Two Rivers Jeep Club (TRJC) is located in Pittsfield, Illinois, 60 miles west of the state capital of Springfield. It is probably the largest all-Jeep Club in the United States that maintains its own trails. But that wasn’t always so. In 1991, TRJC was founded by Tom Wombles and five other Pike County residents. It was formed for recreation and to help provide trails and guides for the first of the Land of Lincoln Jeep Jamborees. By 1992 membership stood at 25 and it has grown ever since. Membership, however, is limited to 250 to protect the trails from overuse.
What makes TRJC unique is that it operates on 100% private land. Trails range from scenic and easy to darn near impossible, especially when wet! The wide range of trails, and the number of them (usually 15 or so) has made it a favorite for those attending our two public events; the Illini 4×4 Safari held in May and the 4×4 Blast held in August.
Many weekends are spent early in the year grooming the trails – and of course checking them out to make sure they are challenging enough! Oftentimes the club offers its services to the landowners to help maintain their farms and land as one way of thanking them for the use of their land. Since the land is private, and the club respects the rights of the landowners, trails are only open for official club events. The land is closed to non-club members in order to maintain the privacy rights of the landowners.
Pittsfield is a very ” Jeep-friendly ” community, often asking the club to participate in local festivals and parades. This bond with the community led organizers within the club to see what could be given back to the community in return for their generous use of thousands of acres of land and trails. There is continued efforts, since 1999, to donate time and money to the community.
Two Rivers has come full circle, realizing that it can provide recreation but at the same time provide a valuable service to the community. It’s a good feeling . . . and a good club!