SR311, towards Salem Va.

BEHAVE yourself up there! Have fun and be safe!
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:22 AM
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I still need to put antique tags on my rig before I can go up there. I also need to plan something else to do while there.. cause it is such a long ride for me.
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by PingPong View Post
I still need to put antique tags on my rig before I can go up there. I also need to plan something else to do while there.. cause it is such a long ride for me.
The trail will take you all day if you enjoy all of the play areas. Roanoke is a great "mountain city" that has a lot to offer in the evening. Great restaurants and night clubs. We also have Virginia's Transportation Museum and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Smith Mountain Lake is just 30min south of Roanoke. You could easily make a weekend out of it.

Just call me XJ "Roanoke Department of Tourism" trailrider LOL!
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:59 PM
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More trail info;

Trailer parking. For those who have trailer queens there is some parking for your rigs. The upper parking lot has enough room for a dozen trucks/trailers. The lower lot is small and difficult to turn into or out of with a trailer. The Pines campground, about a mile from the lower entrance, has enough room for a few trucks/trailers. There is an equestrian park next to the campground. It is not recommended to park there but if the lot does not have any horse haulers in it then you can squeeze a trailer to the side out of the way and no one will complain.

Just remember, your rig needs to still be street legal in the state it is garaged in to run the trail.

The trail has several play areas and most have names;

1)From the bottom you will reach the first obstacle, "Axle Alley"

2)The next two obstacles are mud holes we call "1" and "2"

3)The next obstacle is unnamed. It is a short rock garden.

4)The next obstacle is known as "The Ledge" for obvious reasons, there is a bypass around this one. The locals call this "Burnt Bridge"

5)The bypass has a very pronounced rock in it at the west end. We call this one "Rocker Knocker".

6)From The Ledge you will move to The Field. This is a great camping spot. Be careful with campfires up there!

7)From the field the next obstacle is what I call "Bumper Banger", another rock garden that is difficult to get over in the longer wheel based rigs.

8)The next key point in the trail is "The Stacks", its a short section that will challenge your nerve and traction!

9)Just above The Stacks is the top of the mountain, we call this "The Overlook". The view from the rocks is absolutely awesome! The city you see to the right is Covington VA and the smoke stacks are that of Mead-WestVaco, a paper mill.

10)The next obstacle just down from The Overlook is unnamed but I call it The Stair Steps.

11)The next and last obstacle before reaching the top is "Poser Rock" formally known as "Kidney Rock". There is a rock garden on the right that is fun to run and you can climb Poser Rock if you want from either direction.

12)The last significant landmark you will see on your way out is the log bridge then to your left you will see "The Pond". The Pond almost got the trail closed as there is a protected species of tadpole/frog that resides there. We had to re-route the trail there several years ago. This is a natural pond. Please leave the pond alone while up there!

The trail is 8+/- miles long. Allow yourself a full day to have fun. I have run the entire trail in a little over an hour when in a hurry to get to a recovery or medical emergency. I have spent 14-16 hours up there during "wrench fests" or "winch fests". Make sure you have tools and spares with you. I carry nearly 500# of tools and spare parts with me, I'm not kidding!

There is sketchy cell service up there, I recommend a 2-meter radio for reliable emergency communication.

Pack in water/food. If you are camping, remember this is black bear country so hang all of your food high in the trees and not in your tent/rig LOL!
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:05 PM
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SOunds Like a blast... Swerious question... You seen pics of my rig do you think I would have fun wheeling there?

Also thank you for the parking advice. What other wheeling areas are close by.. public or private? I dont mind to pay to wheel.. actually I prefer it... Keeps a lot of the rif raf and drunk hill billes Away.


As for Going prepared.. I dont believe in carrying a crap load of tools.. Just what I need to effect a repair.. And for the most part unless it is an engine related failure.. I drive out on the break. But that is the way my rig is set up. Mechanical failure I carry hoses fuel pump and serp belt and fluids.. anything else is too much work to fix on the trail.. but my rig is a trail rig
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by PingPong View Post
SOunds Like a blast... Swerious question... You seen pics of my rig do you think I would have fun wheeling there?

Also thank you for the parking advice. What other wheeling areas are close by.. public or private? I dont mind to pay to wheel.. actually I prefer it... Keeps a lot of the rif raf and drunk hill billes Away.


As for Going prepared.. I dont believe in carrying a crap load of tools.. Just what I need to effect a repair.. And for the most part unless it is an engine related failure.. I drive out on the break. But that is the way my rig is set up. Mechanical failure I carry hoses fuel pump and serp belt and fluids.. anything else is too much work to fix on the trail.. but my rig is a trail rig
You will be fine This is all the wheelin we have left here. That is why I'm so adamant about keeping it open. There are private clubs but they are mostly mudders.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:27 AM
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the question is.. is it worth my time and fuel to check it out... in other words will I have a good time?
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by PingPong View Post
the question is.. is it worth my time and fuel to check it out... in other words will I have a good time?
Yes! I took some of the other MPJAI folks through last year and they had a great time.
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