One of the great places for riders to go to test their skills is The Badlands Off-Road Park near Attica in the western part of Indiana.
Privately owned, the Badlands consists of about 800 acres of sand dunes, pea gravel hills, seemingly bottomless mud, trails, extreme rock-crawling areas and more.
Troy Myers in 1995 bought an old gravel quarry and turned it into the Badlands. Troy knew it would be the perfect place for riders, since he had ridden the area as a boy.
Troy said recently that the Badlands Off Road Park offers a variety of areas to ride for the whole family, from "mild to wild.''
Some of the different areas include a kids' track for the little ones just starting out that is for kids with an average age of 3 plus with an ATV or motorcycle of 100cc or less.
"From the kids track we go to an 800-acre park that has sand hills, pea gravel, dirt, woods, rocks, and breath-taking dirt hills, along with wooded scenic trails along the creek bed,'' he says.
The Badlands also hosts a 200-acre trucks-only section for "rock crawling fans.'' Hosting the UROC and NEUROC Rock Crawling Championships, the Badlands provides some of the best rock crawling trails in the east. One better be prepared to test his roll cage on these trails, Troy says.
All of these types of trails can all be accessed by riders. If you want to travel over the rolling sand hill and enjoy the view of the terrain, sunsets, or an occasional deer, fox, or coyote crossing the path, you can.
For those really hot days, the park offers two huge drain tiles to race through, jumping into a pool of water.
For the weekend warrior, the Badlands offers those very large mud areas to be conquered by the wild and crazy.
The park is open all year except Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day. The hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and weekends. A riding fee is charged. Check with the park for current rates.
The Badlands has a number of rules that must be followed:
No alcohol on the property.
Helmets are required at all times, and boots.
Flags are required. Flags are sold on-site if you don't bring your own.
No riding double.
There is a 5 mph speed limit in parking areas.
You must sign a waiver of liability, and also a consent form for minors, plus other forms. They must be notorized to be accepted, so it's a good idea to have the forms faxed or mailed to you before you go.
There is limited lodging nearby in Attica and Boswell, but there is plenty of Lodging in the towns of Lafayette, Crawfordsville and Danville, about 35 miles away.
You'll find gas and restaurants in Attica and surrounding areas.
To get to the Badlands, from Chicago, take US 41 south to Attica. At the first stop light, turn right onto Perry Street. Go straight on Perry Street to a four-way stop sign. Go straight through the stop sign about a half mile to the Badlands entrance, which is on the right side of the road.
To get there from Indianapolis, take Interstate 74 West to the Attica exit (exit 15) and then go to US 41 North. Enter the Attica limits. Turn left onto Sycamore Street (there's a church on the left and golf course on the right). Go straight on sycamore Street to a four-way stop. Turn left at the stop sign, and then go about half a mile to the entrance on the right side of the road.
The Myers and their staff work hard to maintain a safe, fun riding area. They also have a snack bar on the site.
For more information, contact Troy or Lisa Myers at the Badlands ORV Park, 3968 N. Xavier, Attica, IN 47918; phone (765) 762-2981; fax (765) 762-0519; or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website at www.badlandsoffroad.com.