CRAMBA: Pontiac Lake

For posting trail-specific conditions and problems

Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby HiptonRadcliffIII » May 4th, 2011, 9:21 am

trail was in great shape. first half was very fast, a few tacky mud spots but on the whole awesome ride. the second half just needs to be ridden more, it felt like a spring trail (kinda slow), lines not carved, ect.
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby jumbo » May 4th, 2011, 8:32 pm

I hope you all got a chance to get out and ride this evening. The trail was in perfect condition. The temperature was perfect. The blue sky was perfect. It was the kind of day that makes the long, miserable Michigan winter bearable.
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby onlycrimson » May 9th, 2011, 10:41 pm

The trail was in perfect shape today, loose in many places and no mud. I don't know what the rain will leave it like. Probably make it more firm and faster.
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby kcnado » May 10th, 2011, 9:58 am

The trail was in amazing condition this weekend! Felt good to get out there for a hike and MTB.

However, I did notice many people going the wrong way on the trail... most without helmets. One in particular was a family who wondered in from some trails near the campground and looked really scared about finding a way out of the trail... they didn't expect it to be as hard.

I've seen this in the past also. Perhaps an idea would be to put up some notification or information signs at intersections where campers or outside pedestrians can wonder in. Thoughts????
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby compacted_graphite » May 11th, 2011, 11:23 am

Trail report for Tuesday 6 PM May 10, 2011: The mountain bike trail at Pontiac Lake is completely dry and free of obstructions. The trail surface is beginning to get to its mid-summer condition of looseness on some of the steeper climbs and downhills, especially on the last climbs and descent on to the two track at the end of the loop. The sandy climb at the intersection of the bike trail and bridle trail at sign post 5 is also very loose. But otherwise, the trail is not too dusty yet.

As for bikes going the wrong way, the assistant TC has been making and installing some signs and posting them which state "BIKE WRONG WAY". You probably haven't noticed them, as most of the readers of this forum know the trail direction fairly well. But we are trying to put some added signage out there to keep bikes on the bike trail, and off of the bridle and hiking trails, and to keep bikes moving clockwise. Additional signage will probably help. Your suggestion is appreciated and if you let us know specifically where you saw (unhelmeted) riders going the wrong way, we'll try to put up more signage in that area.

The assistant TC has also posted two signs demarking easier routes, one at the gully/corkscrew (easier route to the right) and at mile 8.4 (easier route to the left).

Also- just to let you know, the park is asking us to come up with an easier beginners loop but to do it in a way to create no new trails and to not cross bridle paths. We're working on a route for that - mostly involving the north half of the trail.
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby Doc_d » May 11th, 2011, 12:40 pm

compacted_graphite wrote:Trail report for Tuesday 6 PM May 10, 2011: The mountain bike trail at Pontiac Lake is completely dry and free of obstructions. The trail surface is beginning to get to its mid-summer condition of looseness on some of the steeper climbs and downhills, especially on the last climbs and descent on to the two track at the end of the loop. The sandy climb at the intersection of the bike trail and bridle trail at sign post 5 is also very loose. But otherwise, the trail is not too dusty yet.

As for bikes going the wrong way, the assistant TC has been making and installing some signs and posting them which state "BIKE WRONG WAY". You probably haven't noticed them, as most of the readers of this forum know the trail direction fairly well. But we are trying to put some added signage out there to keep bikes on the bike trail, and off of the bridle and hiking trails, and to keep bikes moving clockwise. Additional signage will probably help. Your suggestion is appreciated and if you let us know specifically where you saw (unhelmeted) riders going the wrong way, we'll try to put up more signage in that area.

The assistant TC has also posted two signs demarking easier routes, one at the gully/corkscrew (easier route to the right) and at mile 8.4 (easier route to the left).

Also- just to let you know, the park is asking us to come up with an easier beginners loop but to do it in a way to create no new trails and to not cross bridle paths. We're working on a route for that - mostly involving the north half of the trail.



It's a shame they wouldn't consider a new section of trail as an easier loop. The way you stated it, it sounds like they are pretty opposed to the idea of any new trail. Are they unhappy about some aspect of the MTB community and their use of the park?
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby jencurls » May 11th, 2011, 1:05 pm

i've never been to pontiac lake and am thinking about checking it out.

how are the trail signage? will i find my way around easily or will i get lost?
and how would you compare this trail to? lakeshore park? highland state? stoney creek?
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby risnewski » May 11th, 2011, 1:20 pm

jencurls wrote:i've never been to pontiac lake and am thinking about checking it out.

how are the trail signage? will i find my way around easily or will i get lost?
and how would you compare this trail to? lakeshore park? highland state? stoney creek?


Closer to Stoney than Lakeshore or Highland, but without the numerous confusing trailcrossings at Stoney or it's lousy signage. Trail markings are not great but the trail is typically easy to follow. If in doubt, stay on the narrower trail. Near the end, for example, there is an unmarked two track that cuts right 90 degrees and takes you to past the equestrian staging area to the campground.

There's a hill two miles in that can be tough and a section that I think is about 7 miles in that is an optional tricky section. Last time I was there there was a sign pointing right for the easier route. Go left and you have a tight switchback downhill followed by a steep short climb with a drop off on your left. Pontiac Lake is a sweet trail. Highly recommended. if you can do Highland you can definitely do Pontiac Lake.
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby amadkins » May 11th, 2011, 8:07 pm

jencurls wrote:i've never been to pontiac lake and am thinking about checking it out.

how are the trail signage? will i find my way around easily or will i get lost?
and how would you compare this trail to? lakeshore park? highland state? stoney creek?


Pretty good map here:

http://mysinglespeed.com/maps/plra/plra.htm

The two mile hill is always lethal destruction for me since I'm so fat, and I typically bypass the chute due to the aforementioned fatness.
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby jencurls » May 12th, 2011, 10:10 am

awesome! thanks for the tips!
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby kcnado » May 13th, 2011, 8:52 am

compacted_graphite wrote:Your suggestion is appreciated and if you let us know specifically where you saw (unhelmeted) riders going the wrong way, we'll try to put up more signage in that area.


I usually see them within the first 3 miles. I think they pop in from either a backyard or that small trail that vears off into the campground area. That's between mile 2 and 3, MTB goes left and a small bandit trail goes up to the right... I think there's a trail map post there.
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby oldkhs » May 15th, 2011, 8:26 pm

Thoughts on if PLRA trail will be ridable tomorrow evening? I know it drains fairly well, but this spring is out of control with the rain... Don't want to make a mess of the trail or my bike. I'm sure there will be a few puddles...
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby jpjones » May 16th, 2011, 1:03 pm

If anyone makes it out to the trail today, please post the trail condition. I'm hoping to make my first visit Tuesday evening! :D
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby HKEKfreak » May 16th, 2011, 1:34 pm

jpjones wrote:If anyone makes it out to the trail today, please post the trail condition. I'm hoping to make my first visit Tuesday evening! :D



Rode two laps this morning and only had to walk two sections. It's drained really well.
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby oldkhs » May 16th, 2011, 7:21 pm

Rode tonight - trail is definitely ridable. I was able to hop over most of the puddles, and had to go around a few spots. I think I only went thru 1.

Tree down approx 1/8 mile before the downhill switchback thing after the 1st easy sign that is just before the climb up the hill that falls off to the left on the back half of the trail. I'm sure there is a buzzword for that, I just don't know it. Likely need chainsaw or a handful of guys to move. Easy to climb over, may be able to ride over it.

Another tree seems to be in the trail sticking upright approx 3/4 mile past above tree, right after the sharp 90 deg right turn.

Definitely wish I rode last friday when the temp was better...
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