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The description of Barnwell Mountain as an "off-highway park" is like describing Niagara Falls as a ripple in a river. If you're into Mercedes Benz and smooth air conditioned rides, well... you might not want to read any further.
It'll definitely be a waste of your time!
But if you love tinkering and remodeling and re-re-fixing your four wheeler, and if you have the lust to participate against others in "challenges" that include a lot of "rock crawling," then keep on reading.
Since it opened in 2000, Barnwell Mountain (5 miles outside Gilmer) has been 1,800 acres of rollin' and rocky hills of pure heaven for the weekenders who simply love to show off their skills in conquering the unbeatable.
The Rock Garden has defeated more than one would-be adventurer. As we watched, it took several minutes for one unlucky enough to get stuck, to finish the course, and he was simply trying to see if he could handle the rocks. He did, but it wasn't easy.
This is good solid family recreation where those who choose to camp-out over the weekend can do so knowing that tents and small campers may be right beside an expensive RV.
It's a gathering of the young, getting there's and geezers, as-well-as he's n she's. Don't get your masculinity all feathered up if a "she" handles the rocks better than a "he."
She may have prepared her rig better than you and driven it better too.
And besides, there's always another day and tomorrow might just be yours.
With trails that have names like Sunday Cruise and Weenie World you might think this is a stroll in the park.
Other trails like Rocky Run, Jeep Eater and Chaos Canyon may or may not prepare you for Dewoody, which is an almost impossible and what seems like a near-vertical-climb over rocks and scalloped earth that only the most adventuresome among us ever tries.
Come prepared to eat some dust and be prepared to share the road because this is one off road event that has become very popular.
If you somehow tip your rig over on its' side while attempting one of the many steep and rutted, rocky trails, you'll not be alone and you'll have help. Most of "them" won't laugh at you either because they've been there before and they may well be there again.
If you choose to bring a camera, bring some type of sealable bag to put it in to protect it from the dust.
One visit to Barnwell Mountain and you'll never call your city council again about pot holes on your street.