Explore the most popular birding trails in Waterloo State 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.

hiking
5 days ago

The DTE Green Loop is a nice, new-ish trail. It is in great shape, smooth, hard-packed, no rutting, plenty of spots for the hiker to step aside for oncoming bikes. The trail is set so bikers and hikers are in opposite directions and the directions for them switch on alternate days (e.g. see my 2nd picture, of the 0.0 mile marker). I hiked the trail on a Thursday morning, starting at 9am. There was one car in the lot; I saw 7 bikes on the trail during the two+ hours I was out. The lot had 8 or 10 cars in it when I finished a little after 11am. The east part of the trail, roughly the first 2 miles when going clockwise, there is a fair bit of road noise from M-52 coming over Green Lake. That fades when you get some woods between you and the road. The trail has 1/2-mile posts throughout and the intersection with Big Kame is clearly marked. There is essentially no wildlife beyond chipmunks and squirrels and couple white egrets; didn't see any deer tracks, let alone deer. There are no benches or other rest spots along the loop. My pictures are geo-tagged with the recording I uploaded. Hi-res versions of pictures at https://johnmetzler.smugmug.com/Parks

mountain biking
12 days ago

Start the green trail to reach the Big Kame trail and then access Winn trail for a an excellent day in biking!

Beautiful lush canopy. Nicely shaded. Great hike today. Very little traffic.

Excellent hike and very well marked. Several good hills, overall easy

trail running
1 month ago

Fun trail for the confident biker or fun loving hiker.

Kinda hard to find, by the way it has a sign that labels it DTE trail or something. Be mindful as there are a lot of mountain bikers, and they have it set up so hikers walk the opposite direction, which lead to a couple times a fast biker with headphones almost slammed us.

trail is good and difficulty ratings are spot on.

mountain biking
3 months ago

Excellent trail for all riders, especially beginners like myself. Great cruising sessions and rolling hills. Connects to the Big Kame trail for a little more advanced riders as well. Now with both trails open and more opening soon, even at its busiest it isn’t too bad. Riders and hikers are generally good to one another.

mountain biking
3 months ago

Perfect trail to learn and get better at mountain biking. Can get really busy mid-day, ESPECIALLY on the weekends. I always go early in the morning (8am-9am) and don't have an issue. You can hike this, but just make sure that you are aware and ready to jump out of the way when bikes come flying around. There are plenty of other trails for just hikers in the area, so I wouldn't recommend this trail first for hiking. Views of Green Lake are great and is a super fun trail to ride.

Great day hike for anyone in the area. Crooked Lake is beautiful and there's a little bench that allows for you to take in the waterfront views for a while. Perfect in the fall.

We decided that 95* weather was appropriate to go on a long hike (lol). The tree cover made for a pleasant experience, perfect temp! Thoroughly enjoyed this trail, although we did get a little backwards at one point and continued on to the Waterloo-Pickney trail instead of following the loop and added about 1/2 mile of steep terrain to our hike, but was worth it. Made our way back to the loop, finished up and made plans to come back!

A good spot to feel in nature, with some nice hills in the loop at the end. A couple of back roads to cross and passing a couple of bogs where the bug situation is pretty intense, but well worth it. Good two hour hike.

hiking
4 months ago

5-9-18 Hike. From a previous reviewer I knew going on this hike it was a mountain bike trail used by hikers. I thought that by doing this on a Wednesday morning it wouldn’t be very busy. When we arrived the parking lot was half full of cars w/bike racks. At the beginning of the trail there are signs telling you which direction to travel. 4 days out of the wk hikers traveled counter clockwise. The hike was very nice with slight elevation nothing too hard. Plenty of wildlife and beautiful flowers and scenery. Will definitely go back to take my son biking.

Good for mountain biking. Also for hiking if not too many bikes. Fun and challenging.

This is a great trail, especially if you are new to mountain biking, like me.

this trail is 4.7 miles not the 3.7 that is displayed

on DTE Green Trail

hiking
10 months ago

There were a lot of mountain bikers but I would still recommend checking this trail out.

Loved this little loop. My pup enjoyed the muddy “pond”.

I'm not sure why this trail is rated difficult. There were only a few places that were moderately up/downhill, although we never made it to the loop at the end, taking a side loop instead. The best part was that there were no mountain bikers here, so it was a very peaceful walk through the woods. There are many side loops that aren't shown on this map and you can pick up a map at the Discovery Center at the start of the trail.

mountain biking
11 months ago

I've had a blast riding these trails this summer. The green lake loop is a fun challenge and a great first trail if you are new to mountain biking. The big kame loop is a bit more techinical and a notch or two more physical. For an added challenge combine the loops for double the ride.

hiking
Friday, September 08, 2017

This is first and foremost a mountain bike trail. As a hiker, plan on stopping frequently to allow bikers to pass. However, it's still a fun hike and the bikers are very courteous and share the trail. There's plenty to see and the winding paths and hills are unique. It's a good choice for southern Michigan. Pressed for time, we only did the Big Kame trail. If I came back again it would be on a mountain bike.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Such a great flowing trail

Beautiful trail. The bugs bothered me, probably because of the time of year, but I can't wait to go again in fall, especially to see all the leaves change. It was pretty easy until the loop- that was a bit of a challenge. Overall, I really enjoyed it.

mountain biking
Monday, June 26, 2017

The Green Lake loop is a good beginner trail for both trail running and mountain biking. The newly created Big Kame loop is intermediate level for both with more obstacles (rocks, tree roots). The trails are in very good condition. Small lot that holds about twenty vehicles. It is busy most of the time; however, you don't see many people out on the trail.

I loved it! but its not that hard! beautiful trail!

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