Potawatomi Trail

Pinckney State Recreation Area, Michigan

Elevation Gain2,150ft
Trailhead Elevation953ft
Elevation Min/Max883/984ft
Elevation Start/End953/961ft

Potawatomi Trail

Potawatomi Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Washtenaw County, Michigan. It is within Pinckney State Recreation Area. It is 7.9 miles long and begins at 953 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 15.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,150 feet. The Little House on the Prairie restrooms can be seen along the trail. There are also wetlands and a water along the trail. The trail ends near the Big Meadows camp site. There are also restrooms near the end of the trail. This trail connects with the following: Waterloo-Pinckney Trail and Shortcut.

Potawatomi Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The Potawatomi Trail is the granddaddy of mountain biking trails in southeastern Michigan—and for a senior citizen, it stills packs a wallop. Sandy hills with exposed roots defeat all but the strongest of riders.

Cruising past a chain of lakes, the trail crosses a narrow section of Halfmoon Lake on a quaint wooden bridge; motorized and self-propelled boats float along as cyclists dash down or grind up steep hills. The trail, marked with wooden numbered signs, is incredibly popular and suffers from overuse; however, sand traps, loose gravel, and rocks keep speed demons in check. Tread: 17.5 miles of singletrack."

"There are three trails in one in this recreation area, the infamous and long Poto Trail, the mid-length Crooked Lake Trail, and the shortest Silver Lake Trail. None, not even the Silver Lake Trail, could be considered beginner’s trails. There are just too many hills and roots to make that claim. Silver Lake is more an intermediate trail, and the Poto and Crooked Lake are advanced intermediate- to expert-level trails.

The Poto, as it is known, is the largest and longest of all the mountain bike trails in Southeast Michigan. It’s somewhat legendary, since it was once rated by many as one of the better trails in the country. Perhaps due to the increased popularity of the sport, and the improvement and growth of other trails, it’s no longer on countrywide top ten lists, but it’s still a daunting, challenging, and fun trail. At 17.5 miles for the longest loop, it also offers a good, hearty day out, especially due to the constantly rolling terrain. It’s not for the faint of heart by any means."

Potawatomi Trail Reviews

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Great scenery. There are sections of the trail where you really need to watch out for hikers, especially on busy days. Overall, this is my favorite trail in SE Michigan.
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Went for a run last night....did part of poto...part crooked..the trail was muddy from time to time. Over all great run and most/all of snow/ice is gone.
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A great trail. Road it on May 27, 2006. Lots of mosquitoes.

Potawatomi Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Pinckney State Recreation Area
Nearby City
Pinckney State Recreation Area
Pinckney Recreation Area
Local Contacts
MMBA: mmba.org/trail-guide/#18; State of Michigan DNR–Silver Lake State Park: www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?id=484&type=SPRK; DeLorme: Michigan Atlas & Gazetteer, page 32
Local Maps