CRAMBA: Bald Mountain

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Re: CRAMBA: Bald Mountain

Postby dirt » August 22nd, 2013, 9:14 am

utabintarbo wrote:
Roy wrote:Unfortunately a large percentage of Bald Mountain is old school fall line (straight down hill) trail. Fall line erosion can only be fixed by rerouting the trail to new IMBA standards. Changing 75% of the trail is just not going to happen. I think there have only been 2 reroutes to fix erosion in the last ten years. One of the reroutes was a step sand hill that could not be climbed when dry. Rerouting to fix erosion is more then double work because the old trail should restored. This restoration usually means installing water dams and reforestation. It can take 4 to 6 man hours to build one water dam.

Fortunately Bald Mountain remains one the last fall line trails in Michigan.
A little sand is a small price to pay.

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All this, and previous "administrations" have been less than fully on-board with the MMBA doing anything out there. We (CRAMBA) are trying to cultivate ties with the current LM, and have hope for the future. Any change will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

OTOH, there is hardly any trail in the area I'd rather ride in the Fall than Bald Mtn. North, even the way it is. :D


I'm just surprised that 75% of the trail is fall line.. it never seemed THAT hilly to me. :wink:
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Re: CRAMBA: Bald Mountain

Postby turbotoad » August 22nd, 2013, 11:08 am

dirt wrote:I'm just surprised that 75% of the trail is fall line.. it never seemed THAT hilly to me. :wink:


:P For some reason the "West" loop has always kicked my rear! My heart rate soars and I'm gasping for most of the loop. I can't explane it other than the "fall line" aspect being very decieving. Once I cross Harmon Road the "East" loop doesn't seem as difficult. Much more "flow" than the "West" side. It still has a lot of fall line accents but I don't think they are as bad.


I've ridden the trail since back in the early/mid 90's and can only remember two re-routed sections. One where the trail used to go up the back side of the "sled hill" then went left at the top. You still go to the left but it is now down where a gardrail was placed across the trail. The other was shortly after that sled hill section that was an insane steep straight-down-the-hill run. It was extremely fast and dangerous because it was eroded so badly (similar to the old Pontiac Lake trail that used to be behind the campground). Plus there was a sharp "S" curve at the bottom. The rest of the trail hasn't seemed to have changed much in 20+ years.
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Re: CRAMBA: Bald Mountain

Postby Steve_Kinley » August 22nd, 2013, 12:55 pm

Years ago we put in the reroute of the climb along Harmon Rd after you cross the bridge over the creek. Not only was it muddy at the bottom but it was straight up the hill. Now it is usually only muddy near the bridge itself and is a slightly longer, but more gradual climb.
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Re: CRAMBA: Bald Mountain

Postby Roy » August 23rd, 2013, 8:24 am

Steve, It took me most of that trail day to build the water dam at the top of the climb you are referring to and the same for the guys that built the other dams. I think we spent more time reforesting then cutting trial.

On the far west side after the ski hill the trail was rerouted ( 1998ish as sited above by turbotoad) around a steep fall line run ( after the ant hills). Prior to the reroute, crushed rock was used to fill the erosion. The rock did not work. It might of lasted 2 years. Fixing old trail using water management is very difficult. Who doesn't remember the geo nets at POTO? and those useless rubber dams at the Bishop Lake Penosha trail.

Dirt, 75% might be an over estimate, but a lot of the up hills are fall line also.
The fun parts are mostly down hill fall line sections.

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Re: CRAMBA: Bald Mountain

Postby flamingo » August 23rd, 2013, 11:29 am

Sandy sections don't bother me that much as they provide a good workout. What bothers me most is the muddy areas specially the entry and the long section towards the end. I wish we could build some wooden walkways over there. Bald Mountain ride usually means washing my bike after the ride. Its funny,when I started mountain biking 7 years ago I found it to be an extremely lame Trail because it is not technical. I hardly rode it for the first few years. Then it somehow grew on me and I quite enjoy it now. I guess it must be the workout and the speed factor. It is also pretty good for night riding.
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Re: CRAMBA: Bald Mountain

Postby Steve_Kinley » September 2nd, 2013, 11:37 am

There is a larger tree down on the north unit, after you cross the open area of the dam and make the right turn by the trail that leads toward Upland Hills. You will have to dismount and drag your bike under it.

There is also a tree extending into the trail shortly after the entrance from Lake George Rd, and then again some low hangers that are a little ways past that. The branches hanging down are just above head height for now.

I stopped by the park office and notified the ranger about the trees.
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Re: CRAMBA: Bald Mountain

Postby Ti_fighter » September 14th, 2013, 10:40 pm

Rode Bald Mtn North Unit today (Sept 14) - there array least 11 large trees down, 5 or 6 each on the East and West loops. None are easily cleared, several block the trail completely so that you need to carry your bike off the trail and around through the undergrowth.
Would suggest you avoid until some gets a chainsaw into the trail.
On the other hand, Addison Oaks is riding really nicely - it's in A+ condition after last week's race.
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Re: CRAMBA: Bald Mountain

Postby mtb_frk » September 15th, 2013, 4:16 pm

My first time riding BM north this year today, between the trees down and all the hunters I figured I can wait a bit longer to ride the trail. :)
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Re: CRAMBA: Bald Mountain

Postby utabintarbo » September 16th, 2013, 9:05 am

Ti_fighter wrote:Rode Bald Mtn North Unit today (Sept 14) - there array least 11 large trees down, 5 or 6 each on the East and West loops. None are easily cleared, several block the trail completely so that you need to carry your bike off the trail and around through the undergrowth.
Would suggest you avoid until some gets a chainsaw into the trail.
On the other hand, Addison Oaks is riding really nicely - it's in A+ condition after last week's race.


The park has been informed, and said they will likely have them handled today. Given the number, I'd hedge that a bit to be sure.

Thanks for the report and the comments on Addison. :D
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Re: CRAMBA: Bald Mountain

Postby utabintarbo » September 21st, 2013, 10:52 pm

We cleared the Conklin Connector this morning in preparation for the Massive Fallout. Other than a low-hanger that will require some chain-saw action, it's pretty smooth sailing. :icon_thumleft:

Thanks to Jim for the help! :D
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Re: CRAMBA: Bald Mountain

Postby bmiller » September 21st, 2013, 11:03 pm

Bald North and Addison were perfect today!! Thanks for all the hard work!
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Re: CRAMBA: Bald Mountain

Postby chris_werth » September 23rd, 2013, 11:03 am

There seemed to be a lot of hunters Sunday. Be careful out there the next few months.
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Re: CRAMBA: Bald Mountain

Postby utabintarbo » September 28th, 2013, 8:02 pm

The trail is getting a bit overgrown, but as I found out today, the staff at Bald Mtn. also fell prey to theft, similar to CRAMBA and Stony Creek Metropark. In addition, the Summer help disappears as of tomorrow. If you can do a bit of trimming out there, it would be greatly appreciated.

Otherwise, watch out for the sand! :shock:
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Re: CRAMBA: Bald Mountain

Postby lawn dart » October 1st, 2013, 8:03 pm

The Bald Mountain North Unit trails (east & west) were in very good shape this evening. Clear and tacky, with only the chronically wet spots still holding water. The sand was plenty deep, and the trail is getting wider as people try to work their way around it.

Someone has been doing lots of work out there. Some areas looked like a lumberjack festival had come to town. And the new trail markers are a bonus. This place is primed & ready for the Massive Fallout. Well done!
Last edited by lawn dart on October 30th, 2013, 5:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CRAMBA: Bald Mountain

Postby Spak » October 29th, 2013, 7:47 pm

Bald north was good tonight, not too much sand. There is a 4-5 inch diameter tree across the north loop right before you get to the Lake George parking lot area riding clockwise.
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