J.A.'s Toyota 4Runner Highlander
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East Coast 4Runner Jamboree (EC4RJ)
George Washington National Forest
June 8-10, 2001

Harrisonburg, VA
Maps provided by
Finally the East Coast had its own 4Runner Jamboree. It was an informal event that came about by 4Runner Owners on the Trail Talk internet forums. The trail rides at the EC4RJ were catered to all levels of drivers and vehicles. All that was required was 4WD with a low gear transfer case and solid tow points front and rear.

The headquarters for this first EC4RJ event were at the Harrisonburg/New Market KOA Campgrounds, 12480 Mountain Valley Rd, Broadway, VA 22815. 43 vehicles attended the event.

Trail rides were held in the George Washington National Forest. GWNF is comprised of lands located in Virginia (956,222 Acres) and West Virginia (104,858 Acres). Here is some general information about Off-Highway Vehicle Trails in the GWNF.

The group of vehicles broke out into 3 smaller groups which were led by Little Joe, Brian Davis and Allen Dickenson. These trail leaders along with some others went to the area a few times in the months prior to the event to scout out the area and pre-run the trails. They did an excellent job.

Brian, our trail boss for the day
My group consisted of 8 rigs and was led by Brian Davis. He was a great guy who took the time to give us alot of helpful tips and some much needed spotting through the difficult areas. It was a nice group to be with, both on the trails and at the campsite. Here is the members of our group and their vehicles, as seen in the photo below from left to right...

  • Paul (Bratik) and his brother Andrea - Silver 2000 4Runner Limited
  • Ace Lacerna and friends - DDP 1997 4Runner Limited on 35's
  • Mark - Black 3rd Gen 4Runner
  • Zack - Black 1st Gen 4Runner
  • Jim (thats me J.A.) - Jade 1999 4Runner Highlander
  • Steve (2Sweet) - Black 1999 4Runner Highlander
  • Brian - White Pickup
  • James - LC FJ40

The trails we ran on Saturday were west of Harrisonburg, off of Route 33. They were...Second Mountain, Long Run, Old Long Run, and one of the Loop Trails. The trails were a little more difficult than I had expected. But fun to say the least. My rig was not lifted, not locked and still had its stock Dunlop Grandtrek tires. It performed very well, considering I chose to leave my stiff Addco Sway Bars connected. I got crossed up once or twice, and disconnecting the bars would have given me the needed wheel articulation to get me through. But it was nothing that backing up a little and using the V-6's muscle could'nt power me through. The trails were wet and had large mud holes at times. Many streams were crossed on the last one. I had it in first gear on the tranny and low gear on the transfer case quite often. I was very glad I had removed my running boards and installed the front splashguards. Also the extended differential breathers I installed for this trip saved my gears a few times. I heard my skidplates getting banged at times, a 2.5" lift with 32's or 33's would have came in handy. Some of the trails were quite narrow with overgrown brush hitting the vehicles at times. You had to choose your lines carefully through those parts because there was the possibility of sliding in the mud and hitting a tree. I managed to bend up the tip of my tailpipe somewhere along the trail. Paul and James ran the optional Powerline Trail that day and they made it look so easy. On Sunday a group of capable rigs headed out for the more difficult Dictums Ridge Trail, I passed on that one.

Arriving at the KOA Campgrounds

Sharing a campsite with 2Sweet

My campsite

2Sweet at Camp

My neighbors, Paul and Andrea

Jason B.

Re-Grouping at the gas station

Airing down

2Sweet trail running

2Sweet in the mud

A view from the top

The powerline trail


Taking a break at the powerlines

Our Group

Bratik running the powerlines

Bratik running the powerlines

Brian spotting me on a dropoff

Steep Dropoff

One of the many stream crossings

Bratik, J.A., Brian

Ace and Mark

Hill climbing


James and his Land Cruiser FJ40


Another stream crossing

Extended breathers were necessary

I prefer the wide trails like this

A rocky stream

The last water crossing of the day. It was long and deep.

End of the weekend

Toyota 4Runner Topsites

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