In the ever changing world of the 4×4 enthusiast, 2011 will bring a remarkable milestone for one of the South’s oldest 4×4 clubs. The Carolina Trail Blazers will celebrate 40 continuous years as a 4×4 organization dedicated to family oriented 4×4 fun.
Early in 1971 an advertisement appeared in The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer newspaper. It was an open invitation for anyone interested in forming a 4wd club to meet at Table Rock in western North Carolina. 21 folks showed up for that inaugural meeting which became the Carolina Trail Blazers 4wd Club Inc.
Over the 40 years of its existence, membership numbers have fluctuated from a low in the 20s to a high of almost 150 members. Generally the club has around 50 members. The membership includes everyone from professional individuals to hobbyists and in the pursuit of OHV recreation, all find a sense of common ground!
The club rides each month of the year, traditionally on the second Saturday of the month. Over the years they have regularly ridden a variety of private lands, state and federal OHV areas including the Upper Tellico OHV area in western N.C., Black Mountain OHV Park in Evarts, KY, Uwharrie National Forest OHV area in Eldorado, N.C., Coal Creek OHV park in Oliver Springs, TN and Callalantee OHV park in Mountain City, TN. The club welcomes all 4wd enthusiasts from stock to purpose built buggies and tailors each ride to accommodate the wide variety of vehicle builds in the club. Our goal is family oriented fun in a 4wd setting and the camaraderie and fellowship of getting together with like minded individuals is the reward.
The Carolina Trail Blazers not only trail ride, they also volunteer to help maintain state, federal and private OHV trails, provide community service such as parade volunteers, inclement weather transportation and emergency response transportation and provide financial and material aid for both needy fellow enthusiasts as well as the community at large. CTB is also a long time member club of the United Four Wheel Drive Associations along with being a founding member club of the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, the signature 4×4 organization of the southeast, with the purpose of 4wd “Education, Conservation & Recreation”.
CTB has several members that are “lifetime”, 30+ year, members. In one of the unscripted happenstances of our history, our Commander of the club for our 40th year, R.J. Mozeley, is a third generation member. R.J.’s grand dad was one of the founding members and his father, Robert Mozeley is a lifetime member of CTB.
Most readers understand that the current state of off road recreation in the United States is in flux. Public OHV areas are being closed in many states and the future of 4x4ing seems to be the many private parks that have sprung up over the last few years. Vehicle builds seem to have gone from the lift and larger tires of a few years ago to the purpose built custom buggies of today. In the midst of change in the 4wd community, the Carolina Trail Blazers have proven to be a rock in the middle of the trail. As everything around us has eroded or changed, CTB has continued to emerge as an enduring part of the 4wd landscape.