Stafford OHV Trail
The 2nd most popular off-highway vehicle trail in Maryland.
Thursday 11 August 2016 05:05 GMT
East of Cumberland and Flintstone, the 40,000 acre Green Ridge State Forest has a challenging 18 mile loop trail for OHV vehicles. It follows two old forest roads (East Valley Road and Stafford Road). This region is very dry, so the riding is almost year-round (so dry that theres even prickly pear cactus!). The trail ascends and descends numerous hills and mountains, offering some ridgerunning, hairpin turns, and wet bottomlands. The trail itself is pure clay with many smooth small rocks breaking up the surface: during rain or snow, this trail could be quite challenging due to the slippery conditions.
To reach the trailhead from Cumberland, head east on US68 to Exit 62. Proceed west on SR144 and then veer left going west on Old Williams Road. Turn south on Black Sulpher Road and then east on Wallitzer Road. Turn south on Green Ridge Road and then east on Mertens Avenue to the Trailhead.
The trail is open enough that you arent fighting brush at all, but its not open like a field or throughway. There are numerous switchbacks and protruding trees which require basic caution and attentiveness - there s plenty of space to negotiate, but with all the twists and turns it takes a little time. If its wet, theres a real possibility the careless could slide into a tree; and street tires would make some of the hills pleasantly challenging.
About a quarter of the way in on the East Valley Road (but before Mertens Road) is a fearsome-looking hillclimb up powerlines, which we didn't try due to questions about legality. This hillclimb appears to be about a mile long up a steep grade with plenty of healthy rocks thrown in, but is marked "No ATVs" with barriers such that a 4WD / SUV could not get through. The climax of this trail is found at the intersection of Mertens and Stafford, with an awe-inspiring panorama of the Potomac River valley over 2,000 feet below.
Overall, Stafford OHV Trail is the 2nd most popular OHV & 4wd jeep trail of all 3 OHV routes in Maryland.