Ionia SRA - Trail, Ionia, Michigan

Ionia SRA - Trail, Ionia, Michigan

DESCRIPTION

Two loops, the larger of the two with a cut off for an alternatively shorter run. Entirely single track, through woods and edge-type landscape. Weighted heavily toward technical with some stretches to open up in. Climbs tend to be challenging due to off camber, narrow trails and loose surface rather than slope. Really twisty, jumpy and bumpy. Advanced only because of lots of rocks, roots, off-camber, and dropoffs.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 16  
[Jan 08, 2007]
Special Goodness
Racer

Ionia has two loops. The short loop works out to be about 2.5 miles in length while the long loop is probably close to 8 miles. The short loop has very little vertical change and travels through some low areas that frequently are wet and muddy. You should avoid this section of the trail during the early Spring and late Fall. Riding it will only tear the trail up. The shorter loop is excellent for introducing a new rider to the sport or warming up before riding the main loop. The short loop basically starts out following along a stream and it weaves and cuts between trees for most of the trail. The only section to watch out for, especially with inexperienced riders, is a log crossing that looks like it used to be part of a bridge. Your front tire will drop over the log and stop against the front side of a rock that is only sticking up two or three inches. Then you’ll find yourself on the wrong side of your handlebars. If this happens and you, try not to fall on the stumps of saplings that someone cut off five inches or so above the ground. They’ll do a number on your ribs.

Customer Service

The first half mile or so of the longer loop is very similar to the short loop. It follows the same stream, but on the opposite bank. Soon you’ll come out of the trees to a fast straight and open single track, and immediately after is the first climb of the loop. It’s a short climb, but slightly off camber. It’s narrow and passes close to some trees. Then it’s more hardwood single track as you travel along the side of a hill overlooking the railroad bed and the river in the distance. You’ll cross three logs and climb a sand hill with a wooden anti-erosion ladder, and then you’ll come to the longest climb of the loop. It’s very similar to the first climb, just twice as long. Finish the climb and build some quick momentum on the backside of the hill and you can almost coast to the end of the hardwood single track. As you round the corner you will have traveled three miles.

Similar Products Used:

The next section is a slow and sandy ride under the shade of row-planted pines. A quick uphill sprint as you leave the pines and you’ll find yourself in the open gravelly section. The trail basically alternates between this abandoned gravel pit single track vibe, without a lot of vertical change, to single track under hardwood for the next few miles. Feel free to ride fast to get it over with. It’s much more enjoyable as a blur. Eventually you’ll cross a small wooden bridge and find yourself surrounded by thorn bushes and trying to ride over small, round, wet rocks, and wet roots. Survive this and you’ll make a quick and sandy descent that leads to a 2.5-3 foot drop over a big rock. The bypass trail is on the right. Ride in front of the Sheriff Posse’s shooting range and clubhouse and go all out in the last 300 yards of the trail. Be sure to downshift just before the blind corner as you approach the pine trees in front of the parking lot. I can’t remember why, but I know it’s a good idea…

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Jun 05, 2005]
guyb
Cross Country Rider

I wanted to add to the initial, accurate description. The trail head is actually miles from the main Sessions Lake Rec area entrance. This can be deceiving. The trail head is off Riverside Dr. I have talked to many who have gone to the main rec area entrance and tried to find it from there; needs to be marked much, much better. I would consider it an intermediate level trail. It is scenic with much wildlife. I have yet to ride it without seeing wild turkey(s). I find it a great ride for someone who likes scenery as well as stomping a trail and conquering some hill. Also it does have some man-made technical areas e.g. stacked logs.

Similar Products Used:

Yankee Springs, Cannonsburg

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Jul 28, 2004]
G.R.MTNBKR
Cross Country Rider

Once is enough for me, this trail blows, very boring, flat, short, try yankee springs, or fort custer. This trail might be good to teach beginers. But thats it.

Similar Products Used:

Yankee Springs, Fort Custer, Cannonsburg State Game, Bass River.....

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
[Feb 07, 2000]
Phil McKrakin

The guy that this trail a five on the rating has a murray and rides on the side walk full time. This trail is moderate at best. It more indurable if you have a soft tail. A lot of little bumps and a few short fast areas. No balls out white knuckle 40 mph downhill sections, but enough trees to make it interesting when wet.

Customer Service

I-96 to Ionia exit go north to station.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
[Apr 13, 2000]
Bike Master Mike

OK, the last dude must be RIDING the Murray on the trail and he must not be too fast since this trail rocks!
I raced at Ionia last June in Sport Class for a night time trail and day time trial. It freakin rocked! Had a nice crash in a sandpit and nearly landed on some 3 foot boulders coming off a jump. (see last guy, speed gets you air=fun)The variety of riding here is sweet, but it could use a few more climbs.The ones there are perfect for a race.
Ionia State Park is a top notch MI park and it was one of the best I have been to. The camping area was sweet and so was the lake/swimming area and the scenery in the park.

Customer Service

All of it

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[May 22, 2000]
Mighty Joel Young

This trails blows like my boyfriend. Slow and off rythm. I couldn't get off soon enough. I mean back to my car. Don't Go.

Customer Service

Not Sure. I hitched a ride with my boyfriend.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
[Aug 01, 2000]
Tech

This trail is awesome. I ride it when ever I can. Lots of tight turns at the beginning and fast hills in the middle. Be careful on the backside cause if you bite it, your gonna land on rocks (see below). Many of the tight sections have trees just waiting to grab your bar end. It gets better if you ride it often and know ahead of time when a tight turn is followed by a steep climb (this happens often). Make sure you have a state park sticker or you pay to get in because the rangers check and the ticket is $15.

Customer Service

Long loop is more fun but both are good.

Similar Products Used:

Nothing else is real close. Poto 45 min east and Yankee Springs 60 min south. Ionia and these two are my favorites.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Sep 26, 2000]
Spanky

Being a rider who is used to Yankee Springs and Egypt Valley, this trail for lack of a better word sucks. I feel bad for those people who enjoyed this trail, they are in desperate need of some real trail riding. The small trail looks as if no one ever rides on it, and the large loop is similiar to a rock quarry. Please ride some where else.

Customer Service

See Map

Similar Products Used:

Yankee Springs

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
[May 08, 2001]
nad

Maybe a new section is in order but i want to know how spanky thinks egypt valley rocks harder than the Chief. If you didn't sweat you aren't riding fast enough.

Customer Service

just the six mile loop, skip the short stuff

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
[Oct 22, 2001]
Harv

Ionia is a great little trail that gets excellent care from Dan's Bike in Ionia. Some trouble a few years ago divorced the Ionia crew from MMBA so they're pretty much out there on there own. The Burchfield crew would like to help out and we do some bits of independent work from time to time. Overall I'm sure the local gang would love more volunteers.

The East Loop is short and twisty and for some reason all my really painful crashes happen there. It's such an easy loop that your mind can wander I guess. Very slick when wet and rocks can get you if don't pay attention. Really not much of a ride though.

The West Loop is excellent trail. 5.8 miles and easy to ride multiple laps. This trail is unique in that it throws almost every trail condition at you. You start with slippery clay and rock descents with roots thrown in for fun. Then you hit a sandy but fast area with a couple nice jumpable spots. After that the outbound trail is more or less two climbs followed by lengthy slightly downhill, off camber runs through trees on a slippery trail. The faster you go the more fun it is. A number of whoops thrown in give you good opportunity for air.

The return loop is totally different being mostly sand and gravel with areas that are completely rock fields. Very fun and sometimes sketchy.

The trail does not offer a high level technical challenge but it is one of the most fun trails around.

A superior night ride too and if you can, ride it backwards - it's a radically different trail that way.

The best parking option is to travel on M-66 to Riverside Dr. Go west on Riverside for one mile and you'll see the parking lot on your right. Trail head is right there with facilities. No need to go into the actual park which puts you almost a mile, down a miserable two track, from the trail head.

Customer Service

West Loop at least twice. East Loop for rookies or if you want a little warm up, really not missing anything if you pass it by.

Similar Products Used:

Burchfield. Ft Custer. Yankee Springs in late fall or winter, forget it in the summer unless you like sand a lot.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 16  

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