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Transplant
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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to take the Jeep out 8/19-8/21 for some crawling. I'm new to the Midwest, so I don't know where I could find the type of wheeking that I'm looking for. I have a YJ on full widths and 40s. It's built for the rocks, and feels at home in Moab. I'm looking to stay within 5 hours of Chicago as I'm up in Madison, WI. Any advice, fellas?
 

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Live Action!
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Ever been to The Badlands in Indiana?

You can also google offroad parks in USA and click on maps and you will get some but not all to pop up.

Harlan Kentucky is some good wheeling, Morningwood Offroad Park in Canada is also good but usually not an open every weekend type of place.

Windrock in Tennesee is a large park.

Bundy Hill is one of Michigans decent parks along with Rocks and Valleys.

Rausch Creek

Rush Offroad Park

AOP
 

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I would say if you're looking for crawling, do the badlands in IN or Rocks and Valleys in MI. R&V is the better park imo.

those are 5 hours are less from Chicago.
 

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Flex Is OverRated
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I would be highly disappointed if i drove from Wisconsin to rocks and valleys to wheel. It's a great park, but the reality is there is only about a half a days worth of fun for a rig like that (unless you are with a huge group or wheel really slow).
 

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I would be highly disappointed if i drove from Wisconsin to rocks and valleys to wheel. It's a great park, but the reality is there is only about a half a days worth of fun for a rig like that (unless you are with a huge group or wheel really slow).
Badlands is a lot bigger and the cliffs and ledges are fun. Plus they have dunes and the river in the woods with a lot of trails.

R&V is smaller but worth the trip. Lots of trails and obstacles, tight twisty stuff and good techinical courses. Plenty of open space too. Its 3 hrs for me but I would drive 5 for it, just make a weekend out of it and meet some new friends.

Youtube videos of these places to get an idea of what to expect.

Dont discount Bundy Hill, they are our newest and biggest park building it up more each year. Its becoming one of my favorite places.
 

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welfare wheeler
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i went to bundy when it first opened, it was fun.
gotta go check it out again.

what about the cliffs insane terrain?
i never went, but i heard good things about it.
i think they limit tire size though.

other options:
redbird
badlands
turtle ridge
morning wood
twisted trails
harlan
 

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I've been to the badlands over 50 times. there's not much there for a well built rig. their trail system sucks as well. it's a decent sized park (probably 800-1000 acres), but not much order to the place. will I ever go back, of course. it's the closest park to me that I can do a day run (other than the cliffs)

as for The Cliffs.......if you love mud, you'll love the park.. if you want to crawl stuff and be technical, stay away. I go there only when it's been hot and dry for a week straight and then the tougher trails are still nasty muddy. do not take a nice rig there. it probably won't come home nice. tight slippery trails with tons of trees.

R&V, imo, well worth the 5 hour drive that it takes for me. more variety, more true trails, more rocks......I like it. wish it was closer.

Bundy is pretty cool. nothing technical to crawl, but some monster climbs and lots of fun sections to drive around in.

my .02
 

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FAWK YEAH!!
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I'd take Badlands everyday anyday over twisted, Bundy, r&v.

I much prefer the rock queries, ledges at the Badlands.

Not a big fan of just big rocks piled together that move and roll as you drive over them. I prefer the obstacles to be all one piece, ledges, climbs. One of the biggest reasons I really enjoy morning wood in Ontario.


If your using moab as the rating scale of comparison, you'll be left disappointed with anything in Michigan.

Don't get me wrong, I like the Michigan parks. But I don't think I'd drive 6 hrs to any of them just to wheel. For events and races sure, but not 6 hrs to just scratch an itch. All 3 are within 2-3 hrs of me, so it's an acceptable drive for a destination. 6hrs puts me at the Badlands or morning wood.


I think the Mounds in Mt Morris is also very underrated. For years it was only as a mud bog destination. I think the rock courses they have added changed that perception for me. And in comparison to the other parks it deserves a mention or rating of equality.


What's current status on the proposed Park on the Eastside, been a bit since I last heard of any updates.
 

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Mission impossible still an option next to the Badlands?

it is as far as I know. but that's always something separate that many don't know about.


about what you mentioned, I like the opposite since the obstacles seem to change (like AZ and trails changing after a flood washes through).

the badlands is always the same. I still enjoy it, but only because it's 2.5 hours away. it's a great park for lesser capable rigs for sure and a great place for groups to wheel together. just wish it had more to offer imo, plus i'm a fan of trail systems
 

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Agreed on The Mounds, but probably not worth a 5 hr drive and it doesn't have a campground to make it worth a weekend trip although I'm sure there are campgrounds close by.

Steve I think the reason you are not impressed with The Badlands is because you have been there 50 times. Compared to Michigan it is better all around but a couple of our parks are definitely a great time and I still love going to them all. Get your passport, October 7 Looney Run!!!!!
 

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Flex Is OverRated
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I wasn't super excited about the badlands either. The quarry is awesome, but that is literally it. We drove all over that place and there is nothing else that is that great. We tried asking about mission impossible and never could get anything more than a brush off out of anyone.
 

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I'm not old, honest...
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If I were in Wisconsin, I would be heading north to the iron range in Minnesota long before I would make the trip to Michigan.
 

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If I were in Wisconsin, I would be heading north to the iron range in Minnesota long before I would make the trip to Michigan.
good call, forgot about that place.

Jay, you're right to an extent. I am bored of it due to being there so many times, but also bored due to hardly anything there to challenge the buggy if I want to wheel hard. :thumb:

I'll still use it from time to time, but more for a fun run, not a hard core run. I need to go 8-10 hours away for that.

I really prefer an actual trail system and following them. the badlands is more of an open free-for-all. @974x4Taco I agree. quarry is fun, rest is ok.
 

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Transplant
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Discussion Starter #20
I appreciate ALL of the insight into wheeling the upper Midwest, guys. R&V sounds like a great time, as the technical stuff really gets my rocks off (pun intended). Does anyone have any info on the Iron Range in MN? Google doesn't return much as far as what to expect. Thanks again!
 
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