Running the Potawatomi Trail

Location: Pinckney, Michigan

Looking for good mileage and hilly terrain? Look no further! The Potawatomi Trail in Pinckney Recreation Area offers plenty of both. Run through marshes, wetlands, and young forests on an adventure through this scenic area.

The trailhead begins at Silver Lake Day Use Area, however it can be picked up at different locations through the park.

Flat portion of the trail

The changing scenery and terrain is one of the reason why I fell in love with this trail. There are several lakes nestled into wooded areas and wildlife is plentiful. You never know what you will see around the next corner. That is hard to beat.

Lake with Swans
Uphill snow covered trail

Another great aspect of this trail is the mileage. Potawatomi offers 17.4 miles of fantastic, well maintained trail. Some areas where more heavily used than others. Like with most trails, the farther away from the trailhead I got, the less people I saw.


The trail can also be looped up with one of the other trails within the park for even more distance. Other Pinckney Recreation trails include:

  • Crooked Lake Trail (5.1 miles)
  • Equestrian Trails (13 miles)
  • Losse Lake (3.39 miles)
  • Silver Lake (2 miles)
  • Waterloo-Pinckney Trail (36 miles)
Uphill trail

The terrain is extremely hilly, rarely ever flat. Not little hills either. This is an excellent location for doing hill runs to help build up strength and endurance.

Elevation Map

Runners and hikers will be sharing the trail with a variety of other traffic, including Mountain Bikes. The recreational area requests that hikers and bikers follow the directional arrows on their maps to improve the safety of all.

My Route

I have not done a lot of runs on the Potawatomi yet, but one thing is for certain, I will be returning. As both a trail runner looking for mileage and challenging terrain, and as a hiker looking for more time to connect with nature.

For more information about this area, visit Pinckney Recreation Area.

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