In 1996, four families wanted to enjoy the natural beauty Mother Nature had to offer. Trail systems that stretched across scenic landscapes in Washington State were meant to be traveled – of course, responsibly. These families, the Rednecks, and their children, the Rug-Rats, became the foundation of the Redneck and Rug-Rats Jeep Clubs.
Years passed and this club became the model of what a true family-oriented Jeep club looked like. The Rug-Rats grew up in the four-wheeling community, learning safe and responsible use of the trail systems from their parents. Now, the original Rug-Rats have both grown up and become the second generation of Rednecks with kids and grandkids of their own.
Like the Rednecks, many families with an enthusiasm for Jeeps and trailing have found a home and family in the club, making it a central part of their community. Throughout the year, they make it a point to engage everyone in activities, events, environmental cleanup, and outdoor ventures that give the members a chance to connect, engage and have one heck of a fun time on the trails.
Over the years, the Rednecks and their generations of Rug-Rats have become stewards of the Evans Creek Off-Road Park and the west side of the Naches Trail, headed by their Land Use Delegates.
Anna Clark Commented
“My husband and I are one of the founding families. We have the 3rd generation of rug-rats coming up in the club. It has been a wonderful experience for us all in teaching our children and others the responsibility we have towards our environment, collaboration with others, and preservation for all.”
Welcoming Four Wheeling Enthusiasts
Rednecks & Rug-Rats pride themselves on creating a place where people of all kinds are welcome. All you need is a Jeep, respect for nature, and the willingness to try.
Members gather at least once a month for rides where non-members are also welcome. Their goal is to promote safety and allow everyone to have fun, laugh, and get to know each other. You can consider it a family reunion with a Jeep theme.
The members know how to have fun and love doing so with the local community. From the Region II and July Fun Runs, the May/June work parties at Evans Creel RV Park to the Enumclaw Christmas Parade, our rides are always exciting.
Genny Loy Commented
I love that our club is family-friendly. Being one of the original “rugrats,” the members of this club have been family to me for most of my life. Most of the members in our club are parents and grandparents; so kids are welcome and included in all that we do. We encourage learning at a young age to care for the outdoors by including young members in work parties and trail cleanups. In the end, our club is all about safe, family-friendly fun, and working hard to keep our local trail systems open and operating the best we can.
Respect – For the Force of Nature
All members of the Rednecks & Rug-Rats Jeep Club are well-aware that they get to enjoy nature’s blessings by respecting the trails they ride. This is what makes their club special. They work closely with the Forest Service and the PNW4WDA to preserve the very trails and beaches that support their interests.
They strongly believe that it is every member’s responsibility to maintain and protect the off roads trails for every off-road enthusiast to enjoy. In addition to educating people about their club, they actively take part in parades, clean-up events, and other activities to restore and maintain our natural spaces to give back something constructive to our communities.
They are also associated with the Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association (PNW4WDA), which provides resources, information, and support for off-road clubs in and around Washington, Idaho, and Oregon.
Naches Trail Repairs
Over the years, the Naches Trail has needed repairs and maintenance. One year, they found a bridge that crossed a marsh that was falling apart. The Forest Service supplied the materials, while the Rednecks & Rug-Rats Jeep Club took a few members of the Tacoma Webfooters and hauled up the boards to rebuild the bridge. Other maintenance on the Naches trail facilitated by the club included installing a kiosk on Forest Service Road 70 to provide trail/road information and doing general trail maintenance such as clearing downed trees, making repairs, and hauling rocks to stabilize the trails.
Evans Creek Repairs
Evans Creek projects include building day-use shelters, picnic tables, and fire rings at the new campground sites; repairing or replacing bridges; and others such as replacing culverts, rerouting washed out roads and trails, and hauling tons of rock. As a club, we have been doing yearly work parties for about 20 years.
After a winter storm washed out the road going to Evans Creek campgrounds one year, a group of their members with two backhoes was able to cut out and move the inside bank enough to make the road passable. The Forest Service then brought in the new rock to finish shoring up the road.
Giving Back to the Community
Rednecks & Rug-Rats Jeep Club aims, aspires, and continually tries to add constructive value to their communities. Every holiday season, the club goes on a Christmas tree run, cutting down fresh-cut mountain trees and donating them to the local food bank so other people can enjoy the warmth they bring. Along with the preparations for the parade, the potluck dinner and gift exchange between the families is one of the most special times the club enjoys together.
The efforts of giving back continue year-long as they work with multiple organizations to support anyone who might need it. The members come together to raise and donate funds to local food banks, hospitals, and other organizations that work for the wellbeing of the community in one way or another.
Fun Run is an annual fundraiser Rednecks & Rug-Rats Jeep Club holds every July at Evans Creek. The event is open to the public and all off-road enthusiasts are invited to attend and join us on the trails. The event has an organized trail run with five checkpoints. You can think of it as a trail ride poker run with games at each checkpoint. Some of the games we enjoy as a group include darts, roulette, nerf gun, ball toss, and more. Participants play the game at each checkpoint, earning points for each win. At the end of Fun Run, the cards are checked and the three highest scores win prizes. Additional door prizes are also given out at the end of the event. All prizes are donated by local businesses with 4Wheel Parts being the biggest supporter of the event.
Helping Our Community
Throughout the year, money and food raised through events are used to support the Buckley Washington Food Pantry, sponsoring kids with the Buckley fire department, the elderly at Enumclaw senior center, donating to the Seattle Children’s Hospital, participating in Wounded Warrior trail runs, and much more. To encourage and support the next generation in their pursuit of environmental education, the club has also donated to the White River Community Scholarship program.
Checkout Our Family
Since 1996, the club has been home away from home for many families. From the monthly rides to annual camping trips and potlucks, we have created bonds that go beyond our shared love for off-roading and the love of nature.
Each year, anywhere between 50 and 90 rigs show up at rides that include members and non-members wanting to test the off roads and have a good time with their trialing family.
You can experience the same family environment, strong bonds, and values of preservation, conservation, and respecting the trails with Rednecks & Rug-Rats Jeep Club the next time you’re in the vicinity. For now, check out their Facebook page to learn more about them.