Ionia Recreation Area Trail Update

tagged as Blog,Ionia Recreation Area Trail,Trails

New and exciting things are afoot at the Ionia State Recreation Area for the first time in years.  For starters Noah Yonkers is putting together a proposal to build a new kiosk for the trail head that will be all made out of treated logs.  He is doing this for his Eagle Scout project.  The design is beautiful.  Three huge log posts; peaked in the middle; with 32 square feet of posting space and a pitched roof that can shelter four or five riders.  The DNR is very excited about it.

Additionally requests to add a re-route for a rock garden, a half pipe, an up and over oak tree crossing, and raising the trail out of a cheap nfl jerseys flat wet area have been put in front of Race the DNR Unit Manager.  The rock garden re-route will be made out of an existing rock pile deposited by the old gravel mine or the old agricultural days of the area and is a more challenging secondary path to the existing trail.  The half pipe has natural origination which will allow descent to a lower portion of the trail with a much more flowy, fast, and exciting experience.  It is an alternative route to the current switchback.  A downed oak tree near the trail will be taken advantage of with an up and over narrow log bridge crossing featuring a direction change on the bridge. Finally there is a portion of the trail near the trail head that is flat and often muddy which will be raised up onto the side of a hill, adding more topography and usability to that section.

By the middle of Audio May the DNR Unit Manager will have a trail expansion proposal in cheap nba jerseys front of him that will add approximately 2.8 miles to the Ionia SRA bringing the grand total from 7.5 to just over 10 miles of trail.  This proposal includes the following trail additions:

The Stephan’s Point Connecter that connects the Stephan’s Point Meijer parking cheap nfl jerseys lot to the farthest west end of the trail system.  This is important because it creates an access point from the future Clinton-Ionia-Shaiawasee (CIS) Rail Trail (which is part of the larger 125 mile Fred Meijer Heartland trail) to the west end of the mountain bike trail system.  This allows bike riders coming from the west (Saranac, Lowell, etc.)  to quickly get onto the mountain bike trail and ride the loops, then be able to return from the trail on the same path they came in.

The Ridge Line Trail Expansion is probably the most exciting addition to the trail system because it adds beautiful high elevation views of the Grand River valley that were previously not accessed by existing trail system.  It follows along the ridge line created by the former gravel pit operations at the edge of the Grand River valley.  This trail sports 8 ft steep hillside on the right and up to 30 ft steep hillside on the left.  The seemingly narrow trail will wind through trees on top of the ridge with several short uphills and downhills.  The challenge here will to keep your eyes focused on the trail in front while flowing quickly through the edge Tour of the forest.

The Pond Side Trail Expansion is another exciting addition to the trail system because it provides   peeks into the the glacial history of the area by passing massive boulders and a spring fed pond, plus peaceful views of the that pond area from a grassy knoll.  It provides a tight twisty directionally challenging trail between trees with many short elevation changes and two log bridge crossings.

The Gravel Pit Trail Expansion doesn’t provide a peek into the the glacial history of the area.  It provides an up close and personal view of it and the gravel mining operations that once took advantage of the deposits left behind.  It does this by bounding through huge boulder fields from gravel mound to gravel mound in an almost giant pump track fashion of riding.

Last but not least is the Finish Trail Expansion which will create a fast grand looping finish to the ride by passing up, over, Start and next to one of the rock wall fences that agriculture created in wholesale jerseys the area’s early days, along with a sprint through closely spaced pines that once surrounded the Ionia infirmary to return to Go the trail head.

Ultimately the trail expansions, once approved by the DNR, will be finished in the next two years or earlier.

Not to be forgotten are the existing features of the Ionia trail system which include the two 30 ft long boardwalks from Luton that were installed last year to bridge the sand pits, the beach on beautiful Sessions Lake which is just a half mile from the trail and accessible by bike, the log obstacles created last year, the balance beam installed over the winter, the wonderful picnic area right at the trail head, and of course the 7.5 miles of conscientiously maintained mountain bike trails themselves.

So as you can see things wholesale nfl jerseys are pretty great at the Ionia SRA and are only getting better.  Make Ionia one of your destination rides for this year with your friends and family.  You won’t regret it and you’ll Ios be back for more.

For more information on the Ionia trail click here