Appalachian Mountains and Valley - Experiences East of the Mississippi

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NJCoastal

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I don't understand how or why but once in a while the planets, moons, and stars align to a specific focal point.

The honest comment by @Wellspring was the start of the trajectory from the focal point: "East of the Mississippi has as many interesting places to travel to, and explore, it's just that nobody really covers the topics of places to travel to in the eastern part of the US as much as the publicity and number of published stories and YouTube exposure of the places to go to and visit west of the Mississippi West."


Hence, the reason for this "thread", created to be one of several ways to "showcase" the "overland experiences" in the "Appalachian Mountains and Valley" found within the U.S. East ("... covers the topics of places to travel to in the eastern part of the US ...").

Personally, soon after becoming member 29853 I found posts by @DevilDodge and @Xplorr313. I learned a lot from their posts about a few overland experiences available within a day's drive from home. The posts were also the catalyst for an appetite to begin a deeper and comprehensive inquiry into the overland opportunities available east of the Mississippi.

Hindsight? The "Appalachian Mountains and Valley" is only one of several topographical regions available east of the Mississippi River. Numerous square miles ready to explore :smirk:.

GreatAppalachianValley-map.jpg
 
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NJCoastal

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nuclear_runner

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I was just out in the GWNF this weekend (Ridge and Valley Appalachian mountains) and frankly I was quite impressed with how much dispersed camping/fun trails there were. I know you can't go for 150 miles on trail on the east coast but I think there are plenty of good opportunities for adventure. I'll check out these vids for inspiration, I have been looking at doing a 2ish week trip through VA, NC, TN and back up through WV. I think the biggest downside is due to the freeze/thaw cycle here, they do close a lot (but not all!) of the good FS roads for a few months in the winter.
 

Eventyr_jt

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I was just out in the GWNF this weekend (Ridge and Valley Appalachian mountains) and frankly I was quite impressed with how much dispersed camping/fun trails there were. I know you can't go for 150 miles on trail on the east coast but I think there are plenty of good opportunities for adventure. I'll check out these vids for inspiration, I have been looking at doing a 2ish week trip through VA, NC, TN and back up through WV. I think the biggest downside is due to the freeze/thaw cycle here, they do close a lot (but not all!) of the good FS roads for a few months in the winter.
Sounds like a good time!
 

DevilDodge

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I never knew PA lacked for wilderness or off pavement travel until I started reading these type forums.

I have never wanted to travel out west, Do want to see Wyoming, so maybe I am jaded. But there is so much to offer in PA. Plenty of off pavement travel and free dispersed camping. After spending 40+ years just driving around...i finally started plotting out routes and campsites...i could be gone for months if I wanted to.

So here are some screen shots of PA wilderness and popular out west areas. Same zoom level.

They look pretty similar to me...except here in PA...people live in these areas too. So you may see a bit more civilization. And with our rolling hills...you do not get the wide open feel...but some of our vistas give it.Screenshot_20211208-204602.pngScreenshot_20211208-204915.png

Www.uncoveringPA.com

Www.pabucketlist.com

Thanks for putting this together @NJCoastal
 
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NJCoastal

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I never knew PA lacked for wilderness or off pavement travel until I started reading these type forums.

I have never wanted to travel out west, Do want to see Wyoming, so maybe I am jaded. But there is so much to offer in PA. Plenty of off pavement travel and free dispersed camping. After spending 40+ years just driving around...i finally started plotting out routes and campsites...i could be gone for months if I wanted to.

So here are some screen shots of PA wilderness and popular out west areas. Same zoom level.

They look pretty similar to me...except here in PA...people live in these areas too. So you may see a bit more civilization. And with our rolling hills...you do not get the wide open feel...but some of our vistas give it.View attachment 217710View attachment 217711

www.UncoveringPA.com

www.PAbucketlist.com

Thanks for putting this together @NJCoastal
You're welcome @DevilDodge ! Your content has pointed me in the right direction ... seeking overland and outdoor fun within the western neighbor of NJ, the beautiful Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Link to the DevilDodge Threads
 
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John Bishop

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I've been able to do some exploring of the GW/ Jefferson and Monongahala Forests over the last year and a half. Have absolutely loved it! My goal this year is to get deeper west and south into WV. There is so much to see in this state. I do, however find it frustrating and a bit annoying of how many forest service roads are closed until the start of October hunting seasons.
Being born and raised in western PA, I do want to get up to the Allegheny NF and do some exploring. Never did that as a kid. I think my dad had enough of the outdoors in the south Pacific in WWII.

It is a bucket list item to get out west and do some exploring, but until such time that I can take the required time off from work to make it worthwhile, I'll have to visit vicariously through ewetube videos.
 

nuclear_runner

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I've been able to do some exploring of the GW/ Jefferson and Monongahala Forests over the last year and a half. Have absolutely loved it! My goal this year is to get deeper west and south into WV. There is so much to see in this state. I do, however find it frustrating and a bit annoying of how many forest service roads are closed until the start of October hunting seasons.
Being born and raised in western PA, I do want to get up to the Allegheny NF and do some exploring. Never did that as a kid. I think my dad had enough of the outdoors in the south Pacific in WWII.

It is a bucket list item to get out west and do some exploring, but until such time that I can take the required time off from work to make it worthwhile, I'll have to visit vicariously through ewetube videos.
LMK if you need company :grinning:
 

John Bishop

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I came across this guy's channel awhile ago. He does his exploring via sportbike.

From what I've seen of his WV based explorations, he likes to run and explore abandoned state and county roads. I have mixed feelings about doing that after an experience I had a few years ago while out with a group. Most of the landowners along these abandoned roads have come to the mindset that the right of way is now part of their property. While legally not so, I'm not one to want to get into a p!$$ing match with some one over that. I really don't want to be potentially shot at. This is WV, after all. lol
 

DevilDodge

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I came across this guy's channel awhile ago. He does his exploring via sportbike.

From what I've seen of his WV based explorations, he likes to run and explore abandoned state and county roads. I have mixed feelings about doing that after an experience I had a few years ago while out with a group. Most of the landowners along these abandoned roads have come to the mindset that the right of way is now part of their property. While legally not so, I'm not one to want to get into a p!$$ing match with some one over that. I really don't want to be potentially shot at. This is WV, after all. lol
That is why I like the Purple Lizard Maps. They meet with all of the different land owner types. If a road isnt on their map...you know not to go.

If a road is...and you have a current release...you know you are allowed to be there
 

NJCoastal

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I came across this guy's channel awhile ago. He does his exploring via sportbike.

From what I've seen of his WV based explorations, he likes to run and explore abandoned state and county roads. I have mixed feelings about doing that after an experience I had a few years ago while out with a group. Most of the landowners along these abandoned roads have come to the mindset that the right of way is now part of their property. While legally not so, I'm not one to want to get into a p!$$ing match with some one over that. I really don't want to be potentially shot at. This is WV, after all. lol
That is why I like the Purple Lizard Maps. They meet with all of the different land owner types. If a road isnt on their map...you know not to go.

If a road is...and you have a current release...you know you are allowed to be there
II’ll second the PL Maps. The last time we were at Spruce Knob Lake, our bearing was north north west to locate campsites and trailheads. Our vehicle and handheld GPS devices lost signal a few times, which caused our heading to be totally off the mark.

How we made it down the back roads with a few “Do Not Enter” and “Private Property” signs on the gate posts along our route, without someone approaching us, is still a mystery. We finally made it to a paved road before sunset without incident. Thankfully!

Side note: Using a handheld magnetic compass? Best to use it a few feet from metal for an accurate reading.
 
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nuclear_runner

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Most of the landowners along these abandoned roads have come to the mindset that the right of way is now part of their property. While legally not so, I'm not one to want to get into a p!$$ing match with some one over that. I really don't want to be potentially shot at. This is WV, after all. lol
Hell, I've experienced similar with maintained, state owned gravel roads in Loudoun Co VA while gravel biking.
 

NJCoastal

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Found the PL Map purchased after our WV trip. Our bearing was the "P" at Big Run. We drove on Whitmer Rd (dirt/gravel) with most of the distance covered inside the national forest. We continued toward the town of Whitmer on Whitmer Rd outside the national forest. Primarily a saddle drive covered with tree canopy the GPS devices (on-board and handheld) lost signal a few times. I could have used this map for confirming my exact position.

Lesson Learned: purchase hard copy maps before leaving home. :smirk:

media.jpgtree
 
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