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Red - Damage is inevitable. Rig must be heavily 'quipped. Very difficult terrain.
Black - Vehicle damage likely. 31"+ meats optimal on moderately 'quipped rig. At least one locker recommended per rig, and at least one rig in party w/ 8k+ winch.
Blue - Vehicle damage possible. Stock rig w/ experienced driver rec'd. Beware, moderately difficult terrain.
Green - Rig damage unlikely. Some challenges to offer the newbie. Scenic.
Yellow - Dirt road. If you damage your vehicle here, maybe you should just go home.
Haul Road Rating Yellow
Main gravel road that cuts across the heart of the property. 4wd not even required.
Impossible Hill Trail Rating
This trail has everything! Rocks to crawl, soupy mud to drive through, off-camber angles to deal with, a log or two to cross. The side trail is the hill climb! It's rated Black!
Rattler or Hardcore Trail Rating
More people have hiked this trail than driven on it, it's that hard. This trail has boulders the size of furniture to climb up and down, slickrock, trees to squeeze through, and off-camber tight turns. This trail will eventually stretch across the top of the mountain following the most severe line we can come up with. Rocker skids highly recommended.
Bypass Trail Rating Green
Half of this trail is very easy, the other half not as easy because of the loose rocks and ruts on the hilly part of the trail. This trail can either be bone dry, or soupy mud, depending on the season.
Bumper Trail Rating Black
This is a very short connecting trail between the Bypass Trail and the Impossible Hill Trail. Lots of deep mud and a steep dropoff into a creek. Very extreme if you try to come up by way of Impossible Hill Trail. Not as extreme if you come in through the Bypass Trail. Expect to slam your bumper into the bottom of the small hill. It is vertical.
Cabin Spring Trail Rating Green
Very scenic trail through the lower valley with pine trees and a creek alongside. A little bid of mud to make it interesting.
2wd Trail Rating Blue
Trail so-named because Cheez-It ran around for months w/o 4wd and we discovered this trail during that time. 4wd is a definite requirement. This trail has rocks to crawl, a creek to cross, off-camber pitches, and your choice of obstacles at the creek (a large rock to deal with in an off-camber situation, or a very rutted mud section) (see markers 71, 70, 67).
Cabin Trail Rating Green
Short trail that leads past a cabin built by the locals. Very steep short hill. Lots of swampy mud. From here you can get to the 2wd or Cabin Spring Trail.
Campground Trail Rating Blue
This a flat trail with lots of rock crawling that cuts right through the heart of the SDR Campground.
Squirrel Trail Rating Green
Logging Road that connects the Turtle Trail and 2wd trail. Has a very interesting off-camber turn (73) and some medium-sized rocks to deal with.
Turtle Trail Rating Green
This is a switchback hill which leads from the lower valley over to the Rubicon Lake area. Despite being rated green, this trail will challenge you. One area is quite narrow, there are numerous small rocks to deal with. At the top theres the Rock Garden. The Rock Garden is technically a BLUE obstacle, but since the trail is, for the time being, the only way across the mountain, we have had to take numerous stock vehicles through the Rock Garden. With careful spotting it can be done with a stocker.
Pipeline Crossing Rating Green
This obstacle looks intimidating, but we have had numerous stockers get through, even long-bed Comanches. When the water is high or the rocks snow-covered, raise the difficulty up a notch.
Halfway Hill Rating Red
A short steep hill opposite the Pipeline Crossing. About half-way up it turns a bit and the left side is unforgiving. There is talk that this trail may be designated a "DOWN" only trail as there have been too many close calls going up it.
Spare Tire Creek Trail Rating Blue
This is a swampy trail that cuts through the forest and has an interesting creek crossing. An option at the creek is to try and get around the huge boulder that sits in the creek (you will need winched if you fail). The regular straight way across the creek is challenging, extreme even depending on which way you attack it. The trail continues on (22,21,18) as a GREEN trail with yet another creek crossing with a deep hole to straddle immediately after the creek crossing. For whatever reason, this trail is the target of some wimpy efforts at blocking the creek (misc. tree debris thrown onto the trail). If you find the trail in such a condition, please let us know. This trail does travel along the border of Paragons property, so you will see signs on the other side for Blue Knob, but our trail is rightfully on P.A.P. land.
Rocky Meadow Trail Rating Black
This trail connects the GREEN trail that runs between the Pipeline Crossing and Spare Tire Creek Trail (20). The trail starts off as a simple jeep trail. Halfway across the meadow, it turns into a rocky trail, then dumps you off at the base of the Eliminator. This trail is new and the rating may change as it gets worn in. For now, it is advised that you have at least a lift to clear the rocks.
Eliminator or Cheez-Grator Rating Red
An extreme hardcore hill. Going down the hill is probably rated BLACK, but uphill is definitely RED. The pipeline trail leading up to the base of Eliminator is GREEN, has lots of small rocks to crawl over and water is usually draining down the entire pipeline. In the future there will be two new trails cut that will connect this section of the pipeline over to the GREEN trail that starts where the Wrecked Car is and where theres a big open field used for lunches and camping.
Muddy Pipeline Rating Blue
The remainder of the gas line consists of a GREEN stretch, then it turns into a swampy, muddy area all the way to the top of Rollover. This is BLUE. The one side of the pipeline is easier than the other side. You will most likely get stuck on the other side. There is a large water hole near the top of Rollover. There is a bypass around that.
Logging Road Rating Green
There are a series of roads that criss-cross the top of the mountain. The main trail is the "Logging Road" and that connects to the "Logging Trail" which connects the two pipelines. Also on top of the mountain are the Crossover Trail, Lucky Trail (so named because Lynn found a lucky horseshoe on the trail and that cured her Jeep woes), and Circle Trail. All very easy trails, except for the very first section that leads from Haul Road, which is rated BLUE. This is deeply rutted and steep. A couple hundred feet down Haul Road is a smoother, less steep way up.
Rock Swamp Rating Blue
This is a very fun, rocky, swampy section right smack dab in the middle of the Logging Road. There is a GREEN bypass. The challenge to this trail is getting through it without smacking your undercarriage. Just when you think youve aced it, SMACK!
First Pipeline Rating Green
So named because it is the first pipeline you come upon when you enter the park (original huh?). This pipeline is rated GREEN the entire length until you get to Pucker Hill. There is one major obstacle which appears early on the trail called the "Rock Face" which is rated BLACK. This originally was rated BLUE, but as more and more people try it, it seems to get worse. This is a very chewed up section of the pipeline. There are several lines to take, none of which are easy. I have seen people get hung up coming DOWN the rock, so be warned. There is a bypass around the obstacle.
Water Hole Rating at your own risk
On the opposite side of the First Pipeline, there is a huge water hole, with a dry bypass on the left and a very wet muddy bypass on the right. This obstacle is deceiving. I have seen well-built rigs get stuck for no apparent reason, as well as stockers. Then again Ive seen numerous stockers make it across no problem. The hole is very wide and there are probably 10 different lines to take and 10 different ruts to mess you up. Do not go across this unless you have some very, very good friends with you willing to sacrifice themselves to get you out.
Rocky Ravine Rating Green
This is a strip mine area where the "101 Beginner" course is laid out. Theres numerous short steep hills to play on and a big muddy section.
Rubicon Lake Rating Black
Originally known as "Mini-Rubicon", this trail has been enlarged and the entire area around the lake is now known as "Rubicon Lake". The conditions in this trail change, depending on the lake water level and how much traffic the hills see. It has gotten well worn in and could probably be rated BLUE. STAY OUT OF THE LAKE! The edge can be fun to play in, but if the water level is low, there is an extreme unseen drop off. Dont mess with it please. The trails themselves consist mainly of rock-filled gullys.
Waterfall Trail Rating Green
An offshoot of the main trail that connects the Rocky Ravine area with the Turtle Trail, this trail is very scenic and at the bottom there is a large area for maybe 10 or more vehicles to park and have lunch. There is an abandoned mineshaft nearby. The bottom of the trail is hilly but not too bad.
Train Tunnel Trail Rating Green
The area on the southern part of the property was at one time a heavily used way to get in and out of the park. The area includes Pucker Hill and Rollover Hill. There is a logging road at the bottom (Reservoir Trail). It is still questionable whether it is safe to exit/enter through the tunnel and the surrounding S.G.L., but the hills themselves are fair game for those willing to take them on. Pucker Hill is rated BLUE and Rollover is still the king of hills, being rated RED.
Rollover Hill RATING Red
This trail was found and named by BMJA on our first "tour" of the Paragon facility in Hazleton. I say "tour" because it wasn't really a great tour since we spent the whole day on Rollover Hill. The hill is a pipeline (power-line) style trail that is quite a straight up ascent. Cheez-It was the first one to try it, and he made it about 3/4 of the way up, which is as far as his red-hot brand new 4.0 w/ open diffs could take him. John Sonday followed up, and passed Cheez-It easily w/ his locker, and some winch-play got him to the top. We had around 6 vehicles, and it took hours of winch-play to get everyone else up. Then came Joe in his seasoned CJ aptly named "Patches". Joe bounced on a rock... got his rig sideways, and plopped on his side. Seconds later his head pops out of the passenger side window and he says, "I'm okay, I'm okay!" as we all scamble down the hill to his rescue. 15 minutes later, we uprighted his rig, and winched him up the rest of the way. The CJ started up right away, despite the fluids that had spewed all over. His hard-top was smashed, and damaged the side of his tub, but continued the trail-ride as if nothing had happened. That was the last we saw of "Patches". Joe retired that Jeep. And hence the name of the trail, "Rollover Hill"!
Impossible Hill RATING Black
Impossible Hill is a more recent addition to the trail system that is being developed. I was not present at it's christening (sp?) to describe it first hand, but during a big event sometime in late February, or early March, (i forget) BMJA led a handful of Jeeps down through a stony valley trail. There was some chainsaw action, and some lopping, but a flavorful trail had been born. Impossible Hill is just a short segment perpendicular to this unnamed trail that runs through the valley. It runs up the hillside, perhaps 45 yards, and then loops back down and around via a small logging trail. This inclide is very challenging because it is steep, and consists mostly of large, loose, rocks. Traction is scarce. Initially, Kyle was the only one who succeeded under his own power in his 3+" Tera-lifted TJ packin' 35" meats and a front locker. Later, Kutch succeeded in his 4" ProComp lifted YJ w/ Lock-Right both ends... needless to say, its not impossible per se, however it is very difficult and the mal-equipped will fail. "Impossible" just sounds intimidating and the slope almost lives up to its name. You'll want to hit this trail on a dry day.
Turtle Trail RATING Blue
This was one of our first big trail discoveries at Paragon. Now when we first started exploring Paragon, there were abundant trails all over the place, but Jeep trails were scarce! We followed this narrow trail cautiously up the mountainside one day, and came to a nice boulder-field at the trail's peak. After navigating through the boulder field, the trail became quad-width, but we broke out our cutting utensils and prevailed. As of right now, this trail is one of two ways to reach the strip-mine area of the park, so therefore it sees alot of traffic and is thoroughly beaten in. It took a while for us to find a name for this trail that caught on. One day, we had a guest vehicle riding in our group which happened to be the Turtle III full size Ford P/U from the renowned Turtle Expeditionn in Russia. Needless to say, the Turtle III was too damn big for this trail, so it took hours to get it through. From that point on, it became "the trail that the Turtle got stuck on", and ultimately, "The Turtle Trail". This trail will be fun for the newbie. It is something the stockers can do, but it provides a reasonable challenge for everyone!
Halfway Hill is located directly off of the main trail through the "main chunk" of the park. It is a medium-long steep incline, once again, on a pipe-line utility trail. My first impression when I saw it was, "We can do that!". I was wrong. The trail on the hill is composed of many small to medium-sized rocks. All of the medium-sized rocks are very loose, and mostly located halfway up the hill. Everyone I know who has tried this ascent has gotten halfway, and dramatically lost traction. This hill is Tom Heller's arch nemesis at Paragon Adventure Park. To make matters worse, when you lose traction you can only back down, and as you attempt this, you get sucked off the trail sideways because the left edge of the trail drops off. If you fudge up this one up, you're gonna roll. I've personally had two scary experiences on this slope, and have personally witnessed one more. A bonus is that Halfway Hill is only medium, medium-high difficulty to drive down from the top. You still lose traction in the middle, but you're driving down anyway, and most people are better drivers when they are driving forward. Don't try to go up this one unless you're pretty damn sure you can make it.
On one snowy weekend afternoon we were wrapping up a fine day of four-wheelin', and driving around aimlessly in some strip-mine pits. It is from within these strip-mine pits that the Mini-Rubicon trail rose out of in a stately manner, tauntingly beconning the well-equipped passerby to try to come forth and tame the challenges of this mighty washout! Eric Koote found it one day by circumnavigating the edge of a frozen lake. A rocky washout obscured by small pines ran from the base of the lake into the forest above. Two massive rocks loomed ahead, preventing easy access to the trail, but Jeepers find a way! Around the massive rocks they drove! <shrug> So you can go around the two front boulders... the rest of the trail is still cool and somewhat challenging. Spring has sprung, and we have found that the rising water-level has made it increasingly difficult to access the foot of the trail. Sometime in the not-too-distant future we will cut access to the trail higher above the water's edge. Two weekends ago, we explored and cut access to two more washouts that could be found relatively close to the original Mini-Rubicon trail. We joined these two new washouts to the Mini-Rubicon and therefore added length and difficulty to that particular trail-system. Otter snapped a D30 on the new segment! Look for further development of this area, soon. This trail is more intimidating as it is difficult. I believe a stocker can do it with a disconnected swaybar, and some patience.
Aptly named, or is it? Now who the heck named it Icky Hill?!?!? It beats me, but for some reason, when someone says "Icky Hill", we all know where they are talking about. Icky Hill... sheesh! This trail is the 2nd of two existing ways to get to the strip mine section of the park. It is another long pipe-line utility trail hill-climb, plateau, hill-climb plateau. A stock rig is, or was, capable of conquering this climb, no problem, but due to its more obvious location, it gets more traffic than the Turtle Trail, causing the terrain to deteriorate rapidly. The most recent ascents, I recall losing traction at points, which had never happened before. On the more difficult sections, the earth is starting to erode away, exposing the rocks underneath. This trail is not on the park's property, but we had supposedly been granted passage despite the recent addition of a weak-ass barricade that hasn't really stopped anyone. It is very important that you stick to the trail at all times, and not drive onto the field that the trail briefly cuts through. I foresee us cutting around Icky Hill, and eventually deserting that trail when we are required to do so.
Now this is an obstacle that everyone seems to dig. I don't blame 'em, either 'cause its cool. This is a water crossing that is accessible from the main road, from either side of the stream. It is once again, on the pipeline just adjacent to Halfway hill, and it runs across a stream that flows through the valley. It is relatively deep water, and is nestled among some pines... spectators can watch from atop the pipe as the vehicles pull into the stream and proceed to up or down the stream to exit via a small embankment. There are a couple possible exits that are accessible by more capable, and submersible rigs. Every once in a while someone 'quipped enough drives under the pipe. A stock vehicle would probably be able to tackle this easily in the right conditions, but the lower the rig, the greater the possibility of your air-intake becoming a straw of death! If you sport 33s, they'll prolly be all the way under, and it also requires some grippy meats to crawl up the bank and out of the stream.
The Eliminator or Cheez-Grator RATING Black
This is another pipeline/utility trail. These kinds of trails are abundant, because the space on which they were devised pre-exists. There's not really all that much to say about this trail. It is long, it is steep, and there are no plateaus to fall back on at any point whatsoever. The rocks are smaller on this trail, but the terrain is pretty constant. The only challenge here is the combination of length and steepness. If you are on your way up this, lose grip, and get kicked sideways, you are at very high risk of barrel-rolling your vehicle very far. This is bad. You don't want to do this. This trail should be named "The Trail w/ Two Names" 'cause just as many people recognize it as "The Cheez-Grater" as they do "The Eliminator". "The Eliminator" was painted on a rock at the foot of the mountain... prolly by some local, and "The Cheez-Grater" name was given by Alan Staiman from OCC after I plummetted to my death down the mountainside and went to the hospital. (don't worry - my rig was safely parked at the top) Once again, this is a hill anyone can drive down, but be pretty damn sure you're going to make it if you want to try driving up it. Take it from me, this is not a soft trail! On a normal dry day, you can walk up this climb if you're sporting low psi meats and if you're riding with both ends locked.