Flat Nasty 1
Courtesy of Flat Nasty Offroad Park
Ron Maximoff is an adrenaline junkie. His fix comes from the driver’s seat of big-tire four-runners, pick-ups, and jeeps refurbished with roll cages and shoulder harnesses.
The sport is off-roading, and not only is it Ron’s passion, it is also his business. Flatnasty Off-road Park in Jadwin offers trails ranging from easy to extreme. Ron created his trails from 850 acres of wilderness. This is different from other off-road courses in the state, most of which are extensions of old logging or strip mining trails. Instead of using truck routes, which were created as the easiest ways to get from point A to point B, Ron laid out the trails specifically with off-road vehicles in mind.
For Ron, it all began in Michigan with a stock Toyota and a Land Cruiser club. This was where he got his taste for the sport and began building his driving skills as well as his extreme vehicles.
This Michigan man and his wife, Sheila, landed in Missouri after retirement led to an expansive search for property that would lend itself to an extreme off-road course.
The couple shopped land in five different states before finding the perfect property. It needed to be large. It needed to be accessible. It needed to be near a town to service its clientele. Most of all, it needed to be “gnarly.”
On trips through Missouri, Ron and Sheila would often pass through the Ozarks. Its scenery and climate had always had a certain attraction for Ron.
After placing an ad in a weekly trader there for property, they received a call from a developer who told them he had what they were looking for. They visited the next day. “It didn’t take long to figure out that this hit the sweet spot,” Ron says.
Ron gets his rush from the “challenge of plotting the individual against Mother Nature,” he says. But not all of his trails are impossibly extreme. In fact, it is the diversity of trails that makes it accommodating to his range of guests.
When laying out the course, Ron worked from a topographical map, walking the property’s hilltops and ravines to plot the optimal system of trails so that trails do not crisscross each other. He also wanted to make sure the off-roaders always feel like they are deep into the wild on each and every trail and that the easy trails give just as much enjoyment as the extreme trails.
The easy trails were the most difficult to design, Ron says. “When guys are sitting around the camp site in the evening and talking, I wanted those coming back from the easy trails to have had just as much of an adrenaline rush as those coming back from the extreme ones.”
Therefore, Ron makes sure the easy trails have just as many obstacles as the others, just scaled down a bit. Flatnasty, which opened with just 10 trails, is now approaching a total of 30. The White Knuckle trail holds the title of a “BF Goodrich Outstanding Trail.” Each year, BF Goodrich highlights five of the best off-road trails in the country. In 2008, White Knuckle received the honor. “There’s a little bit of everything—ledges, woods, scenery, climbs—on this trail,” Ron says.
The park has a rental cabin that is booked just about every weekend, Ron says. “One weekend, a group of guys come with their wives and kids, and a few families will go in on the cabin,” Ron says. “Then, later in the year, the same group of guys will come back with just buddies and do the more extreme stuff.”
In addition to its extreme factor, off-roading is also for those who love the outdoors and wildlife. At Flatnasty, riders can see everything from herds of deer to armadillos to bald eagles. No hunting is allowed on the property. Then, there is the exploration element. “With an off-road vehicle, you can go places you may not have been able to get to otherwise,” Ron says.
A strong camaraderie is also apparent in the culture. Almost every weekend, new riders are at Flatnasty, checking it out. Every time, Ron says, experienced off-roaders will go up and offer to bring the newbies out on the trails. “Seeing other groups of people, the trucks they’ve built, and the skills they have, gives you a goal and something to shoot for,” Ron says.
First timers to Flatnasty should come with a four-wheel drive vehicle, at least. The next step would be to have that vehicle lifted and with slightly larger tires in order to clear larger rocks. Once you start, Ron says, the additions never end.
Visit www.flatnasty.net for more information.
1775 Highway ZZ , Jadwin, Missouri 65501 View Map
Daily Pass: Driver/Vehicle* $15.00 Daily Pass: Additional Person* $5.00 Annual Pass: Individual* $150.00 Annual Pass: Family* $300.00 *These prices do not include camping or race entry fees. Multi-day passes must be paid on the first day.