Cannonsburg Ski Area and the trails are officially closed to runners until March 28th
The trail at the Cannonsburg Ski area is beautiful. The five-and-a-half to six-mile path is lined with maples and oaks, and the wide trails provide plenty of elbow room so that cyclists have an easy time getting around runners with a crisp holler, "on your left!" Bear Creek dissects the property, and once over the creek bridge, it's off to the left and up the slow incline--certainly the most difficult five minutes in the run--rising elevation perhaps a hundred feet or so. Before the body has had a chance to find a rhythm, this slow incline taxes the lungs and legs, but once at the top, a gradual downhill takes you through a few pines and into the heart of the hill.
I've run this trail many times and enjoy the wide, winding paths that glide through the woods. This is not a technical trail: the paths are mostly even and comfortable, there are few switchbacks, and many long even stretches. It's not an "easy" trail, but certainly it doesn't present the technical challenges of Robinettes. After the first two miles, the path takes a brief view of Bear Creek, then circles back up into the hills. A few homes can be seen through the trees aside a long incline, and finally a high point in the topography marks the three-mile point.
There's little to no sand, mostly just hard packed dirt. A beautiful vista emerges at the four mile mark and you find yourself look right down a steep hill. And then, the moment everyone familiar with the trail anticipates, a large killer hill emerges looming large before you. I've many times smiled as the giant hill emerged thinking to myself, "I'm going to run up that?" It's a bit of an optical illusion really. The hill, it turns out, looks more imposing than its reality. I've often sprinted to the top without too much trouble.
After the big hill, there's just one-third of the trail remaining. It's through some mild switch backs and up a few more hills before you begin a long decent--a good five-minute mild, wandering decent--back to Bear Creek, across the bridge, and, on most Tuesday nights in the summer, it all resolves with a beer and running partners sitting in Bear Creek's cold, refreshing waters.
Distance: 6 miles
6800 Cannonsburg Road Northeast Belmont, MI 49306