The good 'ol days...

Badfish740

Explorer
Feb 19, 2005
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Copperhead Road
Damn...I was looking for information on Greenwood Forest WMA and stumbled on this article from the Philadelphia Inquirer-1986:

http://articles.philly.com/1986-05-27/news/26051586_1_pits-patrol-car-officers

On Sunday, said Huljack, 18 officers issued 112 summonses for violations of local and state laws in the Greenwood preserve. Over the two prior weekends, they issued a total of 284 summonses. One man was arrested with 20 packets of cocaine in his possession, another was arrested as he drove in for a little target practice with a Thompson submachine gun. A few weekends ago, Huljack said, one group trucked in small generators, a rock band and held a wet T- shirt contest that degenerated into "a no T-shirt contest."
I always heard stories about some wild times back in the pines from my dad and my uncles but I always thought they were laying it on a little thick-I guess maybe not?
I think even the PPA can say that things in Wharton are a long way from what they were in Greenwood Forest 30 years ago...
 
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bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
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Ha! I just thought of something. The guys they busted back then are like 55 years old now. Probably sitting around in an easy chair musing about..."when I was young we used to go to hidden lakes, we really whooped it up back then".

And that crowd was about 12 years or so after I frequented the area. They really trashed it up in the 80's. Glad it ended.
 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
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I lived some of that mayhem back in the day. The stories you heard were very true. It was like Mad Max Return To Thunderdome with lots of beer and good looking women.

I bought a brand new CR 480 the month before I was married in 1983. That summer we did a huge group campout with about 30 people at the clay pits. Me and 4 friends rode motorcycles from a home on Gravelly Hollow Road in Medford all the way to the pits using mostly trails and dirt roads, except where we couldn't. We had a friend make a fuel drop for us at the Chatsworth fire house for us and we topped off for the rest of the ride.

We camped all weekend out there and had a blast and were never bothered by anyone. Judging from the article, I say we made it three years before the crackdown.

I still own the bike and am planning to sell it one day it as a classic. One of the best open class MX motorcycles ever made. The Maico 490, another classic, was the bike that got me hooked on the big bores.

They really were the good old days.
 
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46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
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They really trashed it up in the 80's. Glad it ended.
It may be a bit more subdue'd, but it hasn't ended. Just a couple from 2014;

"On a Saturday evening in June, CO's McManus and Riviello conducted an evening patrol of Stafford Forge and Greenwood Forest WMA's. Over the course of the patrol, sixteen individuals were inspected and fourteen Title 23 summonses were issued for violations such as operating a Motor vehicle off-road, possession of alcoholic beverages and after hours on a State WMA. Four Title 39 summonses were issued for violations such as; driving while suspended, failure to inspect, failing to exhibit a driver's license or insurance card.

CO's Trembley, Kille, James and Lt. Risher conducted an afternoon patrol in the Cedar Lake North section of the Cedar Lake Wildlife Management Area in Monroe Township, Gloucester County after many complaints from legitimate users.� During the patrol the officers encountered many illegal users on the wildlife management area. The officers issued dozens of summonses for interference with the duties of a conservation officer, possession of alcohol on a wildlife management area, swimming on a wildlife management area, damage to vegetation, operating unregistered ATV's on a wildlife management area and operation of ATV's over a closed area. One group in particular possessed marijuana less than 50 grams in the motor vehicle and all the occupants lied about their identities and addresses. It took the officers an additional several hours to confirm all their identities. Once that was complete, one of the individuals was arrested on an outstanding warrant for crimes in Camden County and transferred to Cherry Hill Police Department. All were charged with interference with the duties of a conservation officer, possession of alcohol, obstruction of governmental function and possession of marijuana less than 50 grams.

Lt. Risher patrolled the Cedar Lake North section of the Cedar Lake Wildlife Management Area in Monroe Township, Gloucester County. In recent months this area has been inundated with illegal users at all hours, so the Division decided to close the area to vehicle traffic and make it a walk-in area only.� While on patrol to ensure that no vehicles would be locked behind the barrier system, Lt. Risher attempted to stop a motorcycle rider. The rider fled the scene and did not stop for the emergency lights. The rider did not have a helmet and Lt. Risher recognized him immediately. Lt. Risher had prior contact with the rider over the last several years. Lt. Risher located his parked van along the rail road tracks and waited. After a short time, Lt. Risher observed the van try to leave the area via the old railroad tracks in Buena Vista Township, Atlantic County. Lt. Risher conducted a motor vehicle stop and apprehended the driver, however, the motorcycle was not in the van. Lt. Risher was able to locate the motorcycle and issued the driver multiple summonses for operating a motorcycle without a helmet, operating a motor vehicle without liability insurance, interference with the duties of a conservation officer, unregistered motorcycle on wildlife management and operation of motorcycle without permit.

CO Toppin was patrolling the Winslow East section of the Winslow Wildlife Management Area in Winslow Township, Camden County when he encountered several large groups illegally using the area. One group was using a jet ski on the lake. CO Toppin inspected 85 users and issued 18 summonses for possession of alcohol on a wildlife management area, not possessing a valid boat registration, failing to display registration numbers, operation of gas motor on an electric motor only lake, failure to maintain lamps, failing to produce a valid driver's license and operation of a watercraft without a safety certification. Five warnings were issued for swimming on a wildlife management area."
 

Teegate

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In the 70s there were sometimes 100 people in the pit and it was hard to even drive around the outer edge at night without hitting anyone. It is interesting that the article says they are going to restore the place. That certainly never happened.
 

smoke_jumper

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Mar 5, 2012
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In the 70s there were sometimes 100 people in the pit and it was hard to even drive around the outer edge at night without hitting anyone. It is interesting that the article says they are going to restore the place. That certainly never happened.
Sounds a little familiar. Not to highjack a thread but a recent plan promises to do the same thing:rolleyes:
 

smoke_jumper

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Mar 5, 2012
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Atco, NJ
Being a little younger Hidden Lakes was slowing down and a bit far away. Back in the day we went to the "Cabin" which is now the lake in the Sanctuary and another pit that I'll leave nameless since it is still there. Last winter I stopped by and the area where we hung out is still there. It looks somewhat different but that specific pit looks almost the same after over 20 years. Looks like it's been taken care of and passed on over the generations.:cool:
 

Bronco

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May 19, 2019
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West berlin
In the 70s there were sometimes 100 people in the pit and it was hard to even drive around the outer edge at night without hitting anyone. It is interesting that the article says they are going to restore the place. That certainly never happened.
I had a 77 bronco there was so many there you couldn't find a place to park al was there at the top of the hill making hot dogs in his slide on camper we passed a large jug around for the wet t shirt contest got 500 to 600 bucks in that jug it started out as a wet t shirt contest wont go into details but a lot more than the t shirts came off
 

c1nj

Explorer
Nov 19, 2008
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Too young for Hidden Lakes,
Old enough for Chatsworth pits, Hundred Foot Hill, Murphy's, Little Mill, Triboro, The Maze, Batcave, Jungle Jims.... and I could go on and on and on.

It is over and it is never coming back. And that's probably not a bad thing.
I am just glad I was around to experience the spectacle of it all.