One of the very first mountain bike trails I experienced once I purchased my own mountain bike was Cannonsburg State Game Area in Grand Rapids, MI. Many also refer to the trail as CSGA or Egypt Valley, which I’m not sure if that name originated because of the nearby Egypt Valley Golf Course or the nearest cross roads, Egypt Valley Road. Either way, it’s 7.5 miles of some fun, fast flowing single track that’s not too challenging, but not too easy, either. The CSGA crosses 3 gravel roads (one might actually be considered a well used 2 track). The re-entry points are very well marked, but the trail gets enough traffic during the week that all you’d need to do is follow the bike tracks.
As is typical with many of the mountain bike trails in West Michigan, the trails are open for cross country skiing in the winter and jogging/hiking all year round. That being said, you don’t see too many joggers during the summer, and those you do greet you with smiles as they run opposite of the riders. There is also a period of time in the fall that the trails are closed for hunting on the approximately 1347 acre game area.
During the summer months, the Wednesday night ride group that I ride with often start from this trail head as the Cannonsburg Ski Area trail, Luton Park trail, and now Merrell Trail are all within biking distance (though Merrell is ‘borderline’, especially if you’re not riding Luton Park in between). From this trail head we will often start a ride we affectionately call the ‘trifecta’ which requires about a 1.5 mile ride into the trail, popping out onto 5 Mile Road which takes you over to the Cannonsburg Ski Area for a lap, then heading up to Luton Park for a complete lap (there are multiple loops that can be completed in series to make up one contiguous loop), and then back down to CSGA where we popped out and continue on completing the rest of the loop. It’s about 40 miles in all.
This past Friday afternoon I had the opportunity to get out for a ride after work with my brother. Because of all of the rain we’ve received over the last few weeks there were some muddy spots that are not typical of this trail. I’m not proud of riding through the first one or two, but am happy that we decided to begin dismounting and walking around the couple of other spots so as to avoid damaging the trail. It should dry out completely over the next couple of days and be perfect, again. I took a video of the entire loop for my trail library and uploaded it to YouTube. Enjoy: