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Bald Eagle State Forest Trip Report

Discussion in 'North East' started by biohazdan, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. Aug 24, 2018 at 8:06 PM
    #1
    biohazdan

    biohazdan [OP] Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2018
    Member:
    #259060
    Messages:
    33
    Lancaster, PA
    Vehicle:
    2016 Blue DCSB Off Road
    I know that living in Central PA, the pickings can be slim for places to wheel, camp and generally use our trucks as.....well....trucks. I took a trip with my oldest two to Bald Eagle State Forest this week and thought i would share what i found and why I plan on heading back there ASAP.

    To preface, I've had my eye on Bald Eagle for a while and ordered the Purple Lizard Map associated with it. It was very helpful. I fully recommend getting one. There are primitive campsites laid out throughout the forest. They are of varying quality. Without having been previously, i chose one that appeared somewhat easy to get to, but the forest ranger said was farther off the road. The roads for the most part are well maintained gravel roads....and there was plenty of traffic for the middle of the week. So I loaded the gear and the kids in the truck and made the two hour trek up to campsite 45. It was somewhat off the road, maybe 250 feet up a little two track, but not far enough. We heard every car that went past.

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    It rained. Of course it did. So the kids and I enjoyed a meal in the tent. While i taking care of business, about 10pm, a jeep rolls through our site on the two track. The driver, seeing that i was otherwise engaged, yelled a sheepish "sorry" as he rolled through. So yeah, definitely not private enough. Anyways, the next day we packed up and headed out to check out some of the trails that are rated for high clearance 4 x 4 vehicles. We went to the closest one first, a dead end called Little Poe Trail.

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    This was a nice two track that ran about a mile and half before we hit a hunting clubhouse. afterwards the map says it turns into a dual sport trail, so we turned around here. I was just getting a feel for the trails i had available and the stock OR could handle this one no problem.

    We turned around and took the gravel road network, a bridge was out so we ended up having to detour, to a much longer sequence of 4 x 4 "roads". We started at Flat Hollow Rd. At the beginning of the trail we met two guys on adventure bikes who were deciding if they wanted to check it out. When they saw that i was planning on doing the trail in my stock tacoma with kids inside they decided they could as well. lol.

    Flat Hollow Rd was a nice drive. I don't think i have any pictures, but i didn't even need four wheel drive. We turned on Strong Mountain Rd, which took us up to the ridge. This was a rocky and rough trail. I didn't need anything other than 4 high though. The adventure motorcycle guys ditched us in this section. These shots are of Strong Mountain rd. on the way up.

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    At the top of the ridge we had a choice to follow Strong Mountain Rd down or continue a longer trail, Longwell Draft Rd. The kids started to complain about going home and "I'm bored", so like any good dad i chose the longer trail. lol.

    Longwell Draft rd was easy even though it was plenty wet from all the rain. Never needed anything other than 4 high. I played with MTS and crawl control some, but definitely did not need it. It was, however, somewhat overgrown. I've got some mild new pin striping. Anything bigger (read wider or taller) than a stock OR tacoma would have fared much worse. It was a fun trail. Became a little long in the tooth as it meandered down to the valley floor, especially because my ride was getting "lovingly massaged" as my daughter suggested.

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    Overall it was a great introduction to a forest that is a moderate distance from me and looks to have tons of interesting trails to explore, with no problem in a stock truck. Plus some great views.

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  2. Aug 26, 2018 at 4:42 PM
    #2
    Barcared

    Barcared Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    Member:
    #192477
    Messages:
    407
    Gender:
    Male
    Philadelphia, PA
    Vehicle:
    2016 Barcelona Red TRDOR
    Try sites off deer creek road. It's fairly quiet back there.
    Henstep is a nice road, as is negro hollow road.
     

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  3. Aug 27, 2018 at 6:47 AM
    #3
    biohazdan

    biohazdan [OP] Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2018
    Member:
    #259060
    Messages:
    33
    Lancaster, PA
    Vehicle:
    2016 Blue DCSB Off Road

    Thanks. I will check it out
     
  4. Oct 6, 2018 at 3:12 PM
    #4
    Al B

    Al B Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2018
    Member:
    #268271
    Messages:
    6
    Gender:
    Male
    New holland pa.
    Vehicle:
    2017 tacoma
    Debadged, tint, blacked out grill, leveling kit, wheels and tires, step bars, window visors, bug shield, blacked out tailgate letters
    What a great place to run some pretty cool roads. I have a camp in havlicek valley, so I get to run flat hollow road and the surrounding roads in that area. During winter months, there are some gated roads that are opened up for hunting. Those roads are a lot of fun and are somewhat maintained.
     

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