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  1. #1
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    highland lake and poto comparrison

    Hey guys..I finally got to ride highland lake last sunday and it was a challenge compared to riding maybury and tree farm. Question is.... I want to try out poto and what is the comparison between highland lake and poto as far as difficulty wise. I just started riding this summer but have been riding at least 3 times a week or more, so i'm just trying to get my feet wet buy trying out as many trails as i can before winter comes.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Broke as a joke
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    Strickly my opinion...

    Highland's got Poto beat to me by how tight it is. Climbs aren't as rooty, or rocky in my opinion as Poto, but still just as fun. My problem with Poto is that 90% of the trail is 10ft wide. And you always have to slow down in the fast sections because usually that's where a hiker is coming at u from the other direction. I've only seen 2 hikers ever at Highland.
    Some spots are terribly marked at Poto and you'll spend some time trying to figure out which way to go, or asking people which way to go . So I guess Poto's difficulty over Highland:

    1. Longer climbs with a few more rocks and roots
    2. Pedestrian obstacles
    3. Lack of trail markings for direction (in a few spots, not all)
    4. There's a sand hill to climb which is kinda different.
    5. Has some sweet views around some lakes, not just all in the woods.

    I recommend just riding it. Theyre both great trails. I just prefer tigher ones to scrape elbows on.

  3. #3
    DynoDon
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    You'll get better at Maybury, and tree farm after riding Poto and Highland, Poto is best on week days (less hikers) you may want to stop for pic ops at Poto, it is scenic, lots of lakes to jump in to cool off there, I don't find the markers hard, Highland, and Poto both have some confusing areas, but once you get past that, they are both great trails, and will make you better.
    I do Poto's 18+ miles in 1hr 40 min, I wish I could do Highlands 16+ miles that fast..LOL I've been riding seriously for one year now, I'm improving all the time, I'm only 65... Happy Trails
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  4. #4
    It's all about the FSR!
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    I rode Highland for the first time on Friday, and honestly, I didn't like it. No surprise though, because I didn't like Poto either. Those are just not my types of trails though, so be sure to do both, and form your own opinions.

  5. #5
    DynoDon
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    I didn't like Highland either the first time, I thought the best thing about Highland is leaving it, then I seen how much it helped me on the other trails I ride, I decided I liked it better, then I got a 29er, I like to ride it for improving my skills, it really helped me on the 29er in the technical stuff, the more I ride it the more I like it.
    I took a guy that use to race professionally with the Husqvarna Motorcycle Enduro team worldwide to Highland, Poto, Pontiac, and Maybury, Highland was his Fav, Poto, then Pontiac, he thought Maybury was like a BMX track..LOL he was faaaaaaast on a MB too.
    I think I'll go to Highland tomorrow...or wait for the weekend, its good then, the crowds are at the other trails on the weekends, Highland is people free, and always about 10 degrees cooler with the thick woods.
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  6. #6
    k^2
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    Highland is my favorite trail in Michigan hands down. It is love it or hate it trail. Highland unlike Poto which was originally a hiking trail was built with MTB purpose.
    Poto is totally different than Highland. As mentioned above it is much more open and it is way faster than Highland. If you like speed you will enjoy it more. I do not find it to be terribly marked. Except one place when you get to the gravel road and there you don't know where to go. Just follow the road. Yes, Poto has way more sandy areas, and the roots are becoming pretty bad. Although Highland is also getting eroded. I ride Poto on the weekends only and don't find the hikers to be such a problem. They usually get of the trail to let one through. In the summer time you can go for a swim in the lake after doing Poto. It feels great.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the info guys.............

  8. #8
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    I've been to both POTO and Highland Rec. I've actually done only the first two loops at Highland and I'm pretty sure they've changed it since. From what I can remember about Highland, it had a lot of small stumps sticking out of the ground which I didn't like. I do like the tight switchback type of terrain tho. POTO was a bad experience for me because I had my first "endo" there. I had a fork installed on my bike and it was done incorrectly. My headtube bottomed out on the front tire and the back end of my bike came over the top. Not fun....
    Otherwise, from what I remember POTO was fast in sections and there were a lot of places where you could get some good speed going (especially where I had endo'd).
    I think it's a preference thing. Just because they had things about them, doesn't mean I won't return to them. Really, you should just try them for yourself.
    You may find things differently

  9. #9
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    I don't think you can really compare the two. Highland is super tight and techy and Poto is fast and open covered with hikers. I hate Highland, but I find myself doing it twice a month because it is such a challenge. If you can get fast at highland you can be fast anywhere, it will improve your riding and fitness. I love Poto but only do it once a month, just because there is always SO many people there. I ride about 5days a week.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishpitbull View Post
    If you can get fast at highland you can be fast anywhere.
    That is the absolute truth! I think our max speed through some areas were 3mph... LOL
    You are also right about them both being different. If I think of it, they are both pretty unique to all of the other trails in southeast MI. All of the trails have a little something to offer though.

  11. #11
    Hard Tail
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    I rode poto all summer, there are not that many hikers, and very few bikers, its a completely diff trail, its long and wide open with lots of speed and climbs, Highland is flat and back and forth

  12. #12
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    I love em both, Highland is more of an adventure for me because I do Poto all the time. I have been finding trail right here in Ann Arbor that are just as good if not better, you just have to know how to find them.
    Narrow and rugged is the path that leads to life and few find it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojoman View Post
    I love em both, Highland is more of an adventure for me because I do Poto all the time. I have been finding trail right here in Ann Arbor that are just as good if not better, you just have to know how to find them.
    Been trying to get someone show me this loop since I moved here July.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by O.S.Rider View Post
    I rode poto all summer, there are not that many hikers, and very few bikers, its a completely diff trail, its long and wide open with lots of speed and climbs, Highland is flat and back and forth

    Highland has more vert climbing then Poto so I'm not sure how you would call that flat.
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  15. #15
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    Ann Arbor trails

    IrishPitbull
    I would be happy to show you the Ann Arbor Stuff. I have developed a network of trails that can be anywhere from 5 miles to 30 miles of almost all single track. I rarely do the same loop two times in a row. Bring your Stumpy FSR 29er carbon and put it through the wringer. I'm available a lot to ride, my schedule is flexible. drop me a PM
    Narrow and rugged is the path that leads to life and few find it.

  16. #16
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    all i know is there is one uphill section at highland with monster roots crossing the trail at the top. every time i ride it --> endo --> fall --> swear --> tell myself the trail sucks --> come back and ride again.

  17. #17
    CTB
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    Love Poto, hate Highland. Poto has some tough climbs, but you get rewarded with equally fun downhill fast sections. Highland is like an Escher picture - you swear you climb the whole loop yet end up where you started. It seems every downhill sends you right into a hairpin that turns you 180-degrees and back uphill immediately, killing your flow and speed. I admit, I have no climbing legs, but there are too many fun* trails here to waste time there.

    * Fun for me is something fast and flowy, and/or something with rewards for your climbs. Poto and Pontiac Lake are great, love Maybury for a good blast, etc.

  18. #18
    gotta get up to get down
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    stoked to come home in june and shred the poto, pontiac lake, highland, etc. heck even the local loop trails around a2 are fun! I love em all (they are totally different) but I'd say poto is my local fav. can't wait to go back and cruise that 18 mile loop after living/riding in CO for over a year now...

  19. #19
    DynoDon
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    leave the sunblock in Colorado, trees do that job for you, June will be a good month, the water will be warm enough to jump in to cool off, Potto is like heaven on weekdays, lots of reroutes, someone has been going in and covering up the roots, I think they want to pave it, sick bastards, crosscountry skiers are demanding smoothier trails, yet in the 1970's Potto was rated in the top 10 in Northamerican for cx skinig because of its natural trail setting, now they think they should skate not ski, go to a golf corses or to barrie, ont leave Potto alone, they've even blown the leaves off the trail in winter months, runners/hikers think they own it, cuz' they've been here longer then Mbers, Sorry hikers I've been coming here since the early 1950' but they do little to maintain the trail system, Mbrs should leave it natural for a year and see how it looks then. Horses are the next consern, then why not quads, motorcyles, 4 wheelers, snowmobiles, and pave it for wheelchairs, stagways or whatever them stupid 2 wheels things are, hey dunebuggys too. why no cars too since it'll be paved soon, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, right or wrong, whoever has the biggest mouth, most lobbiest, pays the politicals gets what they want screw the rest of the people. Sneak it in on another bill, once its law its hard to change, sorry about the rant, not really, I'd just like to see it more natural. Are advertisments next? food stations, cotton candy, come on, eat some of the pretty red jackin the pulpit berries, mess with the missasagas, don't wear bright colors when the drunk hunters are out there, that would thin the heards of nature lovers..walk the wrong way, run the wrong way, I'm running into you rather then me going off the trial and causing great bodily injury to myself, because you can't read a map, sorry if I offended anyone but that was my intention, the first parking lot is the mountain bike trailhead, where the #1 iq
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by manabiker View Post
    leave the sunblock in Colorado, trees do that job for you, June will be a good month, the water will be warm enough to jump in to cool off, Potto is like heaven on weekdays, lots of reroutes, someone has been going in and covering up the roots, I think they want to pave it, sick bastards, crosscountry skiers are demanding smoothier trails, yet in the 1970's Potto was rated in the top 10 in Northamerican for cx skinig because of its natural trail setting, now they think they should skate not ski, go to a golf corses or to barrie, ont leave Potto alone, they've even blown the leaves off the trail in winter months, runners/hikers think they own it, cuz' they've been here longer then Mbers, Sorry hikers I've been coming here since the early 1950' but they do little to maintain the trail system, Mbrs should leave it natural for a year and see how it looks then. Horses are the next consern, then why not quads, motorcyles, 4 wheelers, snowmobiles, and pave it for wheelchairs, stagways or whatever them stupid 2 wheels things are, hey dunebuggys too. why no cars too since it'll be paved soon, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, right or wrong, whoever has the biggest mouth, most lobbiest, pays the politicals gets what they want screw the rest of the people. Sneak it in on another bill, once its law its hard to change, sorry about the rant, not really, I'd just like to see it more natural. Are advertisments next? food stations, cotton candy, come on, eat some of the pretty red jackin the pulpit berries, mess with the missasagas, don't wear bright colors when the drunk hunters are out there, that would thin the heards of nature lovers..walk the wrong way, run the wrong way, I'm running into you rather then me going off the trial and causing great bodily injury to myself, because you can't read a map, sorry if I offended anyone but that was my intention, the first parking lot is the mountain bike trailhead, where the #1 iq
    Wow!
    Has this come to a vote? I remember years back I rode my mountain bike with friends at the Jordan River Pathway, which is now closed to MTBer's. It's a beautiful park, where there are various examples of nature's beauty. At times you are riding at the bank of the riverbed, and others you are 200 ft above it. Walking out onto a log and looking into the water it is "crystal clear." Along the trails you see "underground streams" which I had never seen before. The total lenght was about 17 miles If I remember correctly?
    They closed it down to Mountain Biking because nobody showed to support MTB'g.

    If this hasn't come to a vote, and you like riding the POTTO I highly suggest contacting the MMBA and ask how everyone can be active in preventing the movement. Or, if possible pave trails elsewhere so that the mountainbike / hiking trail isn't disturbed.
    Once the vote goes down, it will be difficult to reverse it, if that is even possible?

    Good Luck!

  21. #21
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    Yeah, when I'm at Poto I feel like I'm at CedarPoint for MTB. On a Sat you will see over 200 cars full of MTBers, the trails are getting just way too over run with people. This is why I explore my own back yard trails, build my own secret trails, ride the stuff nobody eles will ride. Then do a road trip a few times a year to some remote location.
    Narrow and rugged is the path that leads to life and few find it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojoman View Post
    Yeah, when I'm at Poto I feel like I'm at CedarPoint for MTB. On a Sat you will see over 200 cars full of MTBers, the trails are getting just way too over run with people. This is why I explore my own back yard trails, build my own secret trails, ride the stuff nobody eles will ride. Then do a road trip a few times a year to some remote location.
    I've been to the Potto once. It was the first time I "endo'd!" Yikes!
    Outside of that, I thought the trail was excellent then. It's amazing how much a trail changes from being used. I know bikes can do a lot in changing the face of the trail, but horses do just as much if not more? As far as hikers are concerned, I don't mind being out there with them, but they have to realize that they are putting themselves into
    some danger of being hit because a bike just isn't going to "stop on a dime."
    I guess we all need to be aware and not think we're the only person on the trails.
    Last year I went to Island Lake with my girlfriend who is just starting out, and we were almost rundown by a guy who thought he was Lance Armstrong or something. No warning, he just blasted through. Thank God I had the presence of mind to look back and warn my GF to pull aside. No courtesy!
    Maybe if everyone would put as much time working on the trails as they do riding them, they would have an appreciation for what the expectations of the trails are?
    That won't happen any time soon, but it's certainly a starting point.

  23. #23
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    I live in Pinckney, just off 36, so I ride poto and murry lake quite often. Then the days that I have more time, I ride Island lake. But haven't rode highland yet.

    I reallly want to try out the " tree farm, " so how is that trail compared to these others ?

  24. #24
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    I wouldn't bother with the Tree Farm. 1st section is ok but the rest is pretty bland.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishpitbull View Post
    I wouldn't bother with the Tree Farm. 1st section is ok but the rest is pretty bland.
    Agreed. If you're used to poto, tree farm will seem mighty tame. Good trail to take friends to that are starting out tho.

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