The Best Off-Road Events In The North - Dirt Rider Magazine

Get out much? Maybe to the same tracks or district races, year after year? Or maybe you hit the same event every season as part of an annual road trip? Sounding like a creature of habit? Well Dirt Rider is here to open your race perspective with 10 cool events you may have never heard of. We're starting in the top slice of the U.S. (and Canada, eh). Enjoy, and start planning that road trip!#1 Snow Run Enduro

Stafford, Connecticut

Traditionally Held In February

www.ctramblers.orgThe northeastern corner of Connecticut is the home to New England's oldest-running enduro. For over 56 years, the Connecticut Ramblers have been host to this wintery race. There may be other enduros that are occasionally run in the snow, however this club has created an enduro with snow as its lure for the riders. The event is typically held during the height of winter on the first weekend in February. The town of Stafford receives 60 inches of snowfall annually, making it the perfect location for snowy single-track. The race is also included in the NETRA (New England Trail Riders Association) enduro schedule for points toward the series' championship.The race is about 50 miles long. Spiked tires are highly recommended, yet screws in the tires are not allowed. If you win this event, you will have something in common with former winners Mike Lafferty and Kevin Hines.#2 Orofino Logger Cross

Orofino, Idaho

Traditionally Held In May

www.orofinomotorcycleclub.comOrofino, Idaho, is well known throughout the logging world as home to the Orofino Lumberjack Days. The small Idaho town has hosted these events for more than 60 years. Now they have an EnduroCross-styled event at the city's outdoor stadium that seats thousands. Thanks to help from the city of Orofino, the community and access to the stadium, the Orofino Motorcycle Club was able to coordinate a successful race under the lights.The 20-member club is a nonprofit organization. One of the club members is a professional logger by day and is able to create the masterpiece of a track; it is friendly to all skill levels. Simply by omitting the more difficult sections, mini riders also take part in the evening event. The 2009 event had over 2,000 spectators, and thanks to many donations from the community, the pro purse was over $7,000.If you were lucky enough to attend the 2009 event, you would have realized that it's not your typical off-road event, because you would have had the pleasure of watching pro dirt tracker Joe Kopp as well as the Godfather of Freestyle, Mike Metzger, compete.#3 Great Lakes Grand Prix

Gaylord, Michigan

Traditionally Held In October

www.bajaacres.comLocated on 4,000 acres of northern Michigan rolling hills sits the Otsego Club and Resort. Not only is it America's oldest private ski club with its own facility, it is also home to one of America's best off-road venues.The inaugural Grand Lakes Grand Prix took place in October of 2009. It used a two 35-minute moto format on a 3.5-mile course that winds up and down the ski runs. The European GP-style course utilizes the natural terrain, eliminating much need for digging and dozer work. Considering that October generally has an abundance of rain and the course is mostly sand, the track conditions tend to be perfect.The GLGP makes the idea of bringing different racers from all forms of off-road racing together a reality.#4 The Big Sky XC

Big Sky, Montana

Traditionally Held In August

www.bigskyxc.comBig Sky Resort sits in the southwest corner of Montana and is known as one of the premier ski resorts in North America. In addition to the winter traffic, Big Sky has put a lot of effort into bringing summer vacationers to the resort. In 2009, the resort expanded its customer base by hosting its first-ever hare scramble race on the ski slopes. This race was so successful that it was chosen to be part of the AMA Western Hare Scrambles Series in 2010.

The diverse race conditions were inspired by the ski runs that are utilized for the race. The ultra-technical "Black Diamond" course has an elevation change of nearly 2,000 feet, a length of seven miles and a plethora of single-track. If you win the overall on the Black Diamond course, you will receive an engraved rock that was handpicked from the most demanding part of the course known as Lone Peak. Don't let the technical conditions keep you from enjoying this event, though. Fortunately for intermediate racers, the most difficult sections are eliminated and the "Blue Square" course is used. The shorter and less technical "Green Circle" course is then utilized for youth/novice racers. The organizers' mission statement is to ensure all racers leave the great ski town worn out with smiles that can't be wiped off for weeks.The resort is within an hour of Yellowstone National Park and offers numerous activities that include mountain biking, zip-lines, paintball, scenic lifts, bungee trampoline, as well as golf and spa treatments. The Big Sky XC is the perfect place to enjoy a family vacation and race a "one of a kind" hare scramble.#5 Thunder In The Sand

Wildwood, New Jersey

Traditionally Held In October

www.thundermoto.comEighteen years ago this race was created to promote tourism on the Jersey Shore during the off-season. In the early spring and late fall, Thundermoto Productions hosts a motocross venue on the same beach that attracts thousands of visitors every summer. The backdrop of the beach race is a 2.5-mile boardwalk of fun and entertainment. This semi-annual event welcomes more than 600 riders.Promoters begin moving sand to create the beach course at least a week in advance. The course layout is never the same, and is designed to make a fun and safe race for all skill levels and ages. Because of the boardwalk and family-friendly event, many kids get their first taste of racing on the Jersey Shore.#6 Team Hare Scramble World Championships

Athens, Ohio

Traditionally Held In October

www.actionsportsracing.comAction Sports Racing has been promoting this race for over 25 years. The event has grown into a fun-filled race that attracts over 200 teams competing throughout the weekend.If you have experienced this event, you always look forward to coming back. The course is designed for all skill levels. It includes a lot of elevation change but no impassible hills. The race is designed to have two riders per team, and there are more than 20 classes to choose from throughout the weekend of racing, including the father/son team challenge.The Team HS World Championship is known for attracting America's best off-road riders. Past winners of this event include National Enduro champions Terry Cunningham and Jeff Russell and GNCC champions Scott Plessinger and Scott Summers.#7 CRA Triathlon

Hubbard, Ohio

Traditionally Held In August

www.racecra.orgDon't bother bringing your swimming goggles, bicycling tights or running shoes for this triathlon. Instead, bring your favorite dirt bike and plan to enjoy three forms of racing for this off-road weekend at the Big Game Raceway.Competition Riders of America has created a one-of-a-kind event that is held throughout an entire weekend in August. The three disciplines utilized include motocross, dirt track and hare scramble. Overall results in each class are determined by adding together the results for all events. Riders must use the same bike for all of the events.Saturday's events include a two-moto formatted motocross. Following the motos, the late afternoon and evening consists of dirt track racing under the lights. The dirt track event includes heats, semis and finals. Following a night of rest, Sunday's final leg of the triathlon consists of a two-hour hare scramble.

The promoters put a lot of effort into creating a fun-filled atmosphere for the awards ceremony with a national-caliber podium and supersized trophies to leave a lasting impression.# 8 Rattlesnake Enduro

Cross Fork, Pennsylvania

Traditionally Held In July

www.ber.usLocated on the edge of the Susquehannock State Forest, nestled in 100 acres of rolling hills is Quiet Oaks Campground. During the spring and fall, the campground hosts many visitors who fish and hunt. During the summer, the campground is filled with a weekend of fun by hosting the Rattlesnake Enduro.The Brandywine Enduro Riders promote an enduro that can be enjoyed by everyone. This well-organized enduro has been voted "Enduro of the Year" multiple times by the East Coast Enduro Association (ECEA). The race sections range from 4-8 miles in length. The club also utilizes the property of the campground to create an incredible grass track. It's one of the only races in Pennsylvania where you won't find rocky trails. There are plenty of scenic road connectors and a spectator-friendly map.Although the enduro is on Sunday, a lot of the fun for the entire family begins on Saturday with the Quiet Oaks Olympics. These games consist of volleyball, a golf contest, horseshoes and frisbee toss competitions. The evening is then highlighted by an incredible fireworks display compliments of Brandywine Enduro Riders.#9 Ruff-E-Nuff Enduro

Pearson, Wisconsin

Traditionally Held In May

www.madisonmotorcycleclub.orgThe Madison Motorcycle Club is not only known as one of the oldest motorcycle clubs in the nation (founded in 1924), it is also known for organizing an enduro with a cult-like following. Although only a regional enduro, many racers will travel well beyond their districts to compete in this event.One of the most attractive features of the Ruff-E-Nuff Enduro is the rolling terrain and rock-infested trails. The Midwest is not known for rocky events, but Pearson, Wisconsin, is an exception. These conditions were the direct result of the Ice Age. Thousands of years ago, the same glacier that was responsible for creating the Great Lakes was also responsible for forming the hills and depositing the rocks that make this event so unique to the area.In addition to great trails, the club puts a lot of emphasis on keeping the length of the event at a "fun" distance. They run the A and AA riders through two loops that are approximately 23 miles each. A shorter course is used for B, C and Masters riders. A "restart" format is used, therefore there is no need to bring your timekeeping equipment. The entire race is trail, eliminating the need for headlights/taillights and license plates.If you want to get your money's worth, come out a day early. The Madison M/C also hosts the "rock-n-roll" hare scramble at the same location the day before the enduro.# 10 Terra Nova Enduro

Primrose, Ontario, Canada

Traditionally Held In October

www.horra.caWithin three hours from neighboring New York and Michigan is the home to the final round of the Canadian Enduro Championship Series. The event is always held on the third weekend in October. The riding conditions are very diverse. The area has rolling hills, and the race conditions vary from sand to clay to black dirt. There are numerous rocky stream crossings and beautiful special-test grass tracks. The fall colors are usually in peak condition, and Lake Erie can create "lake effect" weather consisting of rain and snow. The trails are in excellent shape and are used once a year for the enduro. The fun trails and scenic views make for an unforgettable experience.In addition to the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of the awards ceremony, the club also provides a unique twist at the finishing line by giving a shot of whiskey to those who were able to complete the Terra Nova.Did we miss one? Maybe you know of some in the center or southern slice of the country? Let us know about it at