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Hudson Valley 4 Wheelers Trail Ratings

Trail Conditions and Rating Overview

Off-highway travel is by its very nature potentially dangerous and could result in property damage, injury, or even death.  If you drive any of the trails with HV4W, you acknowledge these risks and assume full responsibility.  You are the final judge as to whether a trail is safe to drive, whether your vehicle is capable of the journey, and whether your skills are up to the challenge.  HV4W disclaims any and all liability for property damage, bodily injury, or death that could occur to you or any of your passengers.  On a different note, please be good stewards of our sport--always stay on designated trails . . . and always, always remember to Tread Lightly!

Trail conditions can change, and something that is hard for one driver might be easy for another, even if they are driving the same vehicle. A rainstorm might make an easy trail impassable, or a hard one easy.  So rating trails is tough. Be aware that conditions can change and the experience level of the person doing the rating may be different from yours. While we've tried to make this system useful, take these or any rating methods with a grain of salt - use our ratings as guidelines only.

Trail Rating System

Paved Road
Suitable for any vehicle.

Access Road
Very graded dirt road, suitable for a regular car or tow vehicle and trailer.

Unimproved or rarely graded dirt road which may have some mud holes, water crossings, rutted and small to medium size rocks and loose dirt hill climbs. Easy grades and side hills.  Occasional use of 4WD.  Slow easy going with four-wheel drive. Low range is best for speed/traction control and to minimize damage. Some rocks/ledges (~12") that require low range and some skill to navigate.

Vehicle Recommendations: Jeep Wranglers or equivalent with upgraded clearance and upgraded tires – A/T or Mud Terrain or equivalent.  Two speed transfer case required. Front and rear tow hooks recommended.
Driver Experience: Basic 4WD skills and knowledge. Would like help on some obstacles and skills.

Quite rocky or deep ruts. Low-range four-wheel drive required due to terrain and loose traction.  Trail may have medium to large rocks and ledges, deep water crossings, and steep grades. There may be side hills that could result in some slippage.  Ledges and boulders exceeding 24”.  Some body damage may occur.  Rocks frequent and large in difficult terrain.  Low-range four- wheel drive required in sections.  Steep hill climbs and descents may be required. Obstacles could result in significant body damage. Some obstacles will require traction devices or winching.

Vehicle Recommendations: High ground clearance and/or good skid plates, with traction device (limited slip or lockers) on one or both axles and a working winch.  Aggressive tire tread and method of airing up and airing down tires. 3 ply or more on tires strongly recommended.  Front and rear attachment points mandatory.
Driver Experience: Moderate to extensive experience. Some ability to perform basic trail repairs. Comfortable with steep climbs, descents and off-camber situations.

Trail badly eroded or in very difficult terrain. Obstacles will require technical driving skills to negotiate.  Very large rocks and deep ruts will require traction devices. High ground clearance and skid plates required. Body damage very possible. Severe trail with potentially dangerous sections.   Body damage, mechanical breakdown, rollover possible. Significant obstacles that will require technical wheel placement and experienced drivers.  Ledges and boulders exceeding 36”. Parts of trail may result in vertigo or other signs of distress.

Vehicle Recommendations: Winches and lockers strongly recommended. Full Roll cages and other body protection recommended.  Modified vehicles with oversized tires, excellent articulation, large ground clearance and lockers on both axles.  Spare parts and tools highly recommended.  Front and rear attachment points, working winch and at least one solid locker required.
Driver Experience: Very experienced drivers. Self-sufficient drivers who require very little to no spotting assistance.  Able to follow and give spotting help when necessary. Able to perform basic vehicle maintenance on trail.

Extremely rugged trail through virtually impassable terrain.  Ledges and boulders exceeding 48”.  Winching is required in at least one point on the trail. Body damage, mechanical breakdown, and/or rollover probable. Will be challenge to many pocket books.

Vehicle Recommendations: Winches and spare parts required.  Spare fluids and welding capabilities recommended. Very tall suspensions, trail tested and fully modified vehicles only.  Front and rear attachment points, working winch, and two solid lockers required.
Driver Experience: Very experienced drivers fully capable of all trail fixes and repairs. Do not come on these trails if you are not completely self-sufficient.