“ORFW makes you feel like family. Everyone is helpful and members are active in the communities they ride and live in. ORFW is open to any make or model, not just “Jeeps” like other clubs. On or off the trails, the members are helpful and encouraging no matter what level your abilities are! We’ve made some very good friends over the years thanks to ORFW!”
Talk about the perfect opening for an off-roading club!
Member Kristie Fox has perfectly captured everything that the Ohio River Four Wheelers club aims to provide. Having been around since the early 1990s, ORFW has forged a strong family-like among its members.
Regardless of your age, gender, and the type of off-roading vehicle you own, you can truly feel their love for Ohio’s off-road trails. In just one ride you may even be lucky enough to be given a nickname. This is when you will find out that ORFW has a friendly sense of humor. ORFW members are still trying to decide who has the “Fake Jeep” as a nickname.
Note: It seems who has “Fake Jeep” as a nickname is still in question.
If you’re in the Cincinnati, Ohio area and would love to indulge yourself in off-roading activities that go beyond four-wheeling, ORFW offers that and more. You come to them as a stranger with an affinity for off-roading and Jeep trails and leave with a great story and probably a nickname!
Once upon a time, three decades ago…
There was a gentleman that went by the name Mervin Senters. He had a passion for off-roading that led him and four of his wheeling buddies to join the Eastern United States 4×4 Association. However, the group seemed to lack one more person to make the cut for the club. Mervin Senters reached out to one more friend, Everett Chilson, who also loved off-roading. Together the group of friends discovered that their passion led to the founding of the Ohio River Four Wheelers club in 1991. Since then, the club has gained many wheeling buddies.
With an average of 50 active club members, ORFW blazes across trails endowed by Mother Nature’s best masterpieces not only in Ohio but across the country.
Riding Family Style
ORFW has a “come one, come all” policy for their monthly scheduled rides. Jeeps, Range Rovers, Toyotas, and others are all welcome. Both members and non-members can join in on the fun which normally starts on Saturday mornings – except during the winter season (the group takes a break from December to February). This break gives them time to regroup and do upgrades on their rides
We’re not just saying that this group rides family style.
Whether they’re cruising across the Back Roads of Kentucky, or at Black Mountain Off-Road Park, every driver keeps an eye out for one another. If somebody gets stuck on a muddy trail or needs a little help on a more difficult trail, nobody shies away from jumping out of their rig and lending a hand. No vehicle is left behind!
As Time Mehl says:
“This club is very caring and family-oriented. I joined when I was in pretty bad shape medically and it has helped me recover 99.9%. They are open to all makes and models of vehicles, which I am glad about. I drive a Ford and they’ve welcomed me at every event. It’s great riding with them. I often take my grandson and granddaughter on the trails and have a blast every time I’m out. I am very proud to say I am a member of Ohio River Four Wheelers.”
The Story Continues
The club’s monthly meetings and rides are reason one for checking them out, the family-oriented dynamics the second, and their giving spirit the third.
They are especially very active in Slade, KY where they host their Annual Fall Meet and Greet Ride during the first week of November. All proceeds they manage to rake up there go to charity. They split the funds between the SFWDA Grant Fund and Slade Off-Road Trail Maintenance Fund.
But that’s not all.
ORFW off-roading club also participates in fundraising activities throughout the year and is particularly active before Christmastime. In the past, they’ve supported various organizations including the Zoe Vol. Fire Department, Desiree Scott Children’s Home, and Mission on the Mountain in Duff.
When the club’s previous leadership joined they realized what goes behind maintaining the trails off-roaders frequent. From cleanup to serious development, they have to do their part in making sure the next generation can find community and adventure.
This is why, besides regular cleanup on every ride, the club helps out in keeping these trails clear. They participate in Trailkeeper Foundation’s annual cleanup ride every year. Just in the last five years, ORFW has helped clean an entire dumpsite, removed 8 trailerloads (18-foot trailers), and gotten rid of tons of garbage.
One of their most impressive contributions, however, has been the…
The Daniel Boone Backcountry Byway
In 2015, the club joined hands with the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA), five counties (Powell, Wolfe, Lee, Estill, and Menifee), and the U.S. Forest Service to develop the Daniel Boone Backcountry Byway.
The collaboration agreed to establish a 100-mile route of blacktop, gravel, and unmaintained county roads. Since then, they’ve managed to raise over $10,000 in grants for further developments along the byway. This included a downloadable map, kiosks, signage, and repair work.
Selina Bogan captures their efforts for keeping the trails open quite well:
“What really drew me to the group and has me proud to be a member is their passion for off-roading. This is shown by striving to keep trails open, whether it be working with the counties and elected officials in the Slade area to address any issues that arise, keeping good relationships with private landowners, trail maintenance, and starting the Meet and Greet ride to further maintain and give back to the local community.”
If you want to, as Aaron Roddy says, “come back off the trails with one great story to tell about the day, and get confused by numerous Fake Jeep nicknames (I still haven’t figured that one out!), then check out the club’s Facebook page.”
For information on how to join go to their Facebook page.