West Michigan Mountain Biking – Cannonsburg Ski Area

The Cannonsburg Ski Area is the second leg in our normal Wednesday Night Ride loop. As you might deduct from the name, the primary function of the privately operated property is a downhill ski resort. The trail has historically been closed during the ski season, however, with the recent introduction and radical growth in popularity of fat tire bikes, the trail was open to biking for the first time this past winter. Up until 2 years ago, the only access point to the trail head was through the lodge parking lot, but because of the considerable amount of traffic originating from the Cannonsburg State Game Area I wrote about the other day, an access trail was put in off Egypt Valley Road, which allows riders to avoid the very busy and fast moving Cannonsburg Road.

The trail is about 6 miles long and would be characterized (by me) as a fairly technical course with good elevation gain for West Michigan. We simply don’t have the elevation changes that other areas of the state have, but this trail has you climbing about 750 feet per lap, or 97 feet per trail mile. Considering the ski area boasts 250 feet of elevation, that’s climbing the ski hill 3 times per lap.

The trail has been host to the annual Meijer State Games of Michigan mountain bike race in June, the 2013 Farmer’s Fat Tire race, Kiss Cross Cyclo Cross, 8 hours of Cannonsburg, the inaugural Battle at the Burg, and I believe a late summer weekly Thursday night race series.  The trail is well loved, but for all that traffic, the single track has remained tight. The other day I mentioned my brother & I were able to get out and ride. Here’s the video from that ride:




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