Waterloo-Pinckney Recreational Park: Chelsea, MI

To kick off the first hike of Spring, I took off to Chelsea, MI to trek the 36 mile behemoth that is the Waterloo-Pinckney Recreation trail. With the snow melting, creating lots of puddles and mud along the way, Water-loo still offered all of the great sights and could easily be considered the "grandaddy" of all hiking trails in Michigan's lower peninsula.

Waterloo-Pinckney could easily be considered the "grandaddy" of all hiking trails in Michigan's lower peninsula. From it's page Waterloo is home to 36 total miles worth of trail and has elevations reaching to 1,128 feet! The combination of these two factors made for a great morning hike and presented much more than just the opportunity to walk in a straight line. Much of the trails had both steep inclines and declines which made for a very interesting experience. The trails being a mixture of ice and mud, climbing certainly became a challenge along the way and descention became quite an obstacle as well. Trying to avoid long slides or dangerous falls, I would certainly advise anyone considering this park to have a partner with you! As in all things, safety is key to a great hike and having assistance on this trail is definitely advised.


This trail is not for beginners! Therefore, wear shoes that provide optimal traction and grip as incline and decline will certainly work against your advantage at some point during the hike. If you find yourself in a difficult maneuver or situation, having on the right shoes will be half of the solution! Never underestimate the uses of having the correct hiking gear but this is especially for sure if you intend to hike this trail and get the best experience from it possible!

Overall, Waterloo provided lots of great sights, trails, and experiences. For my hiking partner and I, we learned that chemistry and depending on each other is quite necessary to complete some trails (though we did not think it possible in Michigan). There were times we needed each other's assistance in reaching the top of certain peaks and also smoothly descending areas we had climbed. Without one another, we could have certainly been stuck in a few places / situations or they would have been far more difficult to solve. Waterloo-Pinckney is definitely one for more advanced hikers but is sure to be worthwhile if trekked!

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