Western: Ionia

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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby owosso bob » June 27th, 2013, 10:13 am

The word is they are letting the bids out in September for the CIS trail and they are going to start construction in the Spring . The bridges are supposed to be worked on all winter . Hope and pray this is true this time . I am not sure people realize how many XC trails will be accessible from these trails when they are done .
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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby gtrowbridge » June 27th, 2013, 10:32 am

owosso bob wrote:The word is they are letting the bids out in September for the CIS trail and they are going to start construction in the Spring . The bridges are supposed to be worked on all winter . Hope and pray this is true this time . I am not sure people realize how many XC trails will be accessible from these trails when they are done .


Its a brand new world my friend.

:D
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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby EASYSTEEZ » July 3rd, 2013, 3:23 pm

Worked four more hours on the west loop today. Cleared the overgrowth from the last two miles, and already trimmed the first couple of miles, so this leaves about 2-3 miles in the middle that still have to be trimmed. Overall, the trail is looking real good and riding well.
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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby gtrowbridge » July 3rd, 2013, 3:31 pm

EASYSTEEZ wrote:Worked four more hours on the west loop today. Cleared the overgrowth from the last two miles, and already trimmed the first couple of miles, so this leaves about 2-3 miles in the middle that still have to be trimmed. Overall, the trail is looking real good and riding well.


Excellent and thanks.
Now enjoy your 4th!
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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby Madmax » July 19th, 2013, 9:21 pm

Rode the trail today and appreciate the work that's been done on it! I've been riding it since 2000 and have seen a few years that its looked a little rough.However the last few years there has been some great work done to keep it going and shows a lot of hard work! The rains we had in the spring took out the bridge (leading to the east loop) and has left a section in the woods still pretty muddy. Also there is a tree down halfway up the hill at the edge of the west loop.
Good news! they have started work on the rail trail and were working on it today! Looking forward to riding out to the trail from Ionia maybe next year!
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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby gtrowbridge » July 21st, 2013, 11:38 am

Madmax wrote:Rode the trail today and appreciate the work that's been done on it! I've been riding it since 2000 and have seen a few years that its looked a little rough.However the last few years there has been some great work done to keep it going and shows a lot of hard work! The rains we had in the spring took out the bridge (leading to the east loop) and has left a section in the woods still pretty muddy. Also there is a tree down halfway up the hill at the edge of the west loop.
Good news! they have started work on the rail trail and were working on it today! Looking forward to riding out to the trail from Ionia maybe next year!


Glad you like it and thanks!
We'll get someone out to take care of the tree.
Still many plans in the works for improvement....just a matter of time, organization, and getting volunteers to help out.
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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby EASYSTEEZ » July 25th, 2013, 1:56 pm

Ok, another 5 hours working on the trail today and "The Chief" is done! No more face slappers, no more downed trees, mud holes are almost dry, nothing but clear sailing. Enjoy!
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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby gtrowbridge » August 11th, 2013, 11:09 am

Ionia all mowed as of today. Trails look great.

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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby gtrowbridge » August 24th, 2013, 4:43 pm

Rode the trail today with the Fat bike. Trail was amazingly fast and dusty. Used a 4 gallon backpack sprayer to apply Trail conditioner to various areas where the grass and invasive species that are pokey or threaten the track. Hopefully we'll have cut down on the maintenance in some of these areas for a year or so. Mud holes are all but dried up but are still rutted. Presents minimal challenge anymore.

Shout out to the guy from Grand Rapids who came out in his Mini Cooper to ride the trail for the first time in years. Hopefully I can bring friends next time.

For those who have seen the piles of crushed limestone alongside the trail. The rail trail is being covered with this crushed limestone and they are starting from Ionia working to the park.

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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby Steve_Balogh » August 28th, 2013, 9:39 pm

I've never ridden this trail before, had the day off, decided to drive out there and try it. Was damp/wet in the woods, dry in the open areas, very firm except for one small section of mud in a low area. Didn't walk through the water on the east loop, I found and entrance/exit off the road.

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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby gtrowbridge » August 29th, 2013, 9:54 am

Steve_Balogh wrote:I've never ridden this trail before, had the day off, decided to drive out there and try it. Was damp/wet in the woods, dry in the open areas, very firm except for one small section of mud in a low area. Didn't walk through the water on the east loop, I found and entrance/exit off the road.

Image


Steve glad you could make the pilgrimage to Ionia.

Unfortunately I haven't got a sign posted at the kiosk that indicates to use the rail trail at the dirt road crossing to connect to east loop after finishing the first segment of the west loop. Good to hear you were resourceful to access off the road. Easy enough there also.

We'll get a sign posted up there soon as it looks like the bridge is going to be out longer than first thought. Actually with as much fun as it is crossing the two rail road trestles on the rail trail the bridge over the creek has been downgraded in priority. :-)
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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby Steve_Balogh » August 29th, 2013, 5:10 pm

I saw that entrance to the dirt road, looks like they were working on it? There was a lot of construction going on. Nice trail, a different type of rocky soil I'm not used to seeing. Did this park used to be a gravel pit at one time? The return loop on the west end looks like it may have been one. Was neat seeing the trail overlooking some of those areas.
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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby gtrowbridge » August 30th, 2013, 8:00 am

Steve_Balogh wrote:I saw that entrance to the dirt road, looks like they were working on it? There was a lot of construction going on. Nice trail, a different type of rocky soil I'm not used to seeing. Did this park used to be a gravel pit at one time? The return loop on the west end looks like it may have been one. Was neat seeing the trail overlooking some of those areas.


Yes they are working on completing the Grand River Valley rail trail from Ionia to Lowell. Part of the river valley trail system from Owasso west to lowell north to greenville and alma. 125 miles total. 5th largest rail trail in the nation. Estimate finish date is first of november for Ionia to Lowell. Its going to be awesome.
The particular spot near the park is going to be crushed and packed limestone. Better than gravel and just about as hard as black top (once packed). Black top near and through towns.

The Ionia Rec Area, where the MTB trail is, used to be a county infirmary (where the trail head is now), farm land (at least two homesteads), and a gravel pit. Not to mention rail road access for when steam trains plied the rails (water tower). Oh and one of the oldest (or the oldest) stone school houses in the state right across from the old sheriff posse building. So yeah lots of history there. Funny because now nature has taken it back and is erasing it. One plan I have is to try and reroute add trail to explore this history better (and add miles, features, interest).

Funny that you noticed the trail "overlooking" some areas. Yeah there is some spots where there is a 30 - 50 ft drop within 3 feet of the trail, but if you are paying attention to only the trail you don't even notice. I notice because I mow the trail with my tractor right along the edge and believe me I SEE that drop very clearly.
There are some more opportunities to add more exposure laden trail in the wood that I am exploring as well.
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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby gtrowbridge » September 8th, 2013, 8:26 pm

2 laps at Ionia today on the moonlander. Used the rail trail from Saranac to get there. How cool is that? They are close to having it done.

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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby underdog » September 18th, 2013, 11:30 am

The trail from Saranac to Ionia isn't going to be paved? How disappointing :( I doubt my roadbike will be any good on it then.
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