One of the great features of the Mid-Atlantic Overland Festival is its close proximity to Bald Eagle State Forest and its vast network of dirt roads. So there’s absolutely no excuse for not making it out onto the trails; that is unless your Rover broke down, or you were lured into the Vermont Overland camp the night before.
Bald Eagle State Forest is huge, it is almost 200,000 acres in size, and is crisscrossed by hundreds of miles of dirt roads and hiking trails. Being that we’re by no means local experts, we made sure to stop by the Purple Lizard Maps tent and spoke with Michael Herman to get some advice. He’s a walking plethora of knowledge and has more information about the area than Wikipedia. So if you’re planning a trip it doesn’t hurt to talk to him or purchase one of his maps.
looking at maps and pretending I knew what was going on some through research we loaded up the trucks and started heading north. The convoy of five trucks consisted of the DRT Crew, our friend Roger from the Mid-Atlantic Overland Society, and some guys from Connecticut in a Lexus GX 470 (Grey Poupon jokes were made, and someone made a comment about brunch at a Neiman Marcus).
Our destination in Bald Eagle was Negro Hollow Road. Yes, this is the name of a real road, so please don’t send us hate mail or protest in front of DRT headquarters. Well, unless you have beer, then by all means come protest, but only if you share your beer.
We’d previously run Negro Hollow with Matt and Pete at Main Line two years ago during the winter, and we were exciting to get back. The portion of road we traveled consisted of your typical un-maintained fire road. Plenty of loose rocks, pot holes, and
easily driven by a mom in a Subaru some relatively deep portions of standing water.
We stopped along the trial to get the mandatory poser shots, and also got plenty of photos of everyone enjoying the water. The one thing to know is that these “puddles” are about 10″ deep, but your chances of getting stuck in one is pretty much nil. The bottoms are solid and made up of mostly rock, so if you’re looking to sling mud, look elsewhere.
After the ride we aired back up and headed back to the festival, but not without a quick detour to Green Furnace State Park for a dip into the swimming hole. The water was cold, but after a 90 degree day there’s no place we would rather have been.