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Michigan > Michigan State Parks and Forests > Pinckney Recreation Area
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Pinckney Recreation Area

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General Information

Fungi have existed for millions of years but due to their delicate nature, little is known about their ancient history
Copyright: Patty Elton - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Fungi have existed for millions of years but due to their delicate nature, little is known about their ancient history
Description - The landscape, a terminal moraine area, was formed during the last glaciation period. There are nearly 11,000 acres within the Pinckney Recreation Area with the majority open to hunters during the appropriate seasons. Twenty-six miles of multi-use trail with remote campsites afford a backcountry experience. The park is connected to the longest hiking trail in lower Michigan, the 46-mile Waterloo-Pinckney Trail.

Attractions - Modern camping with seasonal flush toilets, showers, sanitation station, electricity, playground, beach, fishing pier, and boat launch with access to a chain of seven lakes is available at Bruin Lake. Rustic camping with hand pump, vault toilets, trail access, fishing pier and boat launch is available at Crooked Lake. Backpack camping is available, contact the park office at Silver Lake for more information. Camping facilities are open from April 1 to December 1; modern toilets open from April 21 to November 1 only.

Twenty-six miles of hiking trails are open to mountain biking as well, with access to five hike-in campsites along the trails. The park is connected to the 46-mile Waterloo-Pinckney Trail, the longest hiking trail in lower Michigan. The trails all begin at the Silver Lake Day Use Area. The Silver Lake Trail is a two-mile looped trail, the Crooked Lake Trail is a five-mile looped trail and Potawatomi Trail is a seventeen-mile looped trail. The Losee Lake Trail is a three-mile loop open to foot traffic only. When hiking in winter and spring, call the park office for trail condition information before heading out.

Snowmobiling in designated areas is allowed with four inches or more of snow on the ground. Cross-country skiing is available on the mountain biking and hiking trails.

There is a concession stand, boat rental, trail system, seasonal modern toilet facilities, playground, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits and a fishing pier available at the Silver Lake beach and picnic area. A boat launch, picnic shelters, trail access, volleyball court, horseshoe pits, and playground are available at Halfmoon Lake beach and picnic area.

Boaters and anglers will find great opportunities on the many lakes throughout the recreation area. There are improved boat launches on Bruin, Halfmoon, South, North, Joslin and Portage Lakes. Unimproved ramps are located on Pickerel, Crooked, Gosling, and Hiland Lakes. There is hand-carry access onto Sullivan Lake. Chain of seven lakes are accessed from Bruin and Halfmoon. Good ice fishing can be found on Silver, North and South Lakes.

Pinckney Recreation Area is open to hunting for all species including large and small game, and waterfowl. State regulations apply.

Nearby is Lakelands Trail State Park, a linear rails-to-trails park under the management of the Pinckney Recreation Area. Currently, thirteen miles from Pinckney to Stockbridge have been developed.

Recreation - Outdoor activities involve camping, backpacking, swimming, hunting, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, boating, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing.

Pinckney- Bruin Lake Modern - (800) 447-2757, 186 site(s), $22/$16
Pinckney- Crooked Lake Rustic - (800) 447-2757, 25 site(s), $10
Pinckney-Blind Lake Rustic - (800) 447-2757, 5 site(s), $10

Pinckney-Silver Lake Trail - 2 (Miles), Hiking, Mountain Biking, Cross Country Ski
Pinckney-Crooked Lake Trail - 5 (Miles), Hiking, Mountain Biking, Cross Country Ski
Pinckney-Potawatomi Trail - 17 (Miles), Hiking, Mountain Biking, Cross Country Ski, Walk-in Sites
Pinckney-Waterloo Trail - 35 (Miles), Hiking, Cross Country Ski
Pinckney-Equestrian Trails - 8 (Miles), Equestrian
Pinckney-Losee Lake Trail - 3.3 (Miles), Hiking

Climate - Southeast Michigan is the warmest region in the state with summer temperatures averaging 70 degrees F (above 21 degrees C) but it is not infrequent for days to reach the high 80s. Winter temperatures are warmer as well with averages hovering just below freezing. Yearly moisture amounts range between 18 - 32 inches.

Location - The park is located southeast of Pinckney, Michigan. To reach the park from US-23, take exit 49 and go west on North Territorial Road 10 miles. To reach the park from Interstates 94 / 96, take M-52 and go east on North Territorial Road.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: John Rowling (Fort Gratiot, MI)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly

Filed By: Mike Meier (Sodus, Mi)
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The campground has private showers with nice warm water. The fishing is great. Many species, Pike, Smallmouth & Largemouth Bass, crappie, Bluegill, Rockbass, perch etc. If you camp when the water is cold be sure to bring waders or atleast a long plank to allow you to reach your boat from shore. The campground will not allow you to tie your boat to the fishing pier and does not provide a way to beach your boat during cold conditions. Also, be sure to check out the water color of Blind Lake. I have never seen a natural lake with it's coloring. Have fun!

More Information

Contact Information:
Pinckney Recreation Area, 8555 Silver Hill, Rt. 1 , Pinckney, MI, 48169, Phone: 734-426-4913, TTY: 517-335-4623

Additional Information:
Michigan Lakes and Rivers - Michigan is one of the most unique states in the nation boasting not only thousands of acres of interior natural lakes along with miles of waterways but also expansive shorelines that touch four of the five Great Lakes: Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie.
Michigan State Parks and Forests - Everything that makes Michigan special is embodied in the 96 State Parks. Boasting sterling recreation, Michigan State Parks and Forests invite you to enjoy one of their 14,000 campsites, 170 winter-sport areas and infinite rivers, streams, and lakes.
Southeast Michigan - Southeast Michigan, teaming with people also teams with recreation opportunities. Glacial activity left this Great Lakes region lush with hundreds of lakes, ponds, and marshes.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources - Official agency website.


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