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My son, wife and I want to do a dirt bike trip in July of '05. We want to get away from the few dirt bike parks in the Chicago area and get out and do some riding on dirt trails, jeep trails, and things of that nature.

Who we are: me, soon to be 36, years of road riding experience, new to dirt bikes. Her, 32, years of road riding experience, new to dirt bikes. Him, 9, one year of dirt biking.

We have a B3500 extended chassis Dodge that can haul us, the bikes, and camping gear with no problem. We are willing to drive almost anywhere within 1500 miles or so of Chicago which gives us a lot of options - too many for our inexperienced minds to handle.

We don't need technically demanding terrain or hugely exotic adventure. We just want to ride down some trails, see some nice scenery (we live in Illinois so this would mean "not flat") do some camping (preferable at a site without big street lights so we can see stars at night but with showers), some sort of non-riding entertainment in the area would be nice too - canoeing, swimming, whatever. The kid is a big go kart nut. As I said the trip will be in early July so someplace that isn't going to be over 85 or so would be nice. Feels funny saying that when the outside temperature is 5 degrees.

Mountains? Hills? Desert? BLM land? Jeep trails? Fire roads? North? South? East? West? Give me some options, links, photos, whatever you've got. My brain hurts. I'm gonna go play some Halo2 now.

Thanks in advance.

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Moab would be a great adventure, and definitely a change of scenery for you.

Its probably under your 1500 mile criteria.

You might also hit up a couple of the area forums on TT for more info & replies.

Good luck, I would think about linking up several ride areas on a trip like that.

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If you would be willing to make a drive down to West Virginia, I would highly suggest this place. Its great for dirt bikes and atv's.

http://www.pinnaclecreekatvcampground.com/index.htm

Thats just the place where you can stay. The trails there are open areas, no fee to ride. Ive been up there about 6 times now and everytime we go we find new trials. There are trails that are wide open and some that are tight. The terrain changes so often that it never gets old, theres mud, rocks, hill climbs, sand, hard packed dirt, soft packed dirt, paved road, gravel, anything you could think of. We usually go up there and put about 150 miles in a day.

Its a awesome place, some relly good scenery since its up in the mountains, and the locals there are some of the nicest people you will meet.

This place is about an hour and a half below the Hatfield McCoy trail systems and its much better. IMO

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Aonia Pass in Georgia is great too, and fairly close to Durhamtown Plantation, maybe you could hit both places.. they are less than 50 miles apart, both have Great trails & tracks. Hatfield & Mcoy is Nice, I've been there to, but I liked Georgia weather & dirt better. Sounds like your after a really "BIG" adventure, I've always wanted to see Mohab & some Dunes that would be my #1 choice, with #2 being durhamtown & aonia, #3 would be Hatfield & Mcoy, but wow, that's a long drive to #1.

If it helps any here is some real world driving times...

From London, KY we made it to Aonia Pass in Washington, Ga in about 5.5 to 6 hours... from London, Ky to Hatfield & Mcoy is about 3 hours. I guess Mohab would be 24 + hours away..

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COLORADO!!!! Taylor Park or Salida area or any of the thousands of miles of public land. Moab is too hot in July.

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If you can drive another 500 miles...consider doing a Baja Tour.

Bajaboundmoto.com does great tours thru unforgetable baja. More than just a ride, its a world calss moto adventure.

😢

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Hatfield and McCoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! www.trailsheaven.com

you won't regret it. MIKE

I agree with Mike. Watched a show about Hatfield and Mccoy last week on OLN. I've been daydreaming about it ever since.

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Hatfield and McCoy no disappointments its right in my back yard, and in July it is not too hot, but you had better make reservations.

They have easy trails, to some you cant make, all trails marked for difficulty and at the last count there are aver 400 miles of trails.

Good family fun, good camping or lodging whatever you choose.

Check it out on WVA Tourism and it can direct you better for reservations and informatioin.

Enjoy

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I would have to agree about the Hatfield McCoy Trail System and Its about an hour drive for me. I think there is some guys from thumpertalk planning a Hillbilly ride in July. Thats when we had it last year and it was a blast. We had about 20 people from Ohio,PA,WV,and NC last year. If you decide to come this way let me know and maybe a few of us could get together and go.

Later

Andy

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what about finger lakes state park outside of columbia mo. Mx track, miles of trails, good camp ground, could take a day trip to lake of the ozarks. look it up at mo state parks.

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You will find the Hatfield McCoy to be just what you're looking for. You'll find very bike friendly folks in that part of the woods. You'll find nice camp grounds with easy access to the trails. You'll find some very nice trails that are well marked. If you read the maps (and pay attention to the words most difficult/expert) you won't find yourself in over you heads. The trails are graded in a similar fashion to system used on ski slopes. I went last year for the first time. I plan on going twice this summer. That should tell ya something about my positive experience. I like the fact that you only have too unload and load once! Next summer I plan on camping at the place in Gilbert WV. If you want company watch the board for the Hill Billy ride part II and join them. That is who I rode with last summer.

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end of july. . .forget western WA. it's dusty and mostly closed for fire season. if i lived in chicago and wanted to get out in the sticks to ride, i'd look real hard at canada. the place is desolate and i think they're riding places are less regulated. just an idea.

jeremiah

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If you want a place that is not too far try St. Joe state park in Missouri. I think it is North of St. Louis so it is definately not 1500 mi. I have never been there personally, but have heard lots of good things about it. Try a search for it on the net I bet you will find alot I remember there was a site for it but i dunno what it is. It is a pretty nice family oriented camping OHV park. They have around 20,000 acres and trails for jeeps, bikes, and quads. I would like to make a trip down there sometime this summer, It would only be about a 2 hr. drive for me. But I dunno if it will materialize.

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I used to live in N Illinois (Crystal Lake to be exact) and I loved riding near Black River Falls, WI. They had a great trail system and it is definatly kid friendly, nothing too tough and its not too far. I also had a good time going to Ottawa, IL. There's a ride area down there thats pretty good.

if you want to come to Cali I can show you some decent stuff 😢

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St. Joe State Park (MO) is actually south of St. Louis. It takes me about an hour to get there and I live in between St. Louis and St. Joe's. I can't vouch for the camping facilities as I usually just go down there for the day, but there is some nice riding. You can ride up to 2 or 3 lakes they have in the OHV riding area and do some fishing if you want. Here is a link for it, http://www.mostateparks.com/stjoe.htm .

My advice would be to take a weekend trip down here to St. Joe's some other time and go to one of the other places previously mentioned in this post.

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Moab would be too hot in July. Utah also has the Paiute ATV trail system which is very rider friendly & you will be anywhere from 6000' - 11,000' in elevation. There are several towns located near or you could stay at the Fishlake Lodge, several trails nearby. These areas are scenic & cool in the summer but your riding skills won't be tested much, either dirt roads or quad trails.

http://www.atvillustrated.com/feature_articles/utah/ride_areas.html

http://www.fishlake.com/

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