egraetze wrote:I hadn't followed this issue closely, but read it all completely after my experience yesterday. I took what should have been an enjoyable and easy ride with my oldest daughter. She rode my old Trek mountain bike and I rode my skinny tire fixed on the Lakeland Trail starting from Hamburg. The paved naturally was with no issue, and once it turned to gravel all was good with even the occasional sandy section. I expected that we would complete the full trail to the end then turn around to go back to the start. The problem was once we got past M36 heading west, the trail seemed to be only used by horse riders. The trail was so rough that we simply could not ride it any more. It was a teeth jarring hand numbing ride. After a mile or two, we gave up. There was no part of the trial that was ridable. We saw a group of 3 hours coming our way, and it was no big deal to pass them, but when we turned around and passed from behind, even though they stopped at the side of the trail one of the horses got spooked when we passed. The rough trail, horse crap, spooked horse convinced me to never ride that portion of the trail again, and to never want to ride any trail on my bike where they are present.
There is a plan to separate some of the bike/hike and horse traffic on the Lakeland Trail or run parallel trails. Some sections are shared, but not much. I can't find the planned trail map, but the guy who owns Village Cyclery in Pinckney has the proposed plan if you want to stop in an see it next time you're out there.
I ride this trail a fair bit and most of the horse people are ok, but there are some really stupid riders out there that get their panties in a wad when they encounter a biker or hiker on the shared trail. Um....if you can't play in traffic and manage your horse - go find somewhere else to ride.