Home OF4WD Forum General Information General Chit Chat Driving Easy Trails Alone

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    Kevin Hopp

    Hi all,

    I just got access to the trail index and see there’s really nothing all that close to the city of Toronto. Looking further out, I can see a few trails rated between 1 and 2+.

    Since I’m completely new here and don’t know anyone yet, I’m hoping to sign up for the September Newbie Run to get the lay of the land and hopefully make some friends we can go off-roading with.

    In the meantime though, I’m looking for a little advice. I know you’re not supposed to go out on the trails alone as obviously nobody will be there to help you if you get stuck.

    What I’m wondering is whether it would be ok in your opinion for my wife and I to head out on a 2 or 2+ trail along to go and have an afternoon picnic and just have a bit of good safe fun. My impression is that these are practically just very bad roads and that there shouldn’t be a risk of getting trapped. Obviously if we encounter something I’m not comfortable with, we’d just turn back.

    So what do you guys think?

    Does anyone even check these forums regularly or should I post this to the FB group? 🙂

    Mark Bachman

    While it’s not a crime to wheel alone, it’s definitely not a best first choice. Realize that you are taking a risk (getting out of bed in the morning is also a risk… LOL) by going out alone and use your best conservative judgement and ALWAYS have a plan B. Plans C, D, E and sometimes F are highly recommended as well.

    Every situation is different (that’s the fun/challenge of offroading), so you need to ask yourself:

    Do I have the appropriate gear? (winch, come-along, spare tire, jack, tools…)
    Do I have anyone I can call if I get stuck beyond my and my Jeeps ability? (Friend, CAA…)
    Do I have cell signal?
    How far can I walk to get out or get cell signal?
    Am I prepared (water, food, warmth) to spend the night where I get stuck?
    Do I have a good or at least conservative judgement of what my Jeep can do?

    If you have an intelligent answer for these questions (and probably a few more I forgot about) AND you are will to foot the bill (be it $$$ or owing a few big favours) if anything does go wrong, then go out and enjoy your vehicle and some time outdoors. Go prepared and always assess the risk before go. “Look before you leap!” lol

    P.S. Facecrack is probably a good idea too. I don’t use it much but lots of people do.

    Kevin Hopp

    Thanks for that. 🙂

    I don’t have a winch or anything yet. That’s why I was only looking at the easy trails, expecting them to just be fun to rumble through but not be anything remotely challenging to a stock Wrangler. That was my impression from the trail rating system.

    Maybe not a 2+ but a 2…

    2 Easy 2WD/4WD

    Features trails with obstacles that are easy to navigate. In optimum weather conditions, these trails may not require the continual use of four-wheel drive (4WD). Expect ruts, wash outs and water crossings to 6” small rocks and holes, stock vehicle

    Kevin Hopp

    FWIW, Hoggsback 2 seems to be the closest trail to Toronto that isn’t just a poorly maintained road.


    Are you familiar with it? Is it worth the hour long drive to get to it?

    Kevin Hopp

    I feel like I’m having a conversation with myself here. 🙂

    Looks like Hoggsback 2 is actually a 2+ even though it shows as a 2 on the map. The details say you should have a minimum of 33″ tires.

    Maybe I should go explore the Ganaraska Forest?


    Hi Kevin,
    I just did the May Newbie Run. Learnt a lot!
    I do have 33s on my FJ and I felt comfortable on the 2 rated trails we did. I did have the occasional doubts in some spots, for my less well endowed Newbie companions 😉 with their stock tires but everyone made it thru okay. These OF4WD folks know their stuff and I totally will defer to their word on this. If you’re determined to go it alone, start with a 1 or 1+ just to get the feel of it. There will always be the 2s out there. We were told it’s better to go on weekends, that way you’re more likely to encounter someone to give you assistance. A weekday outing might mean a long wait for the weekenders!
    About this forum…From my observations, it’s not as frequented as others are like club ones might be. So don’t expect timely responses. It may take even a day or two to get one.
    Good luck on the trails.


    Sorry Kevin, I forgot the scale on the trail rating system. What I meant was start with a 2 trail to get the feel and do it on a weekend when there are more likely to other off-roaders.

    Kevin Hopp

    Thanks Denis!

    The 2’s were what I had in mind, but there don’t seem to be any within an hour of Toronto. That Hoggsback trail was the nearest but it’s a 2 on the map but seems to be a 2+ in the actual details.

    I’m just looking for something interesting but not challenging to go out and have a little fun before the next newbie run. 🙂

    I’ve seen some video from the newbie runs. Those are 2’s??? I thought those would be at least a 3 from what I was seeing.

    The description of 1’s seems to just be rough roads and slightly uneven ground. Not worth seeking out.

    Raymond Prince


    I have to agree with Mark. If you’re new like you say then I wouldn’t venture too far from the pavement without a couple more people. This can change quickly in very little time. We ended up having to tow a jeep off the trail on the weekend. If you had asked me if this was a possibility on a newbie run I would have told you no way. We also turned part of the group around so that we didn’t have any other issues with the water we were trying to cross. It wasn’t worth the risk of having other jeep problems.

    Trials that are rated a 2 or 2+ on the trail index can quickly change to higher ratings due to water and other ruts that may have not been reported to the OF4WD and therefore the trail index would not reflect the current conditions.

    There are a couple of things that are coming up in the near future. This weekend is the Wylde Cat Run in Bobcaygeon. This is a charity event. The other thing is an members event that the London & Area Jeep Owners Club puts on. They do allow a few guests to attend for a nominal fee. If you’d like more information on either of these events please email me at raymond.prince@of4wd.com

    Raymond Prince
    OF4WD Director

    Kevin Hopp

    Thanks Raymond. I appreciate that.

    Looks like I won’t venture out onto anything beyond the pavement until the newbie run. 🙂

    Shawn Cleveland

    I was on that run with you Ray.
    Got turned around and Angie got us all out.
    Now I know !Then I didn’t. I had fun , but now I would not do a “2” alone with out all the ” gear ” winch jack spare , etc,etc. Things can change that quick. Even with a rig like Raymond’s. ( a serious OFF ROAD vehicle ) 🙂
    By the thanks Ray, did your daughter have fun ? Even though she was on the wrong side 🙂

    Raymond Prince

    She did have a great day. That was the first time she’s been out on a trail with us.

    Eden Aronovich

    me and another guy from this site are heading out this saturday to pencil lake if you wanna join in should be alot of fun.

    Kevin Hopp

    Thanks for the offer!

    I’d love to join you but I’m gonna be out at Mosport all weekend. 🙁

    Maybe next time?

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