Explore the most popular trail running trails in Pinckney Recreation Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
13 days ago

A friend and I did a modified version of this trail and we found it to be great! Trails were marked well, everything was well maintained, and the campsites were clean and beautiful. I did get some bites from mosquitoes but a little 100% deet kept them at bay. Just don’t stay out past dark! Would definitely recommend!

backpacking
24 days ago

Its not a difficult trail but it is a hard trail, that is VERY BUGGY, there is no relief from the mosquitos, the campsites for backpackers are a little tight but they are nice. Again they are not bug free, and it seems like bug spray is like ringing a dinner bell. The hand pump for water at the campsites is however a great bonus, its ice cold, and no it does not have a funky taste. It is definitely challenging, but a good beginner trail for the hobby if the biters slack off later in the season. The 3 stars are because of the bugs.

backpacking
24 days ago

Good trail for beginners, started at silver lake (marker 1) headed to blind lake camp ground using the shortcut. Camp grounds were nice and clean, but the vault toilet needed a little attention. The addition of having a water pump at site is always great. Finished the loop the next day heading to markers 12, 4, 3, 2, 1. I think the total loop was around 11 miles. All in all great little weekend trip. Mosquitos were the worst I have ever experienced. All staff we ran into were friendly and welcoming.

on Potawatomi Trail

backpacking
24 days ago

Great beginner backpacking route. Our family (kids age 8, 7, 3) completed the short cut version of this trail over Memorial weekend, this was our kid's first time backpacking. We parked at the Silver Lake trailhead and hiked in to Crooked Lake campground for night 1. Used the shortcut to hike to Blind Lake for night 2. Hiked out past the stone fireplace since we were all ready to escape the still, humid air in the thick woods! We crossed paths with many bikers- most were very courteous. The campgrounds were ok- the pit toilets were in serious need of emptying and cleaning as the ammonia was throat burning (I've used pit toilets in many places-these were the worst I've seen). I had to clean up a handful of glass shards from our Blind Lake site before setting up camp. Also, be sure you have reservations for camping- the rangers were active in checking permits at Blind Lake. We watched some unfortunate soul be asked to leave after a long talk with the staff. The trail itself was great! Well maintained and mostly well marked- marker 10 made us stop and think for a minute though! The trail is challenging- but my 3 year old made it (he hiked most of it on his two feet, he freeloaded rides from mom and dad on occasion). I gave this four stars because, gross camp toilets.

Mountain Biking

mountain biking
1 month ago

Mountain Biking

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this trail on 4-21-18. I was expecting a muddy hike but it was not. The trail was well maintained. There were several other hikers & bikes. Everyone very friendly while passing. Loved this hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome trail. Low traffic.

hiking
2 months ago

Well worn, roots and hilly. Pretty views from a number of the bridges.

2 months ago

Beautiful trail to hike .

hiking
2 months ago

Hilly, sandy and a bit muddy at times, beautiful views, secluded, and it's you and the nature and the likeminded outdoor adventurers. Definitely coming back!

hiking
3 months ago

Out at PRSA today - Crooked Lake trail was in excellent condition. Essentially no mud, which surprised me given the rain last week. Many of the lakes and bogs still have some or a lot of ice on them. Saw 7 other hikers and one biker.

trail running
4 months ago

Excellent running trail, I didn’t encounter any bikes but there was still a decent amount of snow on the ground. This is the only place to train for the Hell 50 mile ultra marathon because other trails in the area aren’t nearly as challenging.

hiking
6 months ago

The trail was icy but worth the extra work. Really beautiful and easy to navigate.

trail running
7 months ago

Great running conditions, brought our dogs for the loop. There's a good amount of mountain biking, so keep an eye up ahead of you and your animals close on leashes. The hills are rolling, beautiful landscape, super pretty in the fall! Definitely need to get back and mountain bike there.

Oh, and there are spigots for water and bathrooms!! Well marked trails. A+

8 months ago

Beautiful trail I hiked their 3 times

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike. Limited markers but it was easy enough to follow the trail. There were a lot of bikers, especially compared to other trails I’ve hiked (could be related to the time of day though). The trail is quite narrow in some spots which could make it difficult as a hiker to let the bikers pass. Featured some benches along the way.

hiking
8 months ago

Very nice, well maintained, and for the most part double wide trail with moderate traffic. bike traffic runs the opposite direction which is nice because they can get moving in some spots. we opted to shorten our hike to see the stone fireplace and was worth the stop.

8 months ago

Fun day hike

mountain biking
8 months ago

Beautiful trail that will kick your butt. Well worth the effort.

hiking
9 months ago

good simple trail with occasional beautiful views of the lakes

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful trail and park. I would say this is an easy hike, ended with a little more than 8 miles. Only reason for my 3/5 stars is because this is a multi-use trail and the bicyclists on the trail the day I went had zero regards for anyone else using the trail. I felt a little uneasy because most of them were just clipping right along... Also very sad to see where they're making way for the new pipeline and have cleared part of the park.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice easy trail, no view of Crooked Lake however. Well marked. Definitely will do it again.

hiking
9 months ago

Difficult. Really.

hiking
10 months ago

Nice trail, lots of shade. Terrain offers some challenge, but not too tough. We passed even numbers of mountain bikers and walkers, but didn't feel crowded or too busy.

hiking
10 months ago

Very popular trail (both hikers and mountain bikers) that does a loose circumnavigation of Crooked Lake. Trail passes within sight of two lakes, but neither of them is Crooked Lake. "Overlook" on northern part of the loop completely obstructed by trees on my visit. Decent amount of up-and-down. Good early season hike to get you ready for harder mountain hikes in the summer. Overall, a nice walk through the woods with a couple of lake views, but not much more.

spent 4 days here this weekend. it is beautiful and nice trails. people need to learn what poison ivy looks like before they report it to be everywhere. poison ivy has 3 leaves and a hairy vine. i didn't see any poison ivy. definitely going back soon!!!

hiking
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Nice trail. Good amount of ups and downs Quite a few mountain bikes but it wasn't a problem. It's very wooded so lots of shade

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Great little trail! Beautiful scenery.

hiking
Friday, June 09, 2017

Chain of Lakes is a decently difficult trail for SE Michigan and is very well maintained. It is a combination of three named trails in Pinckney Rec area (more below) Go to the 2nd parking lot at Silver Lake for the hiking trailhead. The hiking lot is just a bit after the MTB rider lot. If you start this set of trails from the MTB trail head (Marker #7, at the MTB parking lot), you will be going the wrong way - with the MTBs, rather than against them. The trail head is in the 2nd lot, near the northwest corner of the lot.
The trail head is marker #2, start counterclockwise around the Crooked Lake trail, toward marker #9, continue past #8 to #3. Instead of continuing from #3 to #2 (finishing the Crooked Lake loop), go right on the Silver Lake trail to #4. At #4, instead of following the Silver Lake trail left to #5, go straight, onto the Potawatomi trail, to #6, around to #5, and finish at #7. NOTE - when you are on the Potawatomi, between posts #4 and #6, you'll be walking NNE with a nice little pond down to your left, you come to a road and there's a Potowatami trail marker on the right but no indication which way the trail continues - go left, about 100' along the road on your left the trail turns back away from the road.
As others say, keep an ear out for mountain bikes - there are lots of blind turns and hills, with the trail is often much too narrow for both bike and hiker. Take along your insect repellent - lots of ponds throughout the woods.

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