2020 Trail Review: Bass River

When I think about Bass River, “sleeper” comes to mind, and I’m not just talking about the street…

Anybody? Eh, eh? No? Okay, anyway: Bass has been coming into its own over the past couple years thanks to a dedicated trail team. It’s definitely not the first place to dry out after a wet period (although the swampiest bits do have a detour), and that same quality can turn the place into an overgrown face-slap-athon in the summer, but it is good a lot.

So what is it about Bass that makes it special? Huge climbs with ripping descents? Er… no, the elevation profile of Bass makes Riley look like Ventoux. Gnarly features? Ok, the log piles are pretty fun, but still no.

Versatility. Bass is ol’ trusty. You won’t run into much traffic almost ever (save for a fresh weekend groom in the winter). No (okay, okay: very little on the mtb trail…) sand. It’s super tight and twisty which makes for a great night ride where it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll out-ride your headlight. Pro tip: go out of your way to make a trip to Bass on a clear night. Park, get out, and look up. You’re welcome.

Run what you brung: it’s fun on any bike! Fresh snow? There’s likely a beautiful groom for fat tires. Getting in gravel miles or looking to cure a boring road ride? The trail is a riot on skinny tires and there is plenty of gravel around. Bass is a terrific, accessible trail that riders of all abilities can enjoy.

If you got the Sleeper St. “joke” above, this spot may look familiar.
You may think the “READ SIGN” sign is unnecessary. I wish that was the case.

What did 2020 have in store for Bass? A big uptick in rides, for one! As pointed out in our 2020 stats post, Bass saw a 77% increase in ridelogs over 2019 on Trailforks! Some may point to the pandemic, but I’m going to direct my gaze at the the trail crew. August jungle Bass? No way! Trees down? Not for long! Fluffy business peacefully sprinkling from the heavens? PULVERIZED INTO SUBMISSION, CREATING A SMOOTH SURFACE PLEASANT FOR RIDING BICYCLES UPON. Seriously, great job gang.

Last but not least: directional-by-day! This was a huge, long effort by the whole crew in orchestrating with the DNR, working through COVID/hunting season delays, and doing the actual install. If you’re not ready to give these folks a high five at this point, you’d better check yourself (as you may or may not be on track to wreck yourself).

All right, clearly I’m done here. Time to ride; you can guess where I’m headed.

Main post photo 📷: @puremichigandog!