Looking for a great trail in Waterloo State Recreation Area, Michigan? AllTrails has 13 great hiking trails, running trails, walking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 8 moderate trails in Waterloo State Recreation Area ranging from 3.1 to 33.9 miles and from 925 to 1,141 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

bird watching

running

lake

dogs on leash

wild flowers

The park is over 20,000 acres and finding where you want to go may require some extra time. The park map can be obtained by clicking on the link at the top of this page. Please call if further directions are needed. The park has 4 campgrounds, beaches, picnic areas, 11 fishing lakes, nature trails, 47 miles of hiking trails, cabins, equestrian trails and the Gerald Eddy Discovery Center.

Nice easy trail. Easy to keep social distancing!

Gerald E. Eddy to Pines campground- out & back- was a good trail until you hit equestrian section halfway through- then pretty torn up by horses- some nice elevation gain and loss- all in all was a nice day to be out in the woods- 15 miles

Lots of bikes but beautiful woods.

Had to stop frequently for bikes on a Sunday. Lot at m52 was full. Pretty trail but some of it is lost in the moment because you need to be on high alert for bikes on each blind corner/hill. The cut through trail from Kame to Green Lake was very pretty! It went right through a sunny corn field. I'd come back on a weekday to see if there are fewer bikes. No service, download your maps!!

on DTE Green Trail

hiking
5 months ago

Lovely 5 mi path, but too much biker traffic for hiking.

Awesome, got a little lost however it added more adventure.

hiking
5 months ago

I consider the Waterloo-Pinckney trail to be my "home" trail. I love it. I have hiked the entire trail (35 miles) in one day, and section hiked it more times than I can count. It's a wonderful trail and we're so lucky to have it here in Michigan.

Nice challenging and scenic trail. I started at the Discovery Center and made a round trip, with a rest break at the road down to Green Lake. That worked well for me because there are some rather big hills (for Michigan) within a mile of the Green Lake turn around. I would not have wanted to do those in my last of 8 miles. I highly recommend this trail, no matter how you do it. Note to summer hikers - the bugs can be quite bad on this trail and n the summer, but the is true of most trails in the area over the summer.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful but not good for hiking. Heavily bike trafficked narrow trails.

I’ve hiked the trail twice. Here are some pointers: 1.) most mile markers after ~20 are unreliable. Ignore them. 2.) the horse trails (miles 8-13) SUCK! Anticipate this. Start from the Waterloo side if possible get this section out of the way. Always say “hi” to the horses so they don’t panic and buck their owners. 3.) the “toughest” terrain, not counting the DREADFUL horse section, spans miles 18 to 21.5. 4.) Water refill at the observatory (mile ~16), and the hand-pump well at green lake (mile 21.5). This trail is beautiful, challenging, and rewarding. As you march, you’ll see everything Southeast Michigan ecology has to offer.

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

Well marked, great scenery. Only negative is there were a lot of mountain bikes.

While this trail is beautiful and well kept it’s just not marked well AT ALL. Too easy to get lost! Notified the ranger but don’t attempt it unless you don’t mind getting lost awhile....thankfully my phone still got reception...GPS is a lifesaver.

hiking
7 months ago

It is an excellent trail for biking, but because of that just so so for hiking. Not very hilly, but a good five mile loop. You need to keep your eyes forward at all times for bikes. I do like that there was clear signage which way hikers go vs bikes and I never had a bike approach from behind.

on DTE Green Trail

mountain biking
7 months ago

This trail is beautifully smooth and flows perfectly. It serves as a good warm up for the more difficult trails in the area, or a fun and fast ride for beginners. Pay attention to the signs at the trail entrance to make sure you're going the correct direction depending on the day of the week.

hiking
7 months ago

Nice rolling trail through the woods. Hikers should expect to be outnumbered 50-1.

Before talking about our trip, I need to mention mileage for this hike. AllTrails and other sites have this marked as a 33/34 mile hike, this is not correct. The hike from Portage to Silver lake is 36/37. The MDNR map does not obviously convey this information but the signs at each of the trailheads do. All of our trail mapping and step counting devices confirmed the true distance. We encountered many inaccurate mile markers between mile marker 34 & 18; several mile markers had 1.25 miles in between, there was even a set of mile markers with only .5 miles separating them. Mile markers between mile 1 & mile 18 measured much more accurately. For our hike, we ambitiously decided to attempt conquering this trail over a two day period. This is a challenge that I would only recommend for experienced hikers, as it requires a 20+ mile day + a near 20 mile day. We started at the Silver lake / Pinckney side and stayed the night at Sugarloaf campgrounds. Top considerations: 1.) Bugs - mosquitos and horseflies were there, but not nearly as bad as other reports. We wore pants, long sleeve shirts, and hiked a faster pace that didn’t allow them to easily land on or annoy us. 2.) Water - there are a few near / off trail water sources, but options on the trail are very limited. The trail passed by many lakes and several wet lands, but only 3 actively running streams. We had 80 degree weather, relatively low humidity & frequent wind, so resupplying water wasn’t really an issue. 3.) Elevation - the trail has a lot of ups & downs. If you are worried about summiting Sackrider hill, it’s only challenging if hiking West to East. We hiked it East to West and had the simple task of walking down the steep hill.

hiking
bugs
8 months ago

Started at mile 0.0- hiked to 7 mile marker- out and of 14 miles total- some nice elevation gain and decent- trail is decent but overgrown in some areas- hot but a nice breeze kept deer flies and mosquitoes at bay but really got swarmed near boggie areas so deet spray was a must!

hiking
8 months ago

Attracts a lot of serious bikers but seems to be made for beginners but it is a lot of fun

Hiked from Portage Lake to the Pines campground 6/22/19 as an overnight trip. Overall a good hike with challenging terrain for southern Michigan. Trail is flooded just before you get to Baldwin Road. To avoid this on the way back we took Baldwin to Glenn Road. Water was about mid-shin deep and unavoidable. Bring bug spray. At the Pines Campground there is a pit toilet but no water. Take the two track by the pit toilet north to the stables about half mile and there will be a well on the right just before you get to the stables.

Good time with the gf and pup! Nice elevation changes throughout.

Good for overnights and those who want to get in a lot of miles. For everyone else, there are more scenic trails out there with less poison ivy and bugs.

Hiked the complete trail this weekend. Slept at Pines and Blind lake. Ticks are abundant this year but other bugs were not bad at all. great signage with the exception of two spots that were easily determined from the map. Stick to the indicated "dry way" before pines, the regular route is flooded.

Very cool! Sandy and hilly on the west side of 52. Can’t wait to do it again!

Great trails. We did about 11 miles with our Boy Scout troop. Great hills that were just right for backpacking and great views around crooked lake. Met some nice people fishing as well.

hiking
10 months ago

I came out to photograph the fern fronds unfolding and spring ephemerals. The Bog trail did not disappoint, so there are more scenery photos and fewer trail photos than normal. My new photos are geo-tagged to my 20190506 recording. Higher resolution versions and a few more photos are at https://johnmetzler.smugmug.com/Parks/Waterloo-State-Recreation-Area/Waterloo-SRA-Discovery-Center-trails/.

hiking
10 months ago

The Old Field trails is a fine little loop if you are already in the area. It can be accessed from the Discovery Center parking lot or via a connector to the Lowland Trail.

Love this trail. It’s has a diverse terrain and a nice view of the pond. It would be really pretty in the summer.

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