Family friendly camping/overlanding/light wheeling Spring trip?

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Self-censoring my mud posts...
Oct 8, 2013
@fireball brought this up in another thread...let's make it happen!
Sounds interesting
Yes, so the idea here was to do a club event that would be a bit more family friendly. I'm open to ideas and dates but here is a rough outline:

3 day long weekend of camping and possibly some light wheeling in a family friendly environment. I'm open to ideas and locations. One place that we really like is Bald Eagle State Forest. There are some easy short trails, some great primitive campsites and also some state parks with lakes and swimming pools that aren't far away.

Do you want to get a roll call of who might be interested and try to lock down a date first? Then work out logistics?

We could do April 18th (date of monthly club run) April 25th or May 2nd. Other dates available but if we want to do this in the spring those would probably work best. Could also do early summer and hit one of the weeks in June.

Let's hear from who all might be interested and desired dates and ideas of locations/things to do.
Here is what I layed out in the other thread -

Here is a write-up from someone who took some of the route I had in mind -

My family has a cabin near RB Winter State Park - around 1/2 hour west of Lewisburg. I know the area pretty well from riding ATV and exploring in trucks as a teenager.

I was thinking of making the pre-run a weekend affair.
I am not sure how many miles/hours a day is recommended for this sort of thing, but this is around 70 miles - mostly fire trails. Doing it in the winter would make it a little more challenging, and may make 70 miles a little too much.

I am thinking late February or early March would be best. I would like to limit the "pre run" to myself and 3 other trucks.

Next would be to plan something on the north side of 192 up toward Lock Haven and link the two together into a weekend long run. Could probably do 150 miles without more than 5 miles of paved road!
I replied on the 3/21 thread by accident.I have been doing some exploring in and around there. The conditions have worsened recently due to packed ice. Anyway. Just started a new project in Mill Hall and will be taking several alternative routes from Lewistown over to Mill Hall and likewise on the way back. Strongs Mountain Road is a pretty cool drive to the top as an alternative route. You spend almost an hour on that run and see no one.
I'd be game for either the pre-run (if there's room) or the family weekend or both. The wife is interested in doing some light wheeling and getting away a bit more, so this is right in that wheel house. Count me in!
I like the overlanding idea. I saw a series on YouTube Extreme Overland and it is great. Got me interested in this. I think I may be in if my schedule is freed up at the time.
Sounds like a fun little loop. The town of Millheim is a really nice stop as well, they have the Elk Creek Cafe and Inglebean Coffee house both of which are pretty cool local flavor bar/restaurant and cafe/coffee shop.

I have a map of the forest with all the gates that are marked open during hunting season. Unfortunately most of the drivable trails are usually gated. It would be super if we could coordinate with the local ranger to possibly open some gates for us from time to time. The club promoting and showcasing responsible use of those trails would do a lot of goodwill with the local forest rangers.
The Elk Creek is one of our favorite places. I'll see what I can do in advance to help. I'll be running though there again next week and will stop at the ranger station. Although, if we are considering April. A lot of the gates should be open by then.
We are in.
April 18th could work, third weekends have been marked out on my family's calendar.
April 25th conflicts with the Big Dawgs Ice Beaker down at the Cove, just in case any one was planning that run...
I'm game, this is one of the main reasons I'm buying a 60 to get to proposed club events that are far enough away for me that i don't want to drive my 40. Gary
Ok folks. I'll try to document this as well as I can. As an overview. We went out Saturday afternoon (just after 12) I got off at the Milroy exit of 322W and we ended up at the Elk Creek around 4 PM for a couple of apps and a few Rainbow Trout IPAs! From my calcs. We were on dirt for approximately 33 miles. I'll attach the route as I go. We climbed over 3 ridges, saw great scenery and came across one vehicle along the way.
First leg (blackball) was from Milroy out through Nagany, Locke Mills and then onto New Lancaster Valley Road. That's about a 15 min ride and I didn't count that as part of the miles traveled, just the route to get to the starting point

We turned of the blackball onto Red Ridge Road (whiteball) We took this over the first ridge. It was wide enough to pull off and allow vehicles to pass although we didn't see any.

A shot of the trail. Fairly smooth riding and scenic, 10 MPH comfortably.


We then turned onto Hunter Road for a short distance and picked up Strongs Mountain Road (spider trail) Designated drivable but not maintained. It was pretty narrow in places, I'd hate to meet someone coming the other way...very rocky and steep on both sides. Views were great and it was a fun time. Top speed for most of it was maybe 5 MPH and we were on that leg for atleast an hour.

More to follow
A few shots of Strongs Mtn.


We wanted to continue on to the top but little Poe Drive was still gated so we to Valley Drive around into Poe Paddy.
We stopped for a few minutes to check out Penns Creek and the Tunnel. The tunnel is currently closed due to falling rock. There were people camping though.
We then picked up Poe Paddy Drive... This is considered a Whiteball by I don't know who?! It of all trails should have a gate. It's another 5 MPH if your lucky trail until you get to the top. It gets narrow and steep as you climb up. The lower portion is littered with rocks and washouts. We had no problems but I was scratching my head on the designation. I had the Mrs. Driving and me navigating and didn't want to make a fuss. We did engage 4WD in the rocks.
I didn't get the pics of the rocks at the beginning as I should have but didn't want to make a scene. Haha.


At the first vista

More to follow
Penns view

Looking toward Coburn and Millheim

And looking down at Penns Creek

From this point on the roads were much better and you could comfortably increase your speed some. I'm guessing most people that want to see that view, come in from the north.

More to follow
We then continued north and west on swamp road, to the millheim pike, down to Coburn and then to Millheim to the Elk Creek Cafe

Gratuitous FJ shot

And finally a few beers to relax

One of the locals at the bar got a kick out of us. My wife was describing the views at the top. He asked how we got up there and I explained how we traveled through Poe Paddy and then up over. He laughed and said he wouldn't take a vehicle on that trail. They just hike it.
So about 4 hours with really no stops and that's how far we made it. There is a lot more to explore through there and you could definitely make a weekend out of it camping at Poe Paddy or Poe Valley. Fishing on Penns Creek or the pond at Poe Valley. A good meal at the Elk Creek and usually some music to accompany it.
Just thought I'd share and maybe it would spark more interest. Nothing technical. Just a leisurely drive with a few areas that 4WD is helpful along with some clearance to get over some of the rocks. They were pretty hammered up in a few areas.

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