hiking

views

birding

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

dogs on leash

trail running

wild flowers

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.

hiking
2 days 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
3 days ago

Awesome trail. Low traffic.

hiking
4 days ago

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

Beautiful trail to hike .

hiking
17 days 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
1 month 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
2 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
4 months ago

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

trail running
5 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+

hiking
5 months ago

The Potawatomi Half-Loop is a well maintained meander past 7 lakes with numerous bridges over streams and marshes.
I went late fall - the colors were still nice, although rains the preceding week had taken down lots of leaves. It is mostly well-marked, particularly at intersections. At mile 1.8 on my GPS there is a side trail that takes you down to a wide trail next to Crooked Lake with great views - I didn't follow the wide trail, but it went out of sight both ways around the lake. At mile 7.8, at the Blind Lake campground, there is a water pump.
At post 4, by Pickerel Lake, I cut back toward the Crooked Lake path, cutting about 2.5 miles off the hike (my tracks overstate trail length because I do so much back-and-forth taking pictures).
I saw 3 hikers on the way out on the Crooked Lake part of the trail, 3 bikers on the Poto part of the trail, met another hiker (who was finishing off his Waterloo-Pinckney multi-day hike) after I leaving the Poto.
As others have noted, there are places where the trail is narrow and, due to MTB usage, the track is a deep rut. Apart from not being my favorite type of trail, in places the rut is deep enough it would be hard to avoid an oncoming biker in some places.

6 months ago

Beautiful trail I hiked their 3 times

hiking
6 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
6 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.

6 months ago

Fun day hike

mountain biking
7 months ago

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

hiking
7 months ago

good simple trail with occasional beautiful views of the lakes

hiking
7 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
7 months ago

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

hiking
7 months ago

Difficult. Really.

hiking
8 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
8 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
10 months ago

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

Gorgeous trail! Narrow dirt trail with great vegetation everywhere. Some uneven roots and loose dirt/rocks. No people! Some good elevation changes. Fantastic, wish it were longer!

Great little trail! Beautiful scenery.

hiking
10 months ago

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.

hiking
10 months ago

I did the ~11 mile loop on a Saturday. The trail is well marked and easy to follow. It is a quite a bit hilly but the inclines were gradual. The bikers were all nice but there were many of them. As others have mentioned, be careful when stepping to the side as there is a lot of poison ivy.

backpacking
10 months ago

Backpacked this trail over Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday into Sunday. This was my FIRST backpacking trip ever. Hiked the 7 miles into Blind Lake camp from HQ, using the shortcut. The DNR map is not very helpful, we were confused a couple of times so we ended up using GPS on our phone to double check where we where. The water source on the shortcut is a down the road a little bit by the Yurt camping. For Blind Lake being a hike in campground, it was busier than I expected. Then I realized with the road being nearby, many people just got dropped off close to the camp and "hiked" the 200 yards to their campsite. Kids, wagons, lacrosse sticks.. etc. The lake was also more active than I anticipated for a hike-in, jet skis and loud boats.. but it was Memorial Day Weekend. Everyone was very nice, including the bikers, trail runners and people with dogs. We opted to stand on side when they came by, lots of poison ivy.. just a warning. The next morning we hiked out using the shortcut by the stone fireplace. Our phone gave out so we didn't get a full map of the route, but another hiker mapped it at around 11.1 miles using both of these shortcuts. As a first time backpacker, this was a tough trail, lots of hills.. but my sister and I are VERY stubborn so we finished. I have a new love of hiking sticks, I learned they can be very helpful. We averaged just under 2 mph for the hike, and we definitely want to go back and hike more of the trails as day hikes.

backpacking
10 months ago

We went Saturday morning thru Sunday early afternoon on Memorial Day Weekend. We hiked full 18 miles but ran out of battery on phone so could record whole trek. Lots of Mountain bikers.

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