Be sure be sure to read CSGA Cartography – Part 5.
The Upper Loop
Following on from the Part 5 run where we finished the Pirate Trail mapping, Brad split off at end of the Pirate Trail where the trail meets the 5 Mile connector. He headed back down Section 1 running counter clockwise towards the main parking lot and I went out the 5 Mile Rd connector and ran north east on 5 Mile Rd around Hyser Lake. The stretch between the 5 Mile Rd connector and the Upper Loop parking lot is about 0.8 miles. When I arrived I decided to take the first right turn at the cross section and stayed left shortly after. The trail traverses up the side of the hill until you are at the top of the hill facing the main entrance from the parking lot where I took another right to continue on mapping out the trail.
I continued north and went east (right) at the first opportunity, this trail lead me to a house and private land where I doubled back turning back north (right) on the trail I had came from. This trail went on for some time but I would eventually realize that much of this segment was likely private property despite me not seeing any markings; I wouldn’t recommend running the entire north portion of the run posted on Strava given much of this land is likely private, as a result, it is not included in the full map below. As luck would have it I was a bit lost trying to find a way back via new trails when it started to rain and hail. At least I had some foresight before leaving the house to wear a rain jacket which helped some but in this kind of down pour you’re getting wet. I finally found my way back to the Upper Loop trail head and decided to bail out and head back to the CSGA main parking lot via Section 1 of the Main Loop.
Later that same week I set out for my weekend long run where I planned to map the remainder of the Upper Loop. The day was sunny and in the high 40’s and would transition to the mid 50’s by the end of my run. I started out on Section 1 and planned to take a trail that heads west about 0.5 miles into Section 1 at the top of the first climb. This trail connected me back to the Pirate Trail which I completed and returned to Section 1 of the Main Loop at the 5 Mile Rd connector. I ran the trail that connects north to Hyser Lake to get a better GPS track and then made my way up 5 Mile Rd to the Upper Loop.
This time I would go west at the first cross section after the parking lot. You can see some of that trail system when running up 5 Mile Rd so I had some idea of where this trail would lead. The trail here is single track, easy to follow, and loops back around. Be careful here when you come to the top of the loop not to take the wide trail to the north or the trail to the east since they lead to private land. I ended up taking what appeared to be an old two track south through the middle of the loop. At first this trail was a wide two track which transitioned to clear single track and eventually into a difficult to see foot path. This trail eventually drops out at the bottom of the outer loop just after you would go west of the cross section when entering the Upper Loop. I ran back to the cross section towards the beginning and kept running east (a right turn when coming from the parking lot). This segment leads though an open field section and drops off near some private land on the same trail I had run a few days prior. Heading west up the hill reconnects you with the outer loop.
Read on for more trail details in CSGA Cartography – Part 7.