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Ride Area Review - Rush Off-Road

An Adrenaline Rush in the Bluegrass State
Written By: 
Moxie Karasek

location.2014.rush-off-road-park.kentucky.side-x-side.riding.through-mud.jpgAlmost every rider loves to explore new trails and get up close and personal with Mother Nature. Sometimes though, it’s just about the rush. The thrill of making it to the top of a huge hill, flying over a jump, or conquering a watery mud pit where others have failed always delivers a shot of adrenaline to the spine. We’ve all been there, and once tasted, you’ll never get over the addiction. As we said, sometimes it’s about the rush. Recently we found a new riding area capable of delivering those thrills but also much more. Its name, appropriately: RUSH OFF-ROAD.

Bluegrass Fast Pass

Rush Off-Road not only describes part of the adventure you can find inside the park, but also the surrounding community of Rush, Kentucky in which it’s located. One big advantage to this park though, is its proximity to a good sized city. We’ve traveled countless miles of back-roads searching out riding areas, with some being so remote we’re sure the GPS is certain to ask us, “Where in creation are you?” It seems many communities prefer any off-road park to be about as far from any “decent people” as they can get. Pass the county lockup, landfill, and abandoned asbestos plant, and you’re usually getting close. Not with Rush Off-Road though. It’s just off the interstate and less than 15 miles from the city of Ashland in Northern Kentucky, making it extremely convenient for everything from lodging, to fuel, to spare parts, and driving past serene horse farms even makes you feel like a first class citizen of the community. So far, so good, and it gets a lot better.

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In most sports, the best managers were players themselves, and the same thing can be said of off-road park managers. That definitely describes park owner E.B. Lowman. Like many of us, Lowman spent most of his life with a motor under his britches, and whether it has handlebars or a steering wheel, he’s happy to be on the trails and in the woods. Just like Kevin Costner’s character in the movie Field of Dreams, Lowman always carried the desire to own and operate his own facility where others could come and enjoy the sport that has given him so much joy. Rush Off-Road is the realization of that dream, but rather than Shoeless Joe stepping out of the corn and onto a ball field, it’s the Jones family out for a day of family backcountry exploration. They could have hardly picked a better place and Lowman says he is just getting started.

Lowman Vision

There are over 7000 acres already at Rush Off-Road and Lowman and his crew have cut and marked over 100 miles of trail. There are definitely trails for everyone, and every type of vehicle, and besides the hills, riders can expect mud, rocks, and plenty of woods. All trails are marked for their level of difficulty and are labeled as novice, intermediate, or advanced, with a few we would label as “Likely to need spare parts.” It has smooth, wide trails for the beginners, nail biters for the advanced, and a little of both for the intermediate crowd. Lowman says Rush is currently in its first phase of development, and as a business owner and an avid rider himself, we find he has a sense of vision of what the ideal park should be. He has a unique instinct on what makes such a riding park special and a place riders will want to return to, but also the drive and desire to get it done.

Recognizing it’s about the total experience, Lowman’s master plan will include everything you could need for a weekend adventure. Already in place is a general store with basic supplies. Be sure to pick up a map, a T-shirt and some drinks before venturing out for the day’s ride. If you get hungry on the trail, there is a concession stand with an ample menu to settle that outdoor appetite, and it’s located in the general parking and RV area for your convenience. There are a couple rental cabins for your stay, and until the RV park is finished, you can stay on-site for FREE in your RV. Lowman says many of this weekend’s guests are camping at the park, while others stay in one of the cabins or at nearby hotels which are all ATV friendly and conveniently listed on the RUSH web site. There is a good variety or restaurants close by as well, and we suggest you check out Tres Hermanos and RJ Kahunas restaurants outside of Ashland for some excellent meals. Thankfully, there is plenty of space for your truck and trailer in the RUSH parking area, and during our visit, there were vehicles from several surrounding states on hand. There are even three ponds on the park for fishing, but swimming is not allowed at this time.location.2014.rush-off-road-park.kentucky.off-road-vehicles.on-trail.jpg

“Our area has a lot to offer,” says Lowman. “There are plenty of restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, and things to do for the whole family. Probably most important though, people here in Northeast Kentucky, where we live, are friendly. People like to go where they’ll be treated well. That’s what we do.”

Future Rush

Rush Off-Road Park is relatively new but off to an excellent start. The park is clean, well kept, the trails are maintained, and we can’t wait to see how this park develops following Lowman’s vision. Even now though, it’s very possible to get your adrenaline rush and you won’t be disappointed.

RUSH OFF ROAD PERMITS - $75/year - $25/week

www.rushoffroad.com phone: 606-929-5552.

Trailhead Store - 606-929-5552 

E.B. Lowman - eblowman@rushoffroad.com

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