Potawatomi - TRAIL

Potawatomi - Trail, Pinckney, Michigan

If you double the length of Pontiac Lake and replace the rocks with roots, you'd get this. Watch out fer the sand

User Reviews (80)

Showing 1-10 of 80  
Jac   Cross Country Rider [Apr 13, 2015]


20+ years ago this was one of the top trails in the USA. To evaluate the present one must look at the past. I had the good fortune to ride the Potawatomi Trail in Pickney this past Saturday (4/11/15) for the first time since '94. The Poto is still a wonderful trail, but the fish scale (geo-mat) is a well intentioned erosion prevention system that has failed over the past 21+ years. When you ride it on damp tires, it can be slick as ice, and with a light dusting of dirt, it is not much better. This can make for disappointing climbs and harrowing descents. What's more, runners and hikers have been avoiding the scale since they don't feel secure on it either, leaving trails around the fish scale and extending the erosion. Other areas are addressed with what appears to be a gravel/clay mix. I'm not certain how old the mix is, but it appears to address all issues noted with the mat.

I thought others might want to know of this problem since we do not want to loose this gem in Michigan's trail system that I found to be a great stress reliever while I was attending school. I will pass this on to the MiDNR, Potowatomi Trail Group and MMBA . This is an issue that requires resolution.

Flow is great for an XC trail but not up to down hill standards. It is a different genre after all.

I will return more often now.

Customer Service

Required to ride clock-wise, there is no choice.

Similar Products Used: Brighton, but I still prefer the Poto.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Aaron LaCombe   Weekend Warrior [Sep 06, 2013]

This trail is fantastic. Rolling, rooty and tree-lined for miles and miles. It's got wooden bridges over lakes, fruit trees, sandy portions, sustained climbs, wild downhills, the works. If you stare at the on-trail maps for too long and scratch your head, the ghost of "Roadkill" Ragucci will whisper in your ear and say "go that way". Don't listen to him. He doesn't know his way around. That's how he died out there in the first place.

Customer Service

Don't be a wuss, do the whole thing. Get a map and look it over before you go. Take some snacks, and plenty of water and pedal your butt off.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
tundraline   Cross Country Rider [Apr 30, 2012]

Rode this trail last summer and had a great time. Nice trail. Scenic. Well maintained and designed. Clever one-direction riding in parts to minimize user conflict. Going back again this year. Interesting changes in topography and habitat. Well worth the visit, and you'll get a good workout.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
2
SCkikapuD   Cross Country Rider [Jul 30, 2011]

Great climbing and strenuous exercise trail. Good technical sections with roots, rocks and lots of sand. I didn't know Pinckney, MI boasted such a great place to ride. I'm excited to return and ride it every summer now!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
manabiker   Cross Country Rider [Aug 29, 2010]

This is challenging, demanding, impossible at times, thats what keeps me coming back for more, I started doing this trail in the 70'a on xc ski's, then in the 80's on a MB, now again in 2010 on a real MB, Poto will challenge the best, it has everything Michigan has to offer and then some, some people hate it, most people love it, either way they can't stop talking about it.
The Crooked Lake Climb is reason enough to do this trail. Lots of lakes you can jump in, Silver Lk, Blind Lk, Pickrel Lk, Highland Lk, some creeks to cool of at too.. some benches, tables, maps and markers make it a easy trail to figure out, you can get lost but take your time and read the maps, you should be ok.

Customer Service

Park at Pickrel Lake off Hankard Road, you can jump in the lake after you ride, to wash off the sweat and bug juice, there a deer flies out there that have to be related to Pharina, Deep Woods Off is the only thing I found that works on them, take food, water, well water(it don't taste good but it's wet) available at Blind Lake and Crooked Lake, the top part of the trail system is in Hell,Michigan LOL!!! Hell of a ride.. There are many variations of the loops. Best after a rain, it helps in the sand sections.

Similar Products Used: nothing compares
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
woopya   Weekend Warrior [Dec 21, 2008]

You can ride this trail several different lengths. I have only ridden a couple times so far. I've done the 8 mile loop and it takes all you've got on a monster climb towards the end. I had to walk up the last bit of that hill. The down-hills are awesome and fast.
I tried to do the full 17.5 mile loop, But got caught in a Sleet(hail) and lighning storm, so we took a shortcut at the 11 or 12 mile marker and it turns out that is the smoothest and fastest and best looking part of the trail. I'll definetley do that loop again next summer.
This trail is the best we have in our area (that i've read about).

Customer Service

5 mile.
8 mile.
12 mile.
17.5 mile.

Similar Products Used: Murray Lake full loop. in Brighton.
Highland lake trail blue and yellow. In Kensington area.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
D. Helland   [Sep 01, 2007]
OVERALL
RATING
5
Ed   [May 18, 2007]
OVERALL
RATING
1
Like2Byte   Cross Country Rider [May 15, 2007]

Short Story: Long.
Long Story: Very Long.

This trail is incredible! Did I mention how long it is? Well, the trail map by the head of the trail says it's 17 miles long. My GPS quotes 18.7 and I didn't repeat any sections as that's a neigh impossibility. Long climbs are met with short steep climbs that lead into more long climbs. Of course, what goes up, must come down. It is easy to go out of control in some sections because you can milk a downhill section for 2 to 3 minutes (when you factor *out* the adreniline rush!)

The are two loops one can do; but, that's only because the main trail has a section that allows those short on time to get back to the main parking area. The small loop is 5 miles long. The full loop is 17 to 18.7 miles long. On a hot day it will feel longer.

CAUTION: Unless you want to risk riding on the road with those heavy 1 and 2 ton vehicles, there is no other switchback (via trail) that can take you back the parking lot. Once you pass the first switchback, you've got 12 miles until you get back to the parking lot.

There is only 1 fresh water fountain fed by a well. When you reach a camping area, I suggest you use it to fill up your camelbacks. I opted not to on my first ride through here and I ran out of water 5 miles before the end. There's lot of water to drink; but, I didn't have my water purification tabs with me and I didn't feel like having guardia for the next week or two after. (I've since *always* carry them.) So bring water purification methods.

Customer Service

Clock-wise starting at the six. Start out by the out-house near the beach area. (It'll be easy to spot by all the mountain bikers in the area.) Go straight-ish and cross the paved forest-service road. You'll come to a short slightly steep climb that has rubber strips laid down to prevent erosion. Follow to left then follow the map signs to your next destination sign-post. Maps are at each sign-post to tell you where you are in the park and in relation to the next sign-post.

You should only have to cross over 2 or 3 more paved roads over the entire course. WATCHOUT! Those roads are used by real traffic.

Similar Products Used: Fort Custer (two hours vehicle ride from these areas.)
Pontiac Lake (30 minutes away)
Highland State Park (30 minutes away)
Bald Mountain. (50 minutes away)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mr. toad   Cross Country Rider [Sep 27, 2006]

It is hard to make judgement on a trail if you ride out of state or have moved here from another state. I had to understand that not all areas agree on difficulty of a trail. As for arobic workout I say one thing ride a rode bike fast. I've been riding for 20 plus years and have rode all over the country. Don't expect much in the technical or climb area on this trail and you'll find it a good warm up for some more interesting trails. For a workout you have to do more than a couple of laps. For riders from the area ride this one a couple of laps and head over to some of the other trails listed below. For you out of state riders this is like most of midwest trails elsewhere... with out the jumps, rocks, real logs, planks, ladder bridges,,,etc. that other midwestern states have. This would be rated as a beginner trail if not for the leingth. If you have an hour and a half and a single speed then you have a start of a ride if you do the 17 plus miles. Racing is about getting your riding over with as fast as you can. I think trail riding is about the challenge nature has to offer not how fast you can get off the trail and back home. As I see this trail all the challenge has been scraped off so riders can pretend they are mt. biking. when you're really just riding a race track. funny thing I ran into a guy on a motorcycle this summer on the trail. It was a street bike... makes you think how difficult this trail real is. I think the Advance rating is a little high. Intermediate would be better.

Similar Products Used: highland, pontiac, brighton, holdridge, burtchfield, go to ohio.
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
Showing 1-10 of 80  

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