Ocala National Forrest is just too Damn Dangerous


26 replies to this topic
  • BigDog46

Posted December 30, 2007 - 07:59 PM

#1

Now that the Forrest Service has corraled everyone onto their little closed circuit trail system it is virtually unridable unless you happen to be riding a tank. It's one blind corner after another and you never know what's coming the other way. It could be another bike or a pickup truck and they could be going 5 or 50.

We've had three collisions in our last 2 trips and numerous near misses or near hits depending on how you look at it. My Honda, which is currently without front forks after an altercation with a speeding quad, has also had the pleasure of trading metal with a dune buggy and another bike.

My Son claims he won't ride there again after spending the last day of our vacation in the Ocala ER (He's ok except for a few stiches thankfully). The bike is another story. On our last trip, we had two collisions within the space of 20 minutes. We even passed a grave marker on one of the trails yesterday. A ten year old kid now dead.

And now that they've closed off the pit at Rodman Resivoir its even worse because all of those people are out on the trail system. The Forrest Service has successfully taken a very big place and made it seem very small and very dangerous. And for what? To protect the stands of toilet paper producing trees from the damaging recreational vehicles? The same stands that are systematically decimated through clear cutting?

Well the Forrest Service can't see the forrest through the trees. It was so much better before they started medling. You could ride all day and not see a soul, at least in the northern sections that we frequent. Now everyone is crammed onto their liitle trails just wide enough for one quad and nowhere to go to avoid a collision except head on into a tree.

There are actual traffic jams on the trail system. For a minute, I thougt I was on I75 heading home. You can't even ride on the right of way any more. Whats up with that? A wide open dirt road where all manner of vehicles have driven for decades and it is vitually unchanged. What damage can a recreational vehicle do to a right of way? Or what about the trail heads where you can't park? What good is a trail head with a no parking sign? What is the problem here? The vehicles may damage the dirt?

I have been riding at Croom for quite some time and have never had a collision. This in spite of the fact that you have many more vehicles crammed into an infinitely smaller space. I can only conclude it is because you have hundres or even thousands of trails instead of 4 or 5.

I don't know what else to say except that if you ride the ONF, be prepared for alot of this :banghead:

  • Goosedog

Posted December 31, 2007 - 04:30 AM

#2

Sucks to hear this kinda stuff....too much gov-ment in our lives. :banghead:

  • bronc3

Posted December 31, 2007 - 06:24 AM

#3

I feel your pain, I wish it could go back to the way it was.

I have ridden it quite a bit since the changes were made, but have not had the problems you have encountered. I ride fast only where I can see far ahead and exercise extreme caution in areas where I can't see what's coming. This has prevented what would've been close calls or possibly worse when I have encountered others on the trail. Bottom line? You simply can't ride balls-out in ONF on the loops. This has worked well for me so far as it seems most folks are still riding/driving as if they are the only ones on the trail.

I am also riding a tagged bike which allows me to hit the less travelled Jeep trails when I get tired of being stuck behind quads and such on the loops. I hate the changes but still love ONF.

  • trailtraks

Posted December 31, 2007 - 07:05 AM

#4

This is supposed to be our recreation! Sounds like they've made that area
into a high stress, dangerous nightmare for people wanting to take their
family out there to ride.
Would making the trails one way help?
Is there any person or persons you could speak to and explain how bad
the situation is?
At some orv areas here, there are riding clubs nearby that are in contact with the rangers and help out w/ some of the maint. (+possibly the lay out?)
Just a couple suggestions if you thought the area was worth trying
to save.
After reading your post I guess I feel even more fortunate now about the
fairly well managed orv parks in our area. Good luck. Hope things get
changed for the better.

  • MotoJunkii

Posted December 31, 2007 - 09:05 AM

#5

My son & I haven't been there in 11 months! From what I can gather, there have been alot of changes during this time. My neighbor and his kids just went out this past Saturday, and reiterated some of the comments you mention in this rant- Mostly his comments were ragarding the traffic on the trails and parking.

Thanks for posting this, because I was planning on taking my son out there next Sunday. But, if we're going to run into trail congestion, possible head-on collisions, and parking issues, I'm going to have to rethink that great idea.

Does anyone know if the NW (Hog Valley/Tobacco Patch) section is any better with the trail traffic? rather than the the E-NE(Delancy/Longleaf Trail)?

  • bronc3

Posted December 31, 2007 - 09:27 AM

#6

My son & I haven't been there in 11 months! From what I can gather, there have been alot of changes during this time. My neighbor and his kids just went out this past Saturday, and reiterated some of the comments you mention in this rant- Mostly his comments were ragarding the traffic on the trails and parking.

Thanks for posting this, because I was planning on taking my son out there next Sunday. But, if we're going to run into trail congestion, possible head-on collisions, and parking issues, I'm going to have to rethink that great idea.

Does anyone know if the NW (Hog Valley/Tobacco Patch) section is any better with the trail traffic? rather than the the E-NE(Delancy/Longleaf Trail)?



Hey Mike,


The Longleaf Trail sees a lot of traffic as it is pretty much the main north-south thorofare to get to the rest of the loops, but it isn't really problematic because it is a large trail with good sight distance in most places. They have been maintaining it as well so it is no longer the " Miles and Miles of Whoops Trail".

The Tobacco Patch Trail is tighter, but still wide enough for a quad so you need to exercise a bit more caution. I have been riding up there a lot and had few issues, but I have had to slow down a bit and look out for the other guy. The other mixed-use trails are about the same. Stating the obvious, but the farther you venture from the Delancy Campground, generally the less traffic you will encounter. As I've said before, most of 'em don't stray too far from the cooler.

The single track has been expanded and is actually pretty good. It's nice that you can ride it and not encounter quads, except for small sections it shares with other trails as connectors.

I will be coming back up ASAP, but it will have to wait until after Devil's Creek with DDS. Wish you guys weren't so far away as I have a nice little single track loop behind my house, but probably not enough to be worth the drive from Jax. Ryan would love it.

  • MotoJunkii

Posted December 31, 2007 - 12:35 PM

#7

Hey Scott-

Yea, I'm not so much worried about head-on encounters for me, as much as I am for Ryan. But then again, I make a practice of being in front myself. Last time we were up there we rode the Tobacco Trail, and have to say, it was pretty nice. I just always had that nagging, sick feeling someone was around the corner.

I wish the would have allocated more bike-only single track though. From looking at the map, there doesn't appear to be a whole bunch...

I guess it's time to make another trip to Croom :banghead:

You still riding that Blue DRZ? Man I loved that thing. Once I decide to retire from the track riding, the DRZ is my next bike. Single track behind your house???? Ryan would kill to have that.....:busted:

  • bronc3

Posted December 31, 2007 - 04:11 PM

#8

Hey Scott-

Yea, I'm not so much worried about head-on encounters for me, as much as I am for Ryan. But then again, I make a practice of being in front myself. Last time we were up there we rode the Tobacco Trail, and have to say, it was pretty nice. I just always had that nagging, sick feeling someone was around the corner.

I wish the would have allocated more bike-only single track though. From looking at the map, there doesn't appear to be a whole bunch...

I guess it's time to make another trip to Croom :banghead:

You still riding that Blue DRZ? Man I loved that thing. Once I decide to retire from the track riding, the DRZ is my next bike. Single track behind your house???? Ryan would kill to have that.....:busted:



8200 hard off road miles and it's still going strong, but now it's yellow. I wanted the traditional Suzuki color when I bought it but they only had blue.


Posted Image



West Virginia Hat '06. She's been around.

Posted Image


If you guys EVER find yourseves down this way you need to come ride the Bonecrusher Trail with us.

  • bronc3

Posted December 31, 2007 - 04:37 PM

#9

Who are these guys?


Posted Image


End hijack.

  • Trail Rider 7

Posted December 31, 2007 - 04:44 PM

#10

Who are these guys?


Posted Image


End hijack.


Its Mike & Ryan

Mike if you and the son make it to Croom hit me up I'll meet you over there.

  • brewmann

Posted January 01, 2008 - 05:01 AM

#11

Its Mike & Ryan

Mike if you and the son make it to Croom hit me up I'll meet you over there.


Ditto.

  • Brett01

Posted January 01, 2008 - 04:54 PM

#12

I rode there this past Sunday. Did the Tobacco and Pipeline loops, then the whole Motorcycle loop. Over 60-miles total. We had no problems. Only light traffic in the trails and they were in great shape. No problem parking at the Motorcycle loop trail head. We even did the north end of the yellow trail by Rodman (we like the west side trail coming down from Rodman. I do feel much safer on the motorcycle loop because I feel other bikers are more likely to share my concern for there own safety as compared to some drunk quad driver (not that they are all drunk) blasting though turns.

  • bronc3

Posted January 02, 2008 - 06:30 AM

#13

........ quad driver blasting though turns.




Now THAT'S funny. I don't like meeting them head on but hate getting stuck behind 'em as well. They usually look like they're really into it, hanging on for dear life and leaning into it. Meanwhile, I'm behind them casually blipping the throttle hoping they'll be kind enough to notice and pull their cockroach out of the way so I can pass safely.

Blasting - hahahahahahaha.

  • MotoJunkii

Posted January 06, 2008 - 04:44 PM

#14

Well, my son begged me to go to ONF with our neighbors, so we skipped the MX track and rode with them today. We staged from the Rodman Trailhead. Rode mostly the yellow trails, some of the Red Trail, and some Blue Trail. I tried to take Ryan on the bikes-only Green Trail, but he declined. He's usually pretty good about tight trails, but with the sand, he's turns conservative on me:bonk: .

Avoided head-on near misses with Quads= 2
I have to say, some of those blind corners on the Yellow Trail up by Rodman are just plain scary. Mostly, the trails leading to the Westside (southbound) Yellow Trail. I had one near miss with a Utility Quad coming from the opposite direction...father no helmet, 4-5 y/o boy with (no helmet!!) riding on his lap. I always slow around any blind corners...he came came ripping around the corner going twice as fast as me...I braked and dove down low, he went high. Luckily, no mishaps....but that could have been ugly. Especially for the little boy.

Forced to go off the trail to let an oncomming Jeep by= 1!!!! :banghead:
I was met by an oncoming Jeep Wrangler on the West side, southbound yellow trail, in an area that could barely fit a utility quad! *** was that? I actually had to go up and off the trail, into a thick wooded area so that he could go by.

On the positive side, I have to say.....Everytime I got behind a Quad, they always moved over and let me pass...with a friendly wave.

There also seemed to be less whoops that I remember a year ago. Especially, on the East side Yellow Trail.

Verdict- I DO think it's more dangerous now, than it was a year. I will probably avoid staging from Rodman again. IF we go again, we'll stage from Bike Only Trail Head, and Ryan will just have to "man up".:busted:

  • brewmann

Posted January 07, 2008 - 05:21 AM

#15

When we where up there a few months ago, the ranger did say that they where getting about
one a week pulled out in an ambulance due to quads and bikes colliding. Hopefully at some point the powers that be will see the error of their ways and make the loops one way at least....

  • ovrrdrive

Posted January 08, 2008 - 04:35 AM

#16

This is terrible...

I knew it was going to get bad but I figured it would take longer than this.

This is why I sold the YZ and bought a DRZSM. I get most of my jollies on the street now. It's kind of funny too, I feel safer on Hwy 200 than I did on the trails.

  • Trail Rider 7

Posted January 08, 2008 - 04:45 AM

#17

When we where up there a few months ago, the ranger did say that they where getting about
one a week pulled out in an ambulance due to quads and bikes colliding. Hopefully at some point the powers that be will see the error of their ways and make the loops one way at least....


A simple arrow on a tree could be a 5 years of planing.:banghead:

  • MotoJunkii

Posted January 08, 2008 - 10:30 AM

#18

A simple arrow on a tree could be a 5 years of planing.:busted:


God forbid they put staples in a tree.... :banghead:

  • Brett01

Posted January 08, 2008 - 06:05 PM

#19

It should be a lot safer soon. It appears they are cutting down all the tree's. But them they will probably kick us out to build a golf course, much better on the environment you know....

  • MotoJunkii

Posted January 08, 2008 - 06:13 PM

#20

It should be a lot safer soon. It appears they are cutting down all the tree's. But them they will probably kick us out to build a golf course, much better on the environment you know....


hey Brett- were out there on Sunday with the new KTM? I could have swore I saw you drive through the Rodman trailhead with two other KTM D/S's heading towards the trails.





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