Be sure be sure to read CSGA Cartography – Part 2.
The Inside Loop – Take 2
The hunting season was coming to a close in January, 2017 and I was pretty eager set out and discover these trails. Late winter proved to be a great time for trail discovery especially following a light and wet snow which highlighted old and difficult to find paths that have long since been covered with leafs. I spent some time searching the Internet for some guidance but beyond the WMBA map and the screen shot of Julian’s run there wasn’t much of anything. The lack of trail information or maps for these less traveled segments had me excited to pull together a comprehensive map of every trail in the game area. With the leafs off the trees the GPS tracks would be as good as they get so I set off to run every inch of every trail that I could find over the course of about a month and planned to stitch those runs into a multi-track GPX file.
In early March I had planned on running the 6 mile the Inner Loop, planning to take a left or right onto some of the trails I had seen but hadn’t yet traveled. The weather was cold with a light wet snow which highlighted the less traveled trails quite well; this run would prove to be short and adventurous. I ran the first 1 of Section 1 and took the right turn into the Inner Loop, given that I hadn’t run here since early fall I was mostly following the indent in the fresh snow not immediately recognizing the trails around me. This approach led me straight down the hill after entering the Inner Loop and heading back up the switchbacks in reverse. When I came back to the head of the switchbacks I realized my mistake and started back down the Inner Loop.
Coming down the trail I had the first opportunity to take a right turn off the Inner Loop onto a trail that I hadn’t yet run. The single track was easy to follow but after encountering some fallen trees I lost the trail and decided to head back the way I came. I would later find out this is section of the Inner Loop was the Coke Machine Trail which I’ll provide more info about later. Heading back the way I came I reconnected with the Inner Loop and decided to go right and run the remainder of the loop.
As I was coming up the trail that leads to the Dursam Ave parking lot I spotted a trail to the left that headed north and took it. The trail here went up hill and I was hoping it would connect back to Section 1. Up the hill the single track ended without a sign in the wet snow as to which way to go. I pulled the map up on my Garmin Fenix 3, got a bearing to the southwest, and headed through the woods without a sign of trail in front of me. I eventually met back up with the Inside Loop and took that back to Section 1 heading back to the parking lot. This run definitely highlighted that there are many trail options that intertwine the Inside Loop, knowing them well is key to not getting turned around or finding yourself at a premature dead end.
Read on for more trail details in CSGA Cartography – Part 4.