Western: Ionia

For posting trail-specific conditions and problems

Re: Western: Ionia

Postby SLOWWRYDE » September 27th, 2012, 8:21 pm

Been riding Cobmoosa 3 times a week all month, and Ive gotta say it is in great shape. There is, however, a fallen tree about 2-2.5 miles into the yellow loop. The cooler weather has gotten rid of the insects and makes for a great ride everytime.
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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby EASYSTEEZ » April 4th, 2013, 6:25 pm

Pressed for time, I only rode the East loop. Little spongey, muddy, but in good shape. I will report on the West loop this weekend when I ride.
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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby gtrowbridge » May 14th, 2013, 8:49 pm

Good news. Water holes off the backside of the parking lot are gone. Replaced with mud but not too deep. Rode through it easily.
There are 3 mud holes that are quit wet on the west loop after the switchback and before the shortcut. Worse than last year I think. Very greasy so keep yor speed up to plow through. No good way around. I'll get some log bridges made up for those.

On the east loop all the water is gone and almost all the mud. The trail rides really nice. Some of the bridges that were covering a low are got washed out so just go through the grass there. Little water or mud so you won't loose much time. We'll get those back into place with some repairs as well.

The big bridge over sessions creek is of course still out so continue to use the railtrail to connect the two loops. We'll be making some improvements there too so to help carry more speed when entering and exiting.

The DNR has checked out the bridge and we are all working on ideas for a permanent fix. In the meantime we are looking at clearing some brush on either end of where it currently sits and adding some ramps. Actually it might end up being a pretty cool obstacle.

Other than this stuff Ionia is riding like always...roots, rocks, and raggedy.


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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby EASYSTEEZ » June 24th, 2013, 6:30 pm

gtrowbridge wrote:
EASYSTEEZ wrote:Put in four hours trimming on the west loop this morning. Looking good, but got a long ways to go.


Thanks.
What sections of the trail did you target?



I trimmed the west loop from the boat launch road to the board walks in the sandy area. The "tunnel" of overgrowth before the sandy area took me forever! I feel like I did not get too far, but I will not quit! I am thinking a gas powered hedge trimmer would be the cat's ass...or maybe napalm!

I may get out there again Thursday.
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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 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 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 gtrowbridge » November 20th, 2013, 8:41 pm

Only had time to recon part of the trail from the rail trail this week so far. Noticed a one tree down on the west loop leaning about 4ft above the trail. This was just past the big oak top tree top that you ride next to.

Please post about more downed trees that you know of so we can get to them this weekend.

Thanks.

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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby gtrowbridge » June 13th, 2014, 9:51 am

Madmax wrote:Great Job keeping up on the trail! Rode it on the 10th and it's in great shape for a trail that doesn't get ridden a lot! Grass is high on the west end as your heading back towards the east but you can see a lot of work has been put in! Hopefully we can get the bridge put back in or another alternative other than riding back towards the rail trail or riverside.


Thanks! Yeah the grass is getting away from us because my tractor is in the shop right now. Thankfully it isn't laying over the trail and obscuring it.

Don't look for the bridge to be replaced anytime soon. Nobody has the time or money to build it right (obviously since it was washed away it wasn't built right to begin with and has been in a state of deterioration for a long time). The rail trail will be the connector between the loops for a long time. There are a lot of other projects/improvements that are higher priority and will make the trail system more interesting/sustainable.

Keep riding!
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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby gtrowbridge » July 14th, 2014, 8:01 am

Need some volunteers to marshal the intersections of the bike portion of the XTERRA race.
If interested please let me know.

7am for volunteers
Probably done by 1pm.

Just waving hands and pointing to get people to go where they need to go .

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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby gtrowbridge » July 16th, 2014, 7:39 am

Lost a pair of Fiskars hand pruners off the tractor last week on the east loop. If anybody finds them please let me know. Hate to find them with the mower next time out or worse with a bike tire if you get out of the track.


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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby gtrowbridge » October 16th, 2014, 2:02 pm

Four trees cut off the trail today. Smooth sailing now.
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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby gtrowbridge » December 4th, 2014, 11:52 am

All downed trees cleared as of 2nd of December. Riding is fast. Almost no frost crunchies that slow you down. Trail looks great. You can see everywhere with no foliage.

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Re: Western: Ionia

Postby gtrowbridge » May 3rd, 2015, 8:46 am

Thanks for the update bleve. We'll get out there to chain saw it this week.

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