• bicycle
  • cycle
  • mountainbiker2
  • mountain-biker
  • singletrail
  • 23475 103453783017893 100000598144109 94244 3684632 n
  • 19434 287631356153 285483736153 5099244 3558666 n
  • Fort Custer bike

group image

SWMMBA — the Southwest Michigan Mountain Biking Association

End of Summer Update

Well, I missed the chance to have a “Mid-Year” update, so I’m going with an End of Summer Update.

To say we had a hectic start to 2014 would be a gross understatement. We dealt with insurance debacles, communication miss-steps and advocacy issues. Working as a team with new members is never easy and we didn’t have much time for holding hands and singing Kum Ba Yah. However, we overcame those challenges and kept pushing forward.

20Th Anniversary Stampede
Kudos to our race committee for putting on an excellent race! The new course design was very well received and we had numerous compliments on the experience. We appreciate suggestions you may have for improving the experience and encourage you to please send in your comments via email. Please use “Stampede” in the subject line.

Markin Glen
We have talked to many of you at the trails or around town about the new trail for Markin Glen (MG). We hired Spectrum Design to help layout the new trail and in particular, help with some very challenging switchback issues and bi-directional design concerns. If you are not familiar with Spectrum, they designed and built Merrell Trail in Rockford and the trail system in Brown County, Indiana.

The MG trail has been approved by the county parks board and is also included in the latest Master Plan for the park. We are working with the county park director to secure our Memo of Understanding and present the phased build plan to begin trail construction later this fall or early spring. Once the plan is approved and the M.O.U. signed, fund raising will begin and we will announce organized activities. We hope to do this soon and are thinking about a kick-off party to get the word out.

That seems to be the underlying theme to most of the comments we have received so far on our membership survey. We need to do a better job on Facebook, our website and through email blasts. We also need to check our speilling spelling. To help us get the word out, we created a Twitter account as well. If you tweet, please follow us at #swmmba. We will be working harder to ensure information in all forms is up to date and reminders on club activities are early and often.

Other Such Stuff
There are a number of activities we are engaged in at the moment:

  • Bike Swap - Early spring, possibly between the Barry-Roubaix and Yankee Time Trial.
  • Mountain Bike 101 – We held our own event and are holding another 101 clinic for a private group in early September. This is an exciting opportunity to reach out to new riders of all ages and make sure they have safe, fun experiences on the trails.
  • Club Jerseys – Hopefully, we can get some long sleeve jerseys in time for IceMan. Look for pre-order communications soon.
  • Monthly Meetings – We are having very productive meetings at our new location but general member attendance is low. That’s ok. I will try to hold a quick update meeting once a month following our Thursday night group ride. I can give you the general updates and answer questions. We’ll look to start that after our September board meeting.

Thanks for reading,


The Fort Custer Stampede is trail benefit mountain bike race that assists our organization in raising the necessary funding to maintain the trail system at Fort Custer. It allows us to provide the necessary materials to keep Fort Custer one of the top destinations to ride.

  • Trail Equipment: provide the necessary equipment for trimming and excavating.
  • Equipment Maintenance: keeping our equipment in working order to make us efficient at our jobs.
  • Trail Development: we are always making alterations to trails to keep them great.
  • Trail Materials: get the necessary materials to keep the trails in tip top shape for great riding.

IMG 1678              IMG 1794              IMG 1807              IMG 2037


SWMMBA acts as the primary trail developer for the Fort Custer State Recreation Area located in Augusta, MI. The Fort Custer Recreation Area currently has 18 miles of dedicated mountain bike trails, with 5 additional miles of multi-use trail. Future goals include increasing both membership and mountain bike trail mileage, working with land managers in partnership to achieve this goal, and building relationships with government and business organizations to inter-connect trail systems in the region.

TRAFx Counters

We have exciting news! The SWMMBA is now installing invisible counters that will assist us with keeping track of the number of mountain bike riders that visit our trail systems every day. This will assist us in gathering data about trail usage. It will assist us to better understand and manage our trails and can also be used when applying for grants and other funding as well as assist us with working with the DNR.

To learn more about the trail counters we use, please click this link.

Next SWMMBA Meeting


SWMMBA Meeting

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
Time - 6:00 pm
We will be meeting at KRESA in Portage off Milham Road

Next Trail Day


SWMMBA Trail Day

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Meet at trailhead at 8:00 am

Special Announcement


Markin Glen Park

As many of you have already heard we are working with the Kalamazoo Parks department to get mountain bike trails on Markin Glen Park!

We are in the fundraising mode now, so we need your help to raise funds to make this dream a reality!

Donate Now!


In order to better serve our members, the Southwest Michigan Mountain Biking Association board has commissioned this survey to better understand your interests, needs, and perceptions of the organization.

Take Survey

Report Volunteer Hours


Report Volunteer Hours

It's very important to us for everyone to record their volunteer hours. Both trail work as well as administrative. So if you could please click this link and log your hours it would be greatly appreciated.

Report Your Hours


Markin Glen Update

Markin Glen Update NEW TRAIL APPROVED!!!!

Your SWMMBA leaders have been very hard at work, meeting with the Kalamazoo...

Markin Glen Master Plan Meeting

Markin Glen Master Plan Meeting, Aug. 27th KALAMAZOO COUNTY PARKS AND RECREATION:

Your SWMMBA leaders have been...


Attention Everyone - MSTAC/DNR Suervey   This is our opportunity to let our voices be heard! Please read the following...
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Support the SWMMBA


Become a MemberRegister to be a SWMMBA Member NOW.


Donations Donating money allows our group to do trail maintenence at the park.


Get Involved We have scheduled trail days, volunteer your time.
Back to Top