“THE destination for southeastern Michigan mountain biking.”
— Dave Jansen
Trail is "one-way," follow signs. Some adjacent trails are closed to bikes.
A good mix of fast and flowy trail to steep, technical climbs, to brain-rattling descents. There are a number of options to make this shorter including the The Shortcut
which will eliminate about 3.0 miles.
Need to Know
Biking season: All year (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.). Other activities include bicycling, boating, camping (reservation), canoeing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, swimming, water skiing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling. Dining in Chelsea, Dexter, Pinckney. Bike shops in Chelsea (Chelsea Bike & Sports-313/475-9371), Pinckney (Village Cyclery-313/878-0117) Bike rentals: Pinckney (Village Cyclery).
20 miles northwest of Ann Arbor, youll find three trails: the 17-mile Potawatomi Trail, the 5.1-mile Crooked Lake Trail
and the 1.9-mile Silver Lake Trail
. The routes are shared with hikers. If you double the length of Pontiac Lake and replace the rocks with roots, you have "Poto". Trails range in distance from 1.9 to 17.5 miles round trip.
The trailhead is at the end of the first parking lot, next to the outhouse. Potawatomi is singletrack from beginning to end. The longest continuous loop is around 17.4 miles long, and includes several steep climbs.
The trail is often rooty, sometimes sandy, and changes constantly from down to uphill. Often your momentum will carry you up part of the next climb.
For first timers, it may be necessary to stop and look at a map, or use the MTB Project mobile app, but the DNR does a good job of marking the trail. A printable map of the trail can be found here