MCMBA: Proud Lake

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Re: Metro South: Proud Lake

Postby billips1002 » June 17th, 2010, 10:42 am

I'm bringing a beginner along and I've never ridden Proud Lake. Is this trail easy as the MMBA description suggests?

I heard other reports that it's a killer, worse than Pontiac Lake...

Thanks!
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Re: Metro South: Proud Lake

Postby ColorVoyeur » June 17th, 2010, 11:06 am

Well, I wouldn't call a lot of it technical, but there are some awesome fast sections that can be a little hairy in loop 3 and loop 4. Also some amazing climbs...
Not sure what worse than Pontiac Lake means because I don't really ride there, but Proud Lake is an awesome way to spend a day.
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Re: Metro South: Proud Lake

Postby ihateplaindave » June 17th, 2010, 11:19 am

We rode it Wed night before the big rainfall. Loop 3 was already very muddy. I think it could be a real mess in spots. Island Lake or Milford Trail would be better choices, especially with a beginner.
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Re: Metro South: Proud Lake

Postby ColorVoyeur » June 17th, 2010, 5:55 pm

Hickory Glen is close to the area as well and great in wet conditions.
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Re: Metro South: Proud Lake

Postby billips1002 » June 18th, 2010, 7:53 am

We rode loops 1 & 2 yesterday.

Loop one was kind of unremarkable.There are some hills, the trail is cut pretty wide but the single track itself is a little narrow and deep between the grasses.

Loop 2 is more or less an overgrown horse trail with some sizeable hills, both up and down. The section of loop 2 after you get to the railroad tracks and turn back toward the trailhead near *beep* Russel bridge is an absolute quagmire of deep mud and weeds up to the waist.

The mosquitos throughout the area are terrible. If you have to stop you are going to get swarmed.

Next time I'll check out loops 3 & 4 to see if there are any hidden gems I'm missing but I don't think any of my crew is going to be convinced to return to this trail system. Are we missing something?
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Re: Metro South: Proud Lake

Postby ColorVoyeur » June 18th, 2010, 10:00 am

Yep, 1&2 are the boring parts.
You missed literally all the good stuff.
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Re: Metro South: Proud Lake

Postby hopsbag » June 18th, 2010, 10:40 am

[quote="billips1002"] The section of loop 2 after you get to the railroad tracks and turn back toward the trailhead near *beep* Russel bridge is an absolute quagmire of deep mud and weeds up to the waist.
quote]

If you were at Russel bridge then you wern't on the bike/horse trail. That section that goes through the marsh to the bridge is part of the Chief Pontiac hiking trail used by the Boy Scouts.
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Re: Metro South: Proud Lake

Postby amadkins » June 18th, 2010, 11:27 am

billips1002 wrote:Next time I'll check out loops 3 & 4 to see if there are any hidden gems I'm missing but I don't think any of my crew is going to be convinced to return to this trail system. Are we missing something?


Yes. Loop 1 is to be avoided, and Loop 2 is only a means to get to 3 and 4. All the good parts are on 3 and 4.
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Re: Metro South: Proud Lake

Postby ihateplaindave » June 18th, 2010, 12:45 pm

I only use Loop 1 to get from Commerce (Hickory Glen) to Milford or ILRA and back, but I enjoy riding it. But I kinda like Proud Lake which puts me in a decided minority among the people I ride with.
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Re: Metro South: Proud Lake

Postby Bruck » June 18th, 2010, 2:28 pm

ihateplaindave wrote:I only use Loop 1 to get from Commerce (Hickory Glen) to Milford or ILRA and back, but I enjoy riding it. But I kinda like Proud Lake which puts me in a decided minority among the people I ride with.


I agree. I love PL.

Hickory Glen with a ride to PL loop 1 and back is one of my fav week night rides.... just me though.
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Re: Metro South: Proud Lake

Postby billips1002 » June 18th, 2010, 2:30 pm

amadkins wrote:Yes. Loop 1 is to be avoided, and Loop 2 is only a means to get to 3 and 4. All the good parts are on 3 and 4.


OK, I'll head back next week and ride Loops 3 and 4 before I rule out any future visits!
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Re: Metro South: Proud Lake

Postby Steve_Balogh » June 20th, 2010, 7:46 pm

Went out and did loops 4&3 today (Sunday), loop 4 was a bit overgrown and muddy in several sections, loop 3 was much better. No other trail users in sight, saw one set of fresh horse-shoe prints. Judging by the amount of spider webs I plowed through, loop 4 has not seen much use lately. Looks like everyone including the equestrians are doing 3.

For those of you new to PL, take a map with you for loop 4 if you don't have a guide - lots of trails unmarked, I sort of know my way around via Builder Bill, but the signage on 4 is a bit odd.
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Re: Metro South: Proud Lake

Postby froggyrider » June 23rd, 2010, 8:22 pm

Welcome to John Con, new assistant Trail Coordinator for Proud Lake! You and Bill will do a great job!
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Re: Metro South: Proud Lake

Postby hopsbag » June 29th, 2010, 8:27 pm

I rode the connector from South Hill to Old Plank, then did a full circuit of all the loops tonite. What a beautiful evening in the woods! Conditions vary on all the loops, with some areas freshly mowed and others where the trail is barely discernible in the weeds. I got some nice welts on my shins and ankles. All the usual muddy spots are firming up now, except for one spot on the connector. Watch out on the gravel washes. The recent rains have left them full of loose cobbles, especially the downhills on loops 3 & 4. As usual, not another soul was to be seen on the trail tonite. I only noticed a few other bike tracks.
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Re: Metro South: Proud Lake

Postby WICCMB » July 5th, 2010, 11:05 pm

Rode all 4 loops today - on the section of loop 4 which runs along the railroad tracks, there are 2 trees down - 1 suspended above the ground, and 1 laying on the ground (small enough to hop over). The big downhill on loop 4 was a little sketchy today. The rest of the trail was in good shape, although beginning to get overgrown in places.

The horseflies in the powerline area of loop 1 were BRUTAL. I have NEVER encountered anything like that before....I had dozens of them attacking me while I was riding at speed!
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