Be sure be sure to read CSGA Cartography – Part 1.
Getting Lost on The Pirate Trail
In early September, 2016 I set out to find the Pirate Trail on a long run in the weeks leading up to the Woodstock 50 miler. After running up and down 4 Mile Rd west of the main parking lot I saw a faint resemblance of a trail and stepped into the deep cover. After a few paces the trail became slightly more distinguished but I realized quickly that this wasn’t going to be one of those set back and follow the trail types of runs, it was going to require getting lost, searching for the trail, and a good lock on my orientation. Luckily my Garmin Fenix 3 has a mapping function that works during the run so at least I could tell where I had been and what my current heading was.
I found that the Pirate Trail has a number of offshoots many of which connect you to various spots on Section 1 of the main loop. All of the trails to the west lead to private property and should be avoided. After about 1.8 miles I found myself at the 5 Mile Rd connector which is about 1.5 miles up Section 1 on the Main Loop. I started down 5 Mile Rd but decided to double back and see if I could find the Section 1 to Hyser Lake route. I found that trail by continuing straight and passing the turn that takes you to the “old Section 1 loop”, the trail heads north east and comes down to the wood deck walk way.
The Upper Loop (NT) can be a bit confusing and instead of take the outer of the two loops I went straight ahead into the inner loop on top of the hill. I got turned around and found myself back down at the parking lot and decided to head back towards Dursam Ave where I planned to run the Inner Loop backwards. I found the trail head with ease but despite running the Inner Loop a number of times throughout the summer I had never run it backwards. With the various off shot trails, two and three way forks, I quickly got turned around and was heading back up the familiar trail that leads to the Dursam Ave parking lot. At this point I realized my 10 mile plan was going to be a bit longer.
As 2016 turned to fall CSGA becomes off limits to the mountain biking community to allow hunters to make the most of the small game and deer season in the game area. I typically will not run at CSGA during the same period so my interest in discovering these new routes would have to wait until 2017.
Read on for more trail details in CSGA Cartography – Part 3.