Baseball is played on a diamond, football has the gridiron, and golfers have their country clubs, but we prefer the "back country club". There is nothing better than exploring a new riding area on an ATV or Side x Side. Every turn of the trail is a new challenge, and a chance to check out territory we haven't seen before. Like most riders, we never get tired of challenging ourselves at someplace new, and while most riding areas feature woods, rocks, or tight trails, we know of one private off-road area that has it all.
The Rocky Creek ATV Trail near Culloden, Georgia is a riding park with a little bit of everything. They've got over 19 miles of trails, hill climbs, rocks, and natural jumps, but if there is one thing they specialize in it is mud. They're known for it, and they LOVE it! Recently we talked to Bennett Norris, the owner of Rocky Creek ATV Trail, about his own private slice of Georgia heaven.
Drive In and Dive In
Rocky Creek ATV Trail was opened 12 years ago, and every year Bennett and his crew work to make it better. Unlike some parks that are open every day year round, at Rocky Creek they run a limited schedule, with the park open the 1st and 3rd weekend of each month. This allows them to make changes between weekends, and to make sure the property is in top shape for the next event.
There are four special event weekends on the schedule, several mud racing event dates, and a couple four day weekends that feature fireworks as well. They even promote a Relay For Life fundraiser! It's the mud racing that people come to see however, and Rocky Creek hosts events from the Southern Mud Racing series (SMRA), the "Just Add Dirt Series", and two of their own, the "Baddest Mudders" events.
Believe it or not, there is quite a bit of technology that goes into building a competition mud pit, and it's a whole lot more involved than digging a hole and filling it with water. Rocky Creek has it down to a science! The main competition pit at Rocky Creek is 60ft wide, 165ft long, with one foot of mud covered by two feet of water. There are "S" shaped competition pits as well, and the proper combination of loose soil, water, and a solid bottom makes a good competition soup. According to Bennett, when it looks like chili, it's about perfect!
We asked Bennett the tricks to mud racing, and he had this to say. "It's best to go last, when the pit is stirred up; the thicker the better. The reason last is better is because you're down to the solid bottom." Side x Sides are welcome in the competition as well, but you better have a snorkel on your machine.
"I've seen only the snorkel and the riders head sticking out. In fact, I don't know what we haven't seen by now" Bennett adds. "The competition is real intense, but it's mostly for bragging rights." When we asked how riders get home after being covered with mud, Bennett laughs and says "We find a lot of clothes in the parking lot after an event". That lead us to ask another question, and over 15% of the competitors are now women with their own machine! We knew we liked this sport!
Fun for All
Besides the mud pits, Rocky Creek has trails for everyone, and for riders of every skill level. Hill climb sections have several routes to the top, including bypass routes so every rider can pass safely. There are plenty of trails open to ATVs, UTVs, and bikes, and many of the trails are one-way only so you don't need to worry about oncoming traffic. As expected, there are several -7 actually- creeks that wind through the park, with 5 ponds, but only 3 are capable of being crossed. "You can ride in the other two, but they're deep and I don't think you'll come back up" Bennett adds. That's warning enough for us. We'll stick to the ones we can wade across.
Should you have a breakdown at the park, they do keep normally replaced parts on hand, such as spark plugs, oil filters, tire plugs, chain, etc. to keep you on the trail. Overnight guests can find primitive camping for free within the park, but for those with RVs, there 14 spaces with RV hookups, and even two rental cabins! Showers are available for all riders.
At its core, Rocky Creek ATV Trail is a family park. "We want the families to be able to come out and enjoy the park together. There are plenty of places to play, mom and dad can bring the kids and ride safely, and dad can go play in the mud if he wants to" states Bennett. That sounds great to us! If mud play is not your thing, the trails are all easily to navigate and stay clean on as well.
The Rocky Creek ATV Trail is located about an hour west of Macon, Georgia, or about 1-1/2 hours south of Atlanta. Basically, Rocky Creek is in the middle of the state, but whichever direction you are coming from, they're easy to get to. Nearby are plenty of ATV friendly hotels as well, and just about everything else you need can be found in town.
The joy of riding with friends and family is what Rocky Creek ATV Trail is all about. Try the Rocky Creek "back country" club. The adventure awaits!
Rocky Creek ATV Trail
446 Main St.
Culloden, GA 31016
Contact: Bennett Norris
Park location address:
4637 Ga. Hwy 341
Culloden, Ga. 31016