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Waterloo-Pinckney Trail App is now available!

The Waterloo-Pinckney Trail is now available, free, on Android Market.  This trail, the only true backpacking trail in southeast Michigan, is more than 50km for the “short” route, but our app has 110km of trails on it, just in case you want to add some extra loops for a longer hike.

You can get the app free for your Android here.

April 9, 2011 Posted by | apps | , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Waterloo-Pinckney Trail – Camping

While hiking the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail end to end, eventually you’re going to need to stop for the night.  There are two forms of camping available.

  • Organized campgrounds: There are a number of established campgrounds along and very near the trail.  All these campgrounds are available to backpackers.  Reservations are strongly recommended, especially during the summer.
  • Backcountry camping: Backcountry camping is not allowed along the trail, although a number of campsites are walk-in only.  These also fill up quickly in the summer.  Reservations are strongly recommended.

Return to the main Waterloo-Pinckney Trail page.

This page is just a small part of the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail app.

April 9, 2011 Posted by | | , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Waterloo-Pinckney Trail – Trails

The Waterloo-Pinckney Trail is the only true backpacking trail in southeast Michigan.  The trail extends through old farmlands, past ruins of a couple homesteads, and passes countless fences and other signs of previous habitation, if you keep your eyes open.  There’s also plenty of wildlife of nearly every type found in southeast Michigan.  Although it extends for over 55 km (before you add any extra loops, the app includes 110km of trails), it’s also easy to day hike the entire trail across many different days, as parking is plentiful along the trails.

The Waterloo Pinckney Trail app is designed specifically for hikers, cross-country skiers, and snowshoers.  This is the only use allowed on most of the trails.  The trail passes through Waterloo State Recreation Area, Pinckney State Recreation Area, and Park Lyndon.  For more detail on adjacent trails in those parks, please download the app for that park.

  • The Waterloo Pinckney Trail: This is the main trail, stretching from Big Portage Lake to Silver Lake.
  • The Southwest Loop: This loop, near the west end of the trail, offers 4.5 km off the main trail, and takes you south into area shared with horses and mountain bikes.  The trail is fairly loose, sandy gravel, but you do travel up along the top of a ridgeline, with nice views on both sides, before rejoining the main trail.
  • The Southfork Cabin Loop: 2 km loop off the main trail, including one significant portage (or go just a bit farther north for an easier crossing).
  • The Discovery Center Trails: Waterloo State Recreation Area’s Discovery Center is a great museum/nature center/visitor center for the park, and definitely worth a stop.  While in the area, take a quick trip over to the bog or around any of the other short trails in this area.
  • Park Lyndon Trails: Park Lyndon straddles The Waterloo-Pinckney Trail at North Territorial Road.  With a mix of steep hills and wetlands, it’s near the center of the trail, and offers a chance to do a bit of aimless wandering before getting back on the main trail.  South of North Territorial Road, stick to the west for the most scenic routes.  North of North Territorial, stay east for some nice wetland trails.  The entire park is fairly small, so you aren’t likely to add more than a kilometer or two diverting off the main trail here.
  • Potawatomi Trail Loop: The Potawatomi Trail is one of the most popular hiking and mountain biking trails in the area.  The Waterloo-Pinckney Trail comes into the southwest corner of this trail network and follows the southern part of the trail, ending at the Silver Lake parking lot.  The northern part of the loop, 17km long, adds a good bit of extra hiking to your trip (or you can add less, or even slightly shorten your trip on the trails in this area).


April 9, 2011 Posted by | | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Waterloo State Recreation Area App

This park, between Ann Arbor and Jackson, is one I’ve spent a lot of time hiking.  With more than 50 miles of trails over varied terrain, from bogs and fens to some of the hilliest area in this part of the state, a huge equestrian area, a new Discovery Center, an adjacent farm museum, a couple beaches, a few campgrounds, scary legends, and plenty more, there’s something for everyone.

Download the app from Android Market.

Go to the main park page.


April 7, 2011 Posted by | | , , , , | Leave a Comment

Waterloo State Recreation Area – Green Lake Campground

Green Lake Campground, located in the northeast corner of Waterloo State Recreation Area, is a rustic campground with 25 sites.  Like most state park campgrounds, this campground can fill up fast in the summer, so reservations are recommended.

Return the the main park page.

This page is just a small part of the Waterloo State Recreation Area app.

April 3, 2011 Posted by | | , , , | Leave a Comment

Waterloo State Recreation Area Cedar Lake Outdoor Center

The Cedar Lake Outdoor Center is a traditional, 1930’s summer camp, originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.  It operates as an overnight camp, in conjunction with Michigan State University and the Michigan United Conservation Corps throughout the summer, and is available spring and fall for rental by other school groups.

Many of us who grew up in the area have memories of this camp from a school trip here, as local schools rent the camp for a week or so at a time for their students.

Feel free to walk though the camp if it’s not in use, but if you see that the camp is in use, please respect the privacy of those currently in residence.

Return to the main park page.

This page is just a small part of the Waterloo State Recreation Area app.

April 3, 2011 Posted by | | , , , | Leave a Comment