We soon abandoned the barren strip-mine pits for a more natural setting on the other side of the mountain that consisted of many rocks, streams, and trees. Keep in mind, when I speak of a "mountain", it is referring to what western rockcrawling folk would deem a large hill that is densely vegetated. Paragon contains some fine examples of these rolling hills that you can find in scenic Pennsylvania. They are a part of the Appalacian Mountain chain. The Jeep in this picture is nearing the summit of the mountain now.
This part of the trail is a tame connecting trail that I believe is called "The Turtle Trail Bypass". There is a 15 yard rock-field at the top of the actual "Turtle Trail" that would have presented problems for the less-equipped vehicles.
"The Turtle Trail" got its name a few years ago when a Turtle Truck from one of the famous "Turtle Expeditions" painstakingly ran the trail. The Turtle Trail, before it was named, was formerly an ATV trail that crossed the mountainside. The trail was widened later to facilitate 4x4s - hardly wide enough to fit a full-size Ford F350 with a camper on the pickup bed, which was the Turtle truck. Due to all of the large trees around, that experience was like fitting a square peg in a round hole. It took an impressive four hours, and thus the trail was named.
TJs slowly descend the Turtle Trail after cresting the top of the mountain. Through the whole length of the Turtle trail, there are patches of obstacles that range in difficulty from novice to intermediate. It is a great trail with ascents, descents, and rocks to really allow one to get a feel of their vehicle's offroad ability - which is what All American achieves by putting on this event.
Jen follows the rest of the convoy, carefully picking her way over rocks. (insert obligatory jeep pose picture here) Every once in the while on the Turtle Trail, you can find a patch of rocks. They're mostly the kind that catch your diffs, as opposed to the fun kind of rocks!
The Turtle Trail is relatively long, and is used as a major artery, connecting the strip-mine pit area of Paragon to a more wooded section on the other side of the mountain. It is in this picture that the descent into the woods is best displayed. The trees are more dense, and the trail travels along a ridge in the woods. Before four-wheeling in Paragon, it is a good idea to check to see if your braking system is functioning properly.
Finally, we came to rest in the valley. People turned off their vehicles and walked into the woods not far off the main trail to reveal a picturesque stream that runs through Paragon. This stream is formed from others that flow from collapsed mine shafts and runs from the top of the mountain we had just descended.

Continue to PAGE 5
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

©1997-2010 ROCKCRAWLER 4x4 and Off-Road Magazine. All Rights Reserved.