Redbird, Moonshine, Lawrence, Interlake, Badlands, Land Btwn the Lakes (IL, IN, KY)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Cannonshot, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Winter wasn't over in Wisconsin yet. Headed south to do a little riding. Took in trails in Indiana (Redbird, Lawrence County, Interlake), the Moonshine Lunch Run in Illinois, and some riding in Kentucky (Land Between the Lakes - Turkey Bay).

    I'll post some pix and info about these fun places in case anyone else not from that area might be interested in doing some riding there.

    Lots of fun. Some interesting challenges.
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    #1
  2. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Redbird State Riding Area

    Redbird State Riding Area is on what once was a coal mine. The land is now nicely forested but still bears many of the changes to the surface topography from mining. Some of these changes make for some challenging riding.

    Redbird is located near Dugger, IN SE of Terre Haute.
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    They have specified hours of operation. Check the web site. There is a large parking area at the site.
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    Pay your user fee at the gate.
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    Standard trail markings at the site. DO NOT underestimate the "most difficult" ratings. :lol3
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    There is a map with trail ratings and designations available for download on the website.
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    Nice trails.
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    There are a lot of these climbs around. Some are pretty steep and/or long. The one in this picture is kind of average I guess as there are better and worse. I had just resprocketed my DRZ 400 to 15/45 for another purpose. When I come back here I will be running 14/48. I was doing a lot of clutch slipping here with the 15/45 combination just to sustain the power necessary to make some of the climbs. Lots of fun though.
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    Some trails ran along the crest of the mining ridges. Great runs.
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    I must say that I was a bit rusty as this was my first ride of the season after a long Wisconsin winter. I didn't make all of the climbs. I had been facing the other direction and was almost over the top until a moment before the picture. :lol3
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    There were some climbs I wisely didn't try. I was here by myself and my risk management profile was such that I skipped a few crazy steep, long, and sometimes eroded trail segments (going up OR down - they were bad in either direction). I'll be back here for more and will deal with at least some of the runs I skipped once I am riding with a posse. :D

    Lots of ups and downs. Very entertaining.
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  3. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Mild, winding climbs like this were a blast.
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    Trail surfaces vary. Even though we recently had heavy rain, much of the trail was dry. There were also a lot of wet and muddy spots placed neatly in places to try to mess you up. :lol3
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    Some scenic riding. For a reclaimed mine, the area looked great.
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    There is some four wheel drive stuff in the park as well.
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    Rock gardens.
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    This place is a blast. I doubt that there is a speeding problem here.
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    By the way, some of the crests are very sharp. Just when you expect to neatly roll over the top and start down, you discover that the crest is sort of knife edged and your front wheel immediately drops and down you go. Kind of interesting when you can't see over the top until you are already committed to the descent. Lots of fast mental calculation. :evil

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    Some access roads are trails as well.
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    I was trying to edge this flooded trail when I slipped in and fell over into the water. This shot is after I got the bike back upright. I had to drain water out of the exhaust pipe. The back wheel was dug into some muck on the bottom and the bike was hung up on a root that defined a dug out step at the (uphill) edge of the water hole. It was owl crap slippery stomping around in the water trying to extricate the bike by myself. I couldn't get the wheel out and over the step. Eventually I gave up on brute power and set about to engineer a solution using forest products I found on the ground nearby. Another reason not to ride alone. With two people present I could have been out in minutes.
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    This 4WD trail go some award for being so "good". It was one steep climb after another for a while. The climbs become more challenging when you can't get a run at them like when you have to make a 90 degree corner into the climb at the bottom. There is sometimes the issue of making a 90 right away at the crest that you don't know about until you get there. All great fun though!
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    Roots on a turn in a climb are always handy! On one very steep climb I snagged a fallen branch with my pegs. When I rolled off the throttle as I was getting to the crest edge, I found that the limb was applying my rear brake. I came up short, stalled the engine, and headed back down the grade backwards. :lol3 Protective gear is pretty nice sometimes.
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    I used a hitch rack to transport my DRZ between these riding areas. Note the mud on the bike.
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    As soon as I left the park, I went to a car wash to get the mud off the bike. Since I was going from area to area, I wanted to minimize the possibility of transferring invasive species between sites.
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    We all like to get the mud off our bikes as soon as possible (before it dries on and gets difficult to remove) so we can do proper maintenance and inspection. It is very important for us to do a good job getting the dirt off because transferring invasives is a big issue for everyone these days (hikers, equestrians, motorized, etc). Just as we remove aquatic plants from our boat trailers, we need to take care of things with our bikes as well. And don't forget to hose off your riding boots as well. Very important to our future, especially if we want continued access to public lands.
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    #3
  4. R.Markus

    R.Markus Damage Addict

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    I know most mud holes look the same, but I'm pretty sure that's the hole I sunk my 300 in. :lol3

    I distinctly remember trying to edge it along that side and losing it trying to get around that tree.

    Redbird is actually a really nice place to ride. I hope to get back down there this year sometime.
    #4
  5. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    And Mark, I know how you are fond of those mud holes. :lol3
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    #5
  6. barnyard

    barnyard Verbal tactician Super Moderator

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    That looked like a pretty awesome place to ride.
    #6
  7. mbabc

    mbabc Curmudgeon trainee

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    Great shots CS. Looking forward to the rest.
    #7
  8. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    I'd never imagine a state park could be so intense.
    #8
  9. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    I think I'm going to have to go back down there. Nice early season trip.

    Pretty scenic spot for a reclaimed mine. Great trails.

    There are a lot of great challenges there. Great fun!
    #9
  10. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    I took in the Moonshine Lunch Run near Casey, IL.

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    A lot of people take in this thing. When I decided to head south a few days before the event, I signed up and found out I was rider number 999.
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    As I pulled up to park along the long line of bikes, by chance I pulled in next to ADV pal C-Zulu. Small world Ted!. His group rode in from northern Minnesota and were planning a Mississippi River ride back north after the event.
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    Long lines of bikes were parked in four directions from the Moonshine store.
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    People were in line to get Moonshine Burgers. They were fabulous and worth the wait. They had a substantial line for much of the day. I know they were still cooking and serving at 2 PM.
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    Quite a variety of bikes at the event. People ride in from all over, some traveling a great distance. There was a "rough road ride" scheduled earlier that morning. I took a rain check on participating since the area was being hammered by a heavy thunderstorm at the time.
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    As a military retiree, I'm not much for waiting in lines or hanging around crowds anymore, but it was great stopping by to enjoy the wide variety of bikes and riders at the event.
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    A few dual sporters got wet on the way in.
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    As the rain clouds cleared out, it got pretty warm and sunny.
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    Still a lot of water around from the rains.
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    Next time I'll remember to bring a hat to block the sun.
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    #10
  11. Jailor8

    Jailor8 Long timer

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    A few dual sporters got wet on the way in.
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    From Left to right... JWolfe, Jailor8, DougfromIndy, Road Dad.

    Wet? It freaking poured heading over to the start of the ride. Had to skip the creek crossings. Hey they were only about 6-7 foot deep! Was still a good time. Now I know how you recognized my KLR later at Best Buy.

    Jailor8
    #11
  12. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Looks like you guys were drying a lot of gear. :lol3

    Sorry we didn't get to meet. I too was a Best Buy when I tagged your ride with a "Cannonshot Was Here" card.

    While in that area I also got to enjoy a nice visit with scarysharkface, Pinktoad, and family. Fun seeing them again and meeting the kids. Nice folks.
    #12
  13. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Visited Lawrence County Recreational Park south of Bloomington, IN. This is a riding area intended for ATVs and OHMs. Check the web site for details about fees, hours, etc.

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    This is an aerial of the park. Nice terrain. When I registered they told me I could ride anywhere I wanted except for the lawn like areas. Apart from some single track, the trails weren't marked.
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    The park also has a motorcycle memorial.
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    I checked it out while I waited for the park to open.
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    While I was parked at the memorial, ADV pal alpiv recognized me and stopped to chit chat for a bit. Nice to see you again Al.
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    Registration station.
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    They have an excellent (and inexpensive) campground at the park.
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    #13
  14. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    My ADV pal Critic met up with me to ride for a few days. We started off on a short segment of single track. We recently had heavy rains so getting a good ride on the single track proved a little tricky. In some places there was a lot of water, mud, and wet leaves to deal with making things too slippery to ride very aggressively.
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    Where it was drier, the trails were sporty and fun.
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    Critic
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    Al was part of a group that was marking some new single track. It was very hot and humid (87 degrees with 90% humidity) and I'm sure they were feeling that as they were working pretty hard. They hoped to get a 15 mile trail put in over time. We contributed a little toward burning in a couple of the new sections.
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    Some fun trail.
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    New single track.
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    Even with all this motorized activity, we came upon 4 deer that didn't seem too disturbed by the riding.
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    As we got to the end of the day, we rode over to a local car wash to clean the mud off. Since we were moving to another park in another region we wanted to minimize the chance of spreading invasives.
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    Cleaned up and ready for the next site. Don't forget the boots as well.
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    #14
  15. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    We chose some scenic backroads on our way to the next riding area. Would have been great riding on a big bike.

    17 foot lowhead dam.
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    Deadly current.
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    A conservation warden was killed here some years back rescuing some others.
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    This bridge was recently closed.
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    A long span with a single midstream stone support. Nice to see the big timbers (no laminates).
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    It was just replaced by this bridge.
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    #15
  16. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Imbecile

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    It was an unexpected treat to see you! Stop by anytime.

    John
    #16
  17. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Next stop was at the Interlake property (IN DNR). Check the web site for details.

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    A riding map of the site.
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    Reclaimed mining site. There is an active mine nearby.
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    Varied uses. Looks like it works well for everyone.
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    The terrain varies between open and wooded.
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    It had been raining steady all day. the area got over two inches.
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    #17
  18. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Obviously we weren't going to ride this today.
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    Since we didn't get into the interior trails of the park, I was able to borrow some media from a couple of Indiana riders that will show a little more.

    Thanks to oPAULo for this shot.
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    And thanks to TooSlow4U for this video.
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    #18
  19. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Imbecile

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  20. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Nice pix John! Thanks for sharing those. Hope it helps to give some additional insight to someone who might be interested in riding Interlake.
    #20