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Close to Home: Have a hollerin' good time

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By Cindy DiFazio

Staff writer/photographer

HillzNHollarz Off-Road Vehicle Park located just south of Lockport in the eastern section of Henry County offers the 4x4 crowd more than 450-acres of off-roading trails. They range in difficulty from easy to extreme.

Property Manager Joe Lawson said that Jeeps, ATVs or anything else that goes off-road are welcome.

“People come here from all different walks of life,” he said. “We get everyone from kids to pro climbers.” Lawson said the park has received visitors from all over the country as well as regulars from closer to home. “We have some folks from Owen County who come twice a month,” he said. The park averages 50-100 off-roaders per weekend day, with more on holiday weekends.

The HNH trails were mostly hand-cut by volunteers representing various off-road vehicle clubs. While getting to the trail network is no sweat, having been dug out with heavy machinery, the trails themselves branch up into steep hill climbs and dive down into rocky creek beds. From the tops of trails vehicles can be neither seen nor heard. The terrain is ruggedly beautiful and care has been taken to retain its natural contours.

Lawson, an avid wheeler himself, said he has been on every trail in his jeep.

“I can make sure you can wheel all day and have a blast,” he said. “You can ride for two days and never hit the same trails.”

With advance notice, he will provide personalized trail guide service for groups of ten or more rigs. Lawson also will assess a newcomer’s rig and suggest the trail ride best suited to that vehicle. He said that often a first-timer will be a bit hesitant on the trails. “Then they come back the second time with bigger tires or a CB radio and they’re ready to go,” Lawson said.

The access fee is $10 per day per vehicle plus $5 per passenger over 18. There is no charge for passengers younger than 18.

Lawson pointed to a smiling family of four wheeling up out of a trail in a mud-spattered jeep. “Dad and mom and two little kids are spending the whole day out here wheeling and picknicking for ten bucks,” he said.

Individuals may purchase a yearly membership for $150 or a family of up to four for $300. Yearly memberships allow access to HNH whenever it is open including special events.

A popular feature, the monthly “HNH Mud Bogg” will begin at 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 16. According to the Web site, no rig has made it through all four holes.

A Jeep Only Ride will take place Sept. 13, and Hollarfest ‘08 is scheduled to happen Oct. 10-12.

Two large fields at the back of the property are designated campgrounds. Primitive camping, tent or pull-behind only, is available for $10 per campsite per night. Firewood can be brought in or campers may use park wood that is already down. The park has a strict pack-it-in pack-it-out policy regarding trash. Litterers face a $100 fine and ejection from the park.

Currently running water and electricity are not available, but there are three portable toilets on the property. Lawson said city water service will be installed mid-September. Plans for a permanent outhouse system also are in the works.

More information, including directions, can be found at www.hillznhollarz.com or call 502-655-2425.

E-mail us about this article at news@hclocal.com.