Some ideas for new future hillclimb venues

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Some ideas for new future hillclimb venues

Postby hufflepuff » Sun Apr 12, 2020 1:39 pm

Well, the Coronavirus got me bored, like a lot of other folks i assume. So i've been scouring the local(ish) areas on google maps in topographical mode looking for winding, hilly roads. I've found lots of good ones, and a smaller few that might even be candidates for future hillclimb roads. The criteria for a good hillclimb road, as far as i have been able to deduce, narrows the list a bit. My thoughts based on what PHA runs are the following:

1. Minimal houses or public roads along length to control access
2. Needs to be uphill (captain obvious?) and feature curves and straights with adequate length and complexity
3. Adequate road surface / quality and width
4. Needs to have the support of a local town such as fire/EMS and to provide food and lodging options and support of the people along / near the route
5. Can’t be a major thoroughfare without alternate route options that would preclude shutting down during competition hours
6. Adequate paddock, parking, turn-around
7. Support of a local motorsports governing body (i.e. local SCCA region)

With these criteria in mind, here's a few stretches of road i've come across that at first glance appear like reasonable candidates:

Route 93/42 west out of Scherr, WV
MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/RfChoWS2AEooWub58
VIDEOS: https://youtu.be/yabs-qE4VJ8 https://youtu.be/iOkJzjVsxgo?list=PLcwI ... WX1JPfcGpj
Paved 2 lane divided. There's a gas station at the top of the hill with decent paved lot, and a few empty gravel lots near the top to serve as paddock(s). There's also an RV sales lot at the bottom with parking. I've tried this one in real life; nicely maintained road. The nearest major town to provide fire/EMS/wrecker, food, and lodging is Moorefield, WV. There are a couple of houses near the start; they would have to decide if they are okay with starting in that location, or start further up.

Blue Knob Hillclimb
MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/qhEXiBYgXMx5CjkB8
VIDEO: https://youtu.be/rNovIaXoKhI
This one comes courtesy of Josh R. There's a parking area at the top of the hill to serve as paddock, good road surface, no houses along the route. The hill is roughly equidistant from three different fire departments. The closest town for lodging, food, and gas appears to be Bedford, PA. The hill itself runs up to Blue Knob state park, so camping is an option. There's also a close by "blue knob all-season resort", which may have lodging and food.

Howard's lick road out of Lost River State park, VA
MAP: https://maps.app.goo.gl/JU4QFgapbBxeBrKd9
VIDEO: https://youtu.be/6e8bq0eq_vg?t=693
Paved but not divided. I've tried in real life; west side is newly paved. Only one house along route. There's a gravel side road (maybe leading back to a community in the distance?) that looks like it could? work as a paddock. There are also fairly flat, grassy areas at the top, if we can get permission. The nearest town is also Moorefield, WV to provide fire/EMS/wrecker, lodging, food, and gas.

Broad street out of broad top city, PA
MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/jDoVZ7ociZ5xBvkN9
Paved, not divided. No houses along route. There appear to be restaurants and gas stations scattered throughout the area. Lodging is a bit more sparse, although Breezewood and Martinsburg are reasonably close. There are fire/EMS located closer to the hill. There's fuel close by as well. The clearing at Union Grove along the hill or one of the side roads at the bottom of the hill might serve as a paddock.

Green mountain road out of Keyser, WV
MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/2UBprSYxig3TKo5G6
VIDEO: https://youtu.be/PmlrIeONCHI
Paved divided. A few houses along road. Multiple options for start location. Lots of paved streets and alleys down at the base of the hill for potential parking, as long as the locals are supportive. Keyser has fire departments, gas, lodging, and food. The pavement was a tad rough in a few spots down below; not an issue for a street car, don't know about formula cars. You might be able to drive around the spots. Overall the hill road surface is in nice condition.

Old Route WV-55
MAP: https://maps.app.goo.gl/bjxnroBq58HtsGUL8
VIDEO: https://youtu.be/GrlEX9quCJk
Paved divided ,good road surface. A few houses along the route, but this hill doesn't see much traffic as the major US-48/55 runs right alongside it. There's a huge paved scenic overlook / parking area right at the top of the hill, which is very convenient for paddocking. The nearest major town to provide fire/EMS/wrecker, food, and lodging is Moorefield, WV.

Catoctin Mountain MD-77 out of Thurmont
MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/op8A5itkhsK14rwc6
VIDEO: https://youtu.be/unjrCrs3rlc?t=46
Paved, divided, good quality road. Thurmont, MD right at the bottom of the hill is a major town with gas, fire/EMS, food, and lodging. I grant that this one is a major thoroughfare, but there are at least two alternative roads that also cut around this mountain for detours (Catoctin Hollow Road and MD-550).

Snowshoe Hillclimb Revival
MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/q42fjdkxacrBCJKY6
VIDEO: https://youtu.be/08gSHph9GG0
Recommended by Mark Aubele. The resort at the top of the hill greatly simplified logistics. NASA used to run this Hillclimb.

* Lead mine mountain road near Ben Bush, WV. paved not divided. https://maps.app.goo.gl/ZhrZ6eajywQggWeZ9

* Pa-554 south out of Williams port, PA. Paved divided. https://goo.gl/maps/RYdyGnbHvvTc26Qz5

* Rattlesnake like pa-504, near Fleming PA, Paved divided. A few houses along the route. https://goo.gl/maps/i942FWB3T7A1KLcU8

* PA-125 near line mountain, PA. paved divided. https://goo.gl/maps/184yEB2oqNcWsMus9

* PA-477 out of Rote, PA. Paved divided. https://maps.app.goo.gl/DiA1fSFruQxcbA1v6

* PA-3001 out of emporium, PA. Paved not divided. https://maps.app.goo.gl/HZPp6JLFqbmH9JLu5

* PA-235 out of glen iron, PA. Newly paved, divided. https://maps.app.goo.gl/sKpchFHGAGmAcoXM8

* The road Wisslers run park to River road (Dave Zajano)

* 425 on the west side of the river in York Furnace (Dave Zajano)

NO-GOs:
* Neversink Mountain road, literally across the street to the south of duryea and pagoda. Paved, divided. This one is quite short but packs a lot of hairpins in a short section. But there's no good solution for paddock / turn-around.
Last edited by hufflepuff on Sun Apr 19, 2020 5:53 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Matt Huffman
2005 Mazda RX8 - DSP
http://www.youtube.com/mchuffman
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Re: Some ideas for new future hillclimb venues

Postby Rich Rock » Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:38 am

Good stuff Matt, thanks for doing this.

Only one I have any knowledge of is Neversink. The biggest problem there is lack of paddock and turnaround space. There's virtually no room at the bottom or top.

I encourage anyone who can to check out the other potential sites and report back.

Thanks!

Rich
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Re: Some ideas for new future hillclimb venues

Postby hufflepuff » Sun Apr 19, 2020 5:50 pm

Thanks for the support and encouragement, Rich. I just scoped out three of the hills all today (Old WV-55, Green Mountain Road, Scherr WV) and and added some details and videos. This exercise makes me realize that a successful hill requires a lot of elements to come together, and a lot of planning!

If anyone else is willing and able to scope out the other locations, or has other recommendations, post them up.
Matt Huffman
2005 Mazda RX8 - DSP
http://www.youtube.com/mchuffman
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