Pinckney Recreation Area is a paradise for backpackers, mountain bikers, anglers and other recreation enthusiasts. Pinckney is known for its extensive trail system and chain of excellent fishing lakes. Twenty-six miles of multi-use trail with remote campsites afford a backcountry experience.
Great trail - diverse landscape and challenging terrain. I hiked it all today and my distance tracker showed 20 miles, possibly due to taking other bits of connecting trails. I hiked this in mid February and it was quite icy and wet. I'm excited to see how the trail is late spring.
I found keeping on the Patoawatomi a bit confusing at times because while most intersections have signage, the distance you travel at some points between signs is miles and there are countless off-trails and shore trails. Nevertheless, if hiking, just look out for cyclists and step aside when they are coming through and it should be a great day hike.
I day hiked the 17.7 mile loop on Sunday, 14th of August, going counter-clock , as the bikers go clockwise. There were very few hikers, but lots of bikers.
- It’s a loop! You can park at different locations, and get back (I started at Hankerd Rd)
- Nice shade - mostly through woods and some lake banks. Not muddy, as it has sandy soil.
- Moderate workout (not recommended the whole hike in a day for beginners)
- Has a nice backcountry camping site near Blind lake (you can take a swim there during summer); sites can be reserved and paid online. https://www.midnrreservations.com/PinckneyRecreationArea%2fBlindLake%3fList
The not so good:
- Lots of poison ivy an trail sides (wear long pants, or long socks);
- Too many bikers share the trail make and it easy to get into a collision… probably during the week is somewhat different.