CRAMBA: Seven Lakes

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Re: CRAMBA: Seven Lakes

Postby Josh McCreedy » August 19th, 2013, 9:42 am

Seven Lakes is a gem and there is a long MTb and MMBA history out there that precedes my 10 years in Holly. At one point, there was another loop started, but it was shut down due to some bogs or fen habitats that required a lot of bridge. The park has been investing some man hours in the trails and has put some new, excellent signage out there. Locals also pitch in with some trimming and log removal, but with park approval, could do much more of the minor improvements and maintenance you mention. I know some CRAMBA people are looking at rebuilding the relationship with the park, but I am not sure where that is at.

Plenty of people ride these trails. Coming from the west, try jumping on the well-established hunting trail off of Eddy Lake. It adds another half-mile of trail and keeps you off the pavement. There's also a cut-in to the park from the north by the dam that affords quick access to the overlook trail entrance.

Please do not build unapproved bridges or log features out there. Also, there are several wet spots downhill of vernal ponds that people love to fill with corduroy. It would be more helpful if people would scrape out the lip to let these drain, rather than clogging them up with bark and rotten wood.

Sorry for the book here, but if you want to link trails by dirt road, don't forget the Wilderness Trails at Holly Rec. A Seven Lakes, Holdridge, Wilderness link-up connected by dirt, ending with a swim in the Shiawassee and beverages at the Black Thorn Pub, is a sweet day on the bike.
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Re: CRAMBA: Seven Lakes

Postby black2003ss » August 19th, 2013, 10:13 am

Who's going to build unapproved bridges? Like I said, it would be nice "If we got approval...". That's all. I'm certainly not going to sink any of my own money into it right now either. But if I can be of assistance to help build the relationship or put in man hours when the time comes, I might be able to help being so close by.
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Re: CRAMBA: Seven Lakes

Postby Josh McCreedy » August 19th, 2013, 3:06 pm

Sorry, I didn't mean to insinuate that you would do any building, Mr. Black2003ss. Like you, I am eager to see improvements to the trail system and would like to be involved. I hope you are enjoying the riding around here.
Someone did build a bridge recently, and someone did build a big oak log feature in the middle of the trail--with no go around. The log feature is gone, and the bridge likely will be removed as well. There's a lot of history here--some not so positive--and I hope to see an improved connection with the park established with as little friction as is possible.
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Re: CRAMBA: Seven Lakes

Postby black2003ss » August 20th, 2013, 2:54 pm

What bridge was bandit built? I rode most of the trails last night. I started a the *beep* Shelter to marker 8, then hung left over that one bridge and headed South under Big Seven Lake, up the West side to "1", then proceeded to follow in numeric order to 5, then 17, 16, back towards *beep* Shelter, ended up with I think something like 4.5miles or so. The loops between *beep* and Big Seven, in that area, are all a lot of fun. The back loop between boat launches, yeah, it's getting a little overgrown, not unmanageable though. A couple of nasty permanent muddy spots back there though and that one stream crossing with logs built over it. Going from Marker 1 to 2? All grass, definitely needs riders, but they are mowing it regularly it looks like. Got confused for a second making my way around the Northwest end, the dam area, and that one spot with stairs going up around 4? Hiked the bike. Went slow, stopped and looked at the maps a few times, but had a good time. I think if I swing in again, I'll stick the 5-8, 15-17 areas and maybe make a couple of laps around there. It's all mostly high and dry, fast and fun, with a couple of good climbs.

I look forward to seeing the relationship develop if possible.
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Re: CRAMBA: Seven Lakes

Postby Critter7r » August 23rd, 2013, 7:07 am

Alright, who was out there riding last night (Thursday)? For only about the 3rd time in 5 or 6 years, a non-camping rider & I crossed paths. It had to be someone from here, right?

FYI, the trail is all dried up, the dam isn't even flowing. The lake is a few inches below the top.
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Re: CRAMBA: Seven Lakes

Postby black2003ss » August 23rd, 2013, 8:57 am

Not me this time. I might swing out there this weekend on a ride though. Maybe all the talk might generate some interest. There are a few folks who all live and ride in the area and maybe more will just go check it out. One of two things could happen, either we get more riders out there and the park sees the benefit/need to promote it, or we get more riders out there and the park gets annoyed and shuts it down. I think increased usage will be good though.
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Re: CRAMBA: Seven Lakes

Postby Critter7r » September 17th, 2013, 9:55 pm

Trail was in perfect shape today. Small game hunters are out. Wear orange.
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Re: CRAMBA: Seven Lakes

Postby WitchDr » October 7th, 2013, 8:52 pm

I see Critter7r frequents 7 Lakes trails. Can you tell us the current conditions? There is a South loop that is accessible by turning left just after the bridge, I'm curious if it is overgrown or well-travelled? I'm looking forward to exploring all the trails there again soon! I used to get out there once every couple weeks, really like the change of pace. There is at least one hill there I STILL can't get over. That will be my next goal!
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Re: CRAMBA: Seven Lakes

Postby Critter7r » October 8th, 2013, 7:42 am

i rode Sunday while it was raining and it was ... well, wet. Most of the trail dries out pretty quickly, within a day or so. It's probably mostly just damp at this point. Not sure shich part of the trail you're referring to with "south loop", but I'll rattle thru my route that hits all of the mountainbike-able trails : I ride almost to the end of the park road toward the boat launch on Big Seven Lake and ride that spur around the south end of Big Seven over to the boat launch on *beep* Lake. Then I ride around to the parking lot for the *beep* Shelter, cross the road and head to the trail junction at the SW end of Little Seven Lake and hang a left to do a loop that brings me back around to the boat launch on *beep* Lake.

I suspect one of your killer hills is not far after I make that left hand turn. There are two pretty steep hills on that loop.

If it doesn't rain today, the trail will probably be decent except for the spur that starts at Big Seven will have some muddy spots. Rideable, but if you want to stay dry, stick to the interior loop and skip the spur.

Trail map here : http://www.michigandnr.com/Publications ... es_map.pdf
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Re: CRAMBA: Seven Lakes

Postby Josh McCreedy » October 8th, 2013, 2:15 pm

The eastern-most bridge over the wet spot has a left that dead ends in the bog; this loop was shut down in construction because of said bog. The left by the bridge that goes over the creek also has a left that eventually dead ends, but has a right that takes you to the Big Seven Lake boat launch. The dead ends are really tantalizing...
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Re: CRAMBA: Seven Lakes

Postby Critter7r » October 8th, 2013, 2:53 pm

Hmmm... I can only think of two bridges ... one of them is over an atual flowing stream, and the other is over a bog, just prior to a steep hill on which I may or may not spin out on a root - it's about 50/50 for me. Riding counter-clockwise after crossing that bridge and climbing the hill, the trail that goes to the left ends at the road to *beep* Lake boat launch, the trail to the right leads back to the Overlook parking lot.

The other bridge over the actual flowing water ... if you're standing on the bridge looking southeast, the trail that peels off the the right leads back to the Big Seven boat launch, and the trail to the left goes up a hill and heads off to (I think) the south. i've followed it for a ways, and I get the impression it heads around the western edge of *beep* Lake, but it's pretty thick and overgrown.

I wish I could find a map with intersection markers on it ... I can't seem to find the trail map like the ones on the posts in the park.
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Re: CRAMBA: Seven Lakes

Postby WitchDr » October 8th, 2013, 9:00 pm

Critter7r,that's the south loop I'm talking about. you got it:
The other bridge over the actual flowing water ... if you're standing on the bridge looking southeast, the trail that peels off the the right leads back to the Big Seven boat launch, and the trail to the left goes up a hill and heads off to (I think) the south. i've followed it for a ways, and I get the impression it heads around the western edge of *beep* Lake, but it's pretty thick and overgrown.

the trail to the left....up a hill....to the south. that used to be a great loop adding some nice distance around the south side of the park. It isn't even on the map. you will see a dotted line heading in that direction, but it's a legit full loop. As I recall it ends up going down a mild hill due north toward the mid point of the big 7 lakes south rim (where I would turn left and head over the woops, and eventually end up by the boat launch loop on big 7.) Sounds like it isn't a common loop, hence my concern of it being overgrown. I'll get over there in the next week or so and scout it out. Thanks!
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Re: CRAMBA: Seven Lakes

Postby Critter7r » October 10th, 2013, 9:10 am

I think I know the trail you're talking about where you turn left and head back to the Big 7 boat launch. I ride FROM the boat launch and see that trail crossing just after the woops, and turning left takes you to the lake (although, I believe it's heading west, not north, because yesterday the sun was right in my eyes as it was setting and I was on that trail heading toward the lake. I see the dotted line on the Park Map that you're talking about, but I don't know if that isn't accurate, or if it isn't the trail that we're talking about). Anyhow, I was on my normal "start at the boat launch" ride and when I came to that trail, I turned right and went up the hill. It's a pretty wide open trail and after a couple hundred yards, it braches off to the left and right or goes straight. Next time I'm out there without a time limit, I'll explore some of those trails.
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Re: CRAMBA: Seven Lakes

Postby Critter7r » October 10th, 2013, 9:15 am

hmmmm ... I've found the trail in question on Google maps, and it does indeed head north/south. Musta been some other time that the sun was in my eyes when I was riding yesterday. And it looks like that trail hits El Paso road (and Then to Grange Hall) if you follow it south.
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Re: CRAMBA: Seven Lakes

Postby Jim O » October 11th, 2013, 3:32 pm

Remember the Sun is very low in the sky this time of year. Easy to confuse.
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