Green Ridge State Park

Potomac River and C&O Canal Park

5/31/04

4X4 ICON 2000 - 2008 The DVD! - Click here for details!

4X4 ICON 2000 - 2008 The DVD!

 Way Points

 

Prologue

This trip was totally unplanned.  A friend of mine got in touch to invite me on a ride out to Mineral County to take a look at some vacation property he was interested in buying.  It is located halfway between Keyser and Oakland, WV.  I asked he'd be interested in a little mild wheeling after we visited the property.  He was so I spent some time refining tracks for Backbone Mountain and the whole Allegany WMA/Pinnacle/Dan's Mountain area.

Trail

With three GPS units loaded up (one with street maps, the other two with the tracks for the trails) we set out.  He joined me and the boys in the Jeep.  His wife and mine drove the Durango.  We stayed in contact with some little FRS radios that the kids got for Christmas.  We made our usual stop at Sideling Hill Exhibit Center.  We managed to find the property after a side-trip through a very curious campground.

Rob and his wife spent some time looking at the property while the kids played by the water and Maria and I talked about the dream of owning vacation property.  When we finished, we loaded up and drove back to pavement and set a course for a late lunch.

The Garmin V led us to the saddest Fox's Pizza Den I have ever seen.  Maria urged us to find another place to eat so we moved on and soon reached Keyser where we landed at Denny's and had something to eat.  Maria and Lucky had to get back to home early for plans they had that evening so I gave them directions (220N/68E/70E/270S) and they went on their way.

Rob contacted the Real Estate agent and got an address for the piece of property he wanted to look at in Green Ridge.  Since I didn't know he was going there, I did not have the track loaded.  But having been there plenty of times, I was confident that we could find our way around.  I was right to a point...

We entered the park past the Boys Camp.  I had chosen to drive the full length of Green Ridge Road all the way down to the southern end of the trail system then enter where I could run back north taking in the one rough hill in the park.  We overshot the turn-off and ended up at Route 51.  No big deal; we turned around and came back, where we took the turn and soon got 4-LO.  The road was not bad, but I quickly lamented my decision NOT to air down and disconnect.  I have come to drone as if hypnotized when people ask me why I'm airing down: "Because it improves the ride and reduces body rocking and roughness."  I forgot my own mantra and soon found the travel much more uncomfortable that I recall.  Owning to time limitations I decided to tough it out.

We came to the hill climb and discovered it had been graded!  No more erosion "v".   No more random piles of large loose gravel.  No more of anything that would make the hill seem even remotely challenging.  We quickly reached the hill that took us so much time in January.  It was nothing without the snow, and almost forgettable without the rest of the rubble.

Pretty soon we had reached the top of this section of the ridge and drove along, stopping and the convergence of several roads where a nice little lookout spot gave us a few minutes peace to look out over the park.  The kids signed the trail log with glee.  Then we reboarded the Jeep and continued on down Mertens Road, now heading toward the Potomac in search of the land that Rob had come to see.

I had only once come down on this side of the park, and only had run Old Town Road a short distance.   This time I headed due East toward the river and the network of roads that wind around there.  I was soon to thank myself for keeping my DeLorme's Street Atlas on board.  Even with the GPS providing road names and compass points, the strange effect that the serpentine river had on my instinctive navigation skills caused a small amount of disorientation. 

We drove out to the river, then turned North by West and thought we'd follow the road along the edge of the river, such as it was, eventually reaching Little Orleans.  There we hoped to find the uncharted road on which the property was located.  Instead I got fooled a couple times and we did a little backtracking.  I turned on tracking of one of the GPS 12'ss and soon I was back on the map.  We poked in to all the cul-de-sacs and found some intriguing campsites and boat ramps.

About this time it started to rain heavily.  The trail got messy and several spots looked menacing because of the muddy water.  But there wasn't anything that caused delay.  We drove down the boat ramp on Bonds Landing.  Rob cautioned we might risk sliding into the Potomac but we managed to keep dry.  The crossing over the canal was suspect because the water of the canal was lapping on the water of a mud puddle, making the crossing look a lot worse than it really was.  Again, no problem.  We drove down one road and found an outlook with an incredible view, but the kids insisted on playing on the steep hill (complete with cliff to the river) so we moved on...

Potomac River and C&O Canal ParkPotomac River and C&O Canal Park

Returning to Kasecamp Road we continued our explorations.  We drove for a while with detour to a beautiful camp with a nice yard.  Not the property we were looking for but very attractive indeed.  We hit Waypoint 130 (Old Town Road and Dug Hill Road), continued on Old Town Road into Little Orleans.  We stopped at the little store there and asked for directions to Grouse Ridge Road but didn't get any.  Along the way we found an abandoned railroad tunnel that was blocked off to prevent access.

Train Tunnel
Train Tunnel

So we started working all the branches and punched into the C&O Canal Park, a residential section, and finally encountered a local bird-watcher who gave us directions.  The road was a couple turns away at that point.  She saved us some time, though I suspect we would have soon found the road.

The trail down to the property was eroded and gave us some mild wheeling.  We walked to the property and found it to be a nice little spot, but the woods had several decades of dumping on it, and Rob decided it was not something he wanted to take on.

Grouse Ridge RoadGrouse Ridge RoadGrouse Ridge RoadGrouse Ridge Road
Grouse Ridge RoadGrouse Ridge RoadGrouse Ridge RoadGrouse Ridge Road

Tomi spotted a turtle so we stopped to visit.  The turtle insisted that we take a picture and feature it on the web site.  Here's its 15 megabits of fame:

Turtle

We drove out through a trailer-park/campground area that was very interesting.  By now it was sunset so we headed out to pavement and made our way home.  It was a peaceful day with mild wheeling at best.

Epilogue

We stopped in Hancock at the Arby's and got a snack then ran non-stop for home, arriving at about 10:44pm.  It made for a long but very satisfying day!

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GPS Waypoint Data

Green Ridge State Park Waypoint List

Green Ridge State Park GPS Track and Waypoint Legend
Track LegendGrouse Ridge Road Track Detail
Green Ridge State Park - Composite Map
Trail GPS Tracks Park Map

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