Lakelands Trail State Park

Michigan

Lakelands Trail State Park Facts

States: Michigan
Counties: Ingham, Jackson, Livingston
Length: 26 miles
Trail end points: Hall Road between Forest Creek Court and Howard St. (Hamburg) and Musbach Road between Fourth St. and Third St. (Munith)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Ballast, Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6016170
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Lakelands Trail State Park Description

Tradition says that Michigan has 11,000 lakes. The eastern section of the Lakelands Trail State Park passes through a chain of them as it rolls from the town of Hamburg and Lakeland to Munith some 26 miles away. In fact, Hamburg Township, where the trail starts, is 10% covered in water.

The trail, dating to the 1990s, is in various stages of improvement. Asphalt covers the eastern 7.5 miles from Hamburg to MI 36 west of Pinckney; the next 4 miles to the township line near Barton Road and MI 36 is hard limestone; slag and sand comprise the surface for the next 9 miles into Stockbridge; and the final 5 miles southwest to Munith is open but mostly unimproved. Horseback riding is permitted in the trail corridor, but snowmobiles and off-road vehicles are prohibited.

Short-range plans call for extending the trail southwest to Parnall Road in Jackson and improving the soft surface to hard limestone. Also, connections to the cross-state Iron Belle Trail (north–south) and Great Lake-to-Lake Trail (east–west) are in the works.

The Lakelands Trail follows a section of the former Michigan Air Line Railroad opened in 1884 as part of a planned rail line across southern Michigan. It was absorbed by the Grand Trunk Western Railroad in 1928 and became disused in the 1970s.

Beginning at the trailhead on Hamburg Road, you’ll leave from Winkelhaus Park, the site of the old Hamburg House Hotel from about 1835 to 1968. The trail heads east for 0.7 mile and ends in the woods. A future connection to South Lyon is planned.

Heading west, the trail is paved as it passes sports fields at Manly Bennett Park and Zukey Lake, one of a chain of eight lakes in the Huron River watershed, and home to a well-known lakeside tavern dating back to the 1930s. You’ll continue through a growing residential area to a trailhead and old railroad depot at Pearl Street in Pinckney, about 7.5 miles from the eastern trailhead. Four miles south is the 11,000-acre Pinckney Recreation Area, known for its mountain biking trails.

The Lakelands Trail changes to hard-packed limestone about a mile west of Pinckney as the countryside becomes mostly farmland and forest. The trail brushes the northern edge of the 535-acre University of Michigan Edwin S. George Reserve, a fenced research and educational preserve.

Crossing MI 36 again, the trail surface deteriorates and is more suitable for horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking for the next 8 miles through the small burg of Gregory to Stockbridge, where the trail veers southwest. You’ll find trail parking on South Clinton Street and places to eat a few blocks north.

Very few improvements have been made to the trail past Stockbridge, and it’s impassable after Munith. Plans to replace bridges, improve the trail surface, and extend it to Jackson are proposed for 2018.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the eastern trailhead on Hamburg Road from US 23 heading north, take Exit 53 toward Hamburg/Whitmore Lake. Turn left onto Eight Mile Road, and go 1.3 miles. Bear right to continue onto Hall Road for 0.2 mile, and then bear left at the Y onto Sheldon Road for 0.4 mile. Keep right to continue onto Hamburg Road for 1.2 miles. Look for parking at Winkelhaus Park, on your right. The trail dead-ends 0.7 mile to the east.

The best access point for the western endpoint is the Stockbridge trailhead, as few improvements to the trail have been made between Stockbridge and Munith, and there is no dedicated parking lot for the trail in Munith. From I-94, take Exit 150 onto Mount Hope Road, heading north. Go 5.7 miles, and veer right at the intersection to stay on Mount Hope Road. Go 2.5 miles, and turn right onto MI 106 N. Go 3.6 miles to Stockbridge, where MI 106 becomes S. Clinton St., and turn right onto S. Center St. Look for parking on the right. The trail’s western endpoint is 5 miles farther west, at Musbach Road in Munith.

Lakelands Trail State Park Reviews

I use the trail mostly West of Stockbridge, but I am a hiker. I do think that there needs to be some rules set for the horse people. They need to stay either on the left or right side, but stay out of the center for the bike people. It is no secret the horses tear up the trail, and in wet weather it is much worse. This is a multi purpose trail, and the horse people have a right to ride on it, but must respect the rights of others as well. As a hiker it makes little difference to me, but I know that many cyclist claim that the trail is not usable, after horses have used the trail. A little consideration on all sides would make the trail much more enjoyable for all.
They have started to clear and improve the trail from Munith to Jackson. It is my understanding they will connect with Jackson Intercity Trail, sometime in 2018. I would guess that the surface will be crushed lime stone. It should be a great additional resource.

2/11/17 Hamburg to west side of Pinckney is 8.5 miles of smoothe pavement.Rodebikes to rollerblades will enjoy this section.Warm today 44 degrees and thawing.Unpaved section west of Pinckney today was tough go.Soft, wet, and divits slowed me down to 6 mph on my mountain bike.Still I plowed on to Gregory.Can't wait to try again when trail dry's up.

From Hamburg this is a nice trail. Just to see it I rode the .4K east to the end from Hall road. There it is completely blocked with a barricade and dense trees and brush.

Going West it's nice asphalt just beginning to crack in some places. Lovely mix of scenery. Just past Pinckney you have to cross busy highway 36. At that point the trail is the mentioned limestone surface and relatively hard and not bumpy. I've been on worse pavement. There are a number of bridges and the transitions of this limestone part are excellent - better than the asphalt bridge transitions.

Unfortunately this part of the trail is only good to the Unadilla township line just before you cross highway 36 again.

I did continue to ride from the line the 300 or so yards to 36 but it was cautious going on my road bike. At 36 I looked down the trail and it was 2 track and seemed sandier yet. I wasn't even tempted to fight it and just turned around. Wider knobby rides would probably be okay.

With the scenery and central state access this has the potential to be one of the better touring trails in Michigan. Someone should push the legislature to putt priority to this trail.

Accordion

First off, my wife and I have fitness bikes that we have outfitted to be able to handle crushed limestone trails and have done multiple limestone and gravel trails. This trail was much different. We started on the Stockbridge end and quickly realized that this was a different trail than what we were used to. It was a two-track for much of the beginning mileage. We were still able to make it a third of the way to Hamburg before turning around because my wife ran over a bucket handle that was hit by a lawnmower that had cleared some of the brush on the side. Luckily, she wasn't hurt and her bike's only damage was a bent front fender.

After I got home I checked the trail's page on the DNR website and found out that they listed the Stockbridge end as a horse trail and the Hamburg end as a bike trail. Unfortunately, I also found out that they are also only doing emergency maintenance on the trail and are seeking someone to take over the trail. That seems like it would make more sense to handle the maintenance part before discussing an expansion to the southwest (Jackson) like they are.

It makes me sad to give a poor review, because the scenery was very pretty, which prompted me to give it two stars instead of one.

I ride this trail every couple of weeks. I start in Hamburg and ride through the Hamburg and Putnam sections. At Unidilla, the track is tough on a road bike, so that's where I turn around. It's a pity because the Eastern section of the trail is well maintained and it would be great to have a longer stretch. On the weekend there are hikers and baby strollers, but never to the point where we didn't seem to be able to share the trail happily. A beautiful solitary ride at other times in the week.

I saw they had marked the asphalt on the Hamburg section for repairs around potholes, etc, so that is great. And thanks to the volunteers who work on this trail.

I ride daily from west of Stockbridge to Gregory. The trail west of Stockbridge is for the most part not maintained at all. The weeds are so high that the blossoms are all waist high as you ride through them and I was stung twice last week by bee's and had to stop to give myself epinephrine. That was the end of those rides. I obviously was dumb enough to do it twice, I will own that. My understanding was the trail was going to be grossly improved and possibly paved from Stockbridge to Jackson and haven't seen any signs at all of any type of planning, marking, etc. When I do my daily from Stockbridge to Gregory I rarely come across another cyclist but do come across many people out walking dogs and also an occasional horse or two. The ruts that they create are an obvious problem since there is no actual maintenance done on the trail. Somebody had the bright idea of putting very large limestone "rocks" for a section of the trail that have flatted more than one of my tires but no option to go around it. I can't imagine how these must feel on dog and horse feet. If this section isn't going to be paved then these rocks need to be removed and the person who put them there should be placed on a time out. As you proceed east from M-36 in downtown Gregory you immediately have to be on your guard for loose sand trail that will dump you on your face in a heart beat. Pretty much this continues all the way east past M-36 near the Unadilla twp. line. After you get through this section you are home free. Sweet trail from Unadilla all the way to the termination just east of downtown Hamburg, my hometown. Here's the deal, if the trail that requires maintenance can't be maintained due to lack of funding than please ask for volunteers and allow those of us that use it to spend some time and sweat to make it better for everyone. Please, this should be a treasure for the people, the towns along it's route and most importantly for the State of Michigan. Get it together folks or ask for some help please. I volunteer....

My wife and I started at Stockbridge Trailhead expecting to ride 30 to 40 miles. The trail extends off to the West, but the map doesn't really show anything that way so we went East. Up until about Kelly Road, East of Gregory this is an unimproved trail. Not crushed lime stone or lime stone hard pack, but more of a loose sandy base which is not an easy ride on any bike without a motor. Past Kelly road it was more of a hard pack limestone as the map states. Once you get to Pinckney, it is a paved trail that is used much more and really quite nice.

Stockbridge to about halfway to Pinckney is more of a horse trail than bike trail, but can be used for both. Be prepared for a good workout if you start at Stockbridge.

If I were to ride it again, I think I would start in Hamburg and go as far as the loose trail and turn around.

No drinking water on the trail, but the trail passes through several small towns whose residents you might find to be kind enough to share some. (Thank you, lady in Pinkney). A well or other water source on the trail would be welcome.

Trail freshly paved from Hamburg to near Pinkney, then packed limestone, then increasingly loose and variable. More horses past Pinkney. West of Stockbridge, beyond the end of the trail shown on the trail map, the trail devolves to a grassy two-track. Mountain bike required to do the entire length. Some don't like the horse manure, but I prefer it to oil, exhaust and noise. Some of the worst loose sand is in the woods, but those are also some of the more beautiful sections.

I have biked this trail at some time or another from Munith to Hamburg.
Munith to Stockbridge has been improved, but I haven't biked it since they have made the improvements. I will report on that as soon as I do it again.
Stockbridge to Gregory isn't too bad as long as you are on a mountain bike. I did it on a recumbent and there were a few spots that are a challenge. In one spot they have put down large stone. I am not sure why as this is hard to bike on, hard to walk on and I am sure the horses don't like the large stone either.
From Gregory to Hamburg is wonderful after you get out about 2 miles from Gregory. Those two miles are a killer on a bike because of the loose sand that is several inches thick. After that it is packed limestone that has a great surface to bike on. As you approach Pinkney it becomes paved and is paved all the rest of the way to the end.

I love this trail. too much!!: ) in October 2015 I walked the entire trail in one day. I started I Stockbridge and walked past Hamburg pub area. took me 10 hours, including breaks. any biker or walker will love the connection with nature varied to community living. it is a wonderful trail, friendly town folk and maintained well. no Hills, fairly flat surface, open as well as very wooded area. Enjoy! since then I've walked, mostly Pinckney to Gregory , several times. love this trail.

We started out in Hamburg at the parking lot across from the Hamburg Pub, then rode west just past Pinckney. (about 10 miles). Lunch on the way back at Zukey Lake Tavern. Nice patio open in summer. This trail was in great shape. First few miles out of Hamburg feature marshy areas and a small stream. Tons of birds and spring peepers(small chorus frogs)and various water fowl. Peaceful and beautiful. Next you come to Zukey Lake but the trail is not directly on the lake. Further along the trail follows residential or natural areas. I definitely recommend this trail for those seeking a smooth, flat, paved trail.

Started off near The Hamburg pub. Made it to s. Center st. 26 miles total . It does go further than what I did but it turned into a really rough trail after the 13 miles The first 10 miles is a nice straight blacktop. The next 3 miles was a small Loose Gravel. Not too bad to ride on. Passed a few horses, the riders were friendly. But if I did it again I would only do the 10 miles paved road for a total of 20 miles.

Dave and I shot up Roepke Rd. off of N. Territorial and headed to Williamsburg Rd, turned left (West) and caught the Lakeland trail intersection off of Van Sykle Rd. From there, we headed West toward Stockbridge and caught some carbs and protein at the Stockbridge Micky Ds. We finished the last 8 miles on South M-52 (which appears to be being groomed for road bike path from Stockbridge to Chelsea on both sides of the highway). We turned off of M-52 onto N Territorial and cooled off near the Lyndon Township house. Total trip 20 miles. Great day! Great weather. 86 and partly sunny.

Dave and I shot up Roepke Rd. off of N. Territorial and headed to Williamsburg Rd, turned left (West) and caught the Lakeland trail intersection off of Van Sykle Rd. From there, we headed West toward Stockbridge and caught some carbs and protein at the Stockbridge Micky Ds. We finished the last 8 miles on South M-52 (which appears to be being groomed for road bike path from Stockbridge to Chelsea on both sides of the highway). We turned off of M-52 onto N Territorial and cooled off near the Lyndon Township house. Total trip 20 miles. Great day! Great weather. 86 and partly sunny.

We live between the Lakelands trail and the Huron Valley trail. This trail was a straight and flat. It was busy but far less crowded than the Huron Valley trail. There were several horses but we were nice to them and they were courteous in return. We started in Hamburg and headed west. Plenty of parking at the trailhead. The 6 miles of asphalt were in nice condition. The trail switched to limestone gravel after mile six but it was easier to ride in than we expected. There were several road crossings but most were county dirt roads so not much traffic. We had a great experience and will definitely ride here again.

Solid trail

Just awesome! I think alot of my experience had to do with the weather, it was 60 and cooler , and sunny. The walk, true, may be harder for bikers due to ruts and grassiness and more of a two track appearance, but, i walked it, and it was beautiful, peaceful, energizing, and enjoyable.I had to walk it back, also, to my vehicle so the return trip was great too. lots of wildlife; turkeys, deer, squirrels and chipmunks and oodles of birds
that i swear seemed to follow me!! but, the path is definitly rougher than the previous 18 miles, yet, much more peaceful. I only passed a couple of people walking dogs near Gregory. it is relatively a flat pathway, but, the two track effect may make it harder for bikers and even runners. also, if it is raining it may get a little muddier than most would like....just gotta be prepared. I just loved it, horse poo and all!!

I have walked the entire trail. In increments because I drove, waljed, and had to return to the vehicle. I think the trail is great! for walking. ...hamburg to pick ney is typical with residential and population. then pick ney to Gregory is quieter with more Swamp and forest and less population. ...Also it turns into a well kept (I thought) small aggregate pathway. I saw no signs of problems left by or made by horses. Gregory /Unidella area gets a little wilder with two track type pathway...but still pretty straight and doable! I walked this in the rain...In november...With a temperature of about 35. so..If I'm not complaining.....and could enjoy the benefits of this Pathway. ...I'd say the spring or summer months must be FANTASTIC to be on this path! plus the country folk you see along the way are just awesomely friendly. A great path, great easy movement involving walking and several types of senerios. have fun!

We wanted to go from the Stockbridge trail head all the way to the end in Hamburg. That was the plan anyway. We started in Stockbridge and went west for about two miles until the trail ended. The path was not too bad at this point. As we started east, headed toward Unadilla, the trail conditions worsened. If it wasn't for the piles of horse manure and the indents that the hooves made it might have been passable. After going about two miles east, we returned to the trailhead in Stockbridge, packed up the bikes and headed towards Pinckney. Being a resident of Unadill township, I am a little embarrassed with the conditions of the trail. I have traveled the trail on foot several times, but it is almost impossible to travel on bike.
When we got to Pinckney, we were much more pleased with the trail. We headed west until we hit Unadilla township/M-36. Turned around and headed to Hamburg. It was a very pleasant ride. There were not many benches for breaks but I enjoyed our stop at the Dairy Queen on our way back.
I would travel this trail, from Pinckney to Hamburg, again.

Started out at the Stockbridge Trail Head and went west towards Jackson. The trail was very grassy and not well maintained. Went to the end of that one which was approximately 1.5 miles. Turned around and started heading east towards Pinckney. The trail was pretty good until you crossed M36 and then it got worse. Loose sand, grass clumps and the horses have so many ruts in the ground it was like riding over rumble strips. Not to mention you had to dodge major piles of horse poop. Really horse riders, people are expected to clean up after their dog, why are the horse owners not expected to clean up after their horses?!?

We went about three miles and decided to turn back because it was a miserable experience. Packed up and drove to the Pickney Depot where the trail was paved. We decided to go through town and go west again to see how well their gravel part of the trail was maintained. It was not bad until you hit the Unadilla/Putnam Township line. Then it was grass clumps and loose dirt all over again. They really need to do some work between Stockbridge and Unadilla to make that part of the trail more enjoyable.

Turned around once again and headed east back to Pinckney. The paved area of the trail was well maintained and enjoyable all the way to Hamburg. There were not too many benches or resting spots along the way, but appears Putnam Township is trying to keep at it.

I would do this trail again from the Putnam Township line to Hamburg, but will not do it from Stockbridge to Unadilla until they make some improvements.

Great trail from Putnam to Hamburg but the stretch from Stockbridge to Unidilla was rough, very bumpy and not well maintained.

I just hiked from Munith towards Stockbridge, and to my surprise. Waterloo Township has spent time and money makeing some really good improvements to the trail. They will go as far as Mount Hope Rd., then other Townships must take responsiblity.
I do not understand the problem people have with the trail East of Stockbridge, the trail is in good shape, though there is a section of about 200 yards where the surface is soft. There is not a lot of horse poo on the trail, and besides its a multi use trail, horses have a right to the trail as well.
I just hiked from Stockbrige to Gregory, the trail was fine, saw several groups of bikers, and two people walking their dogs. It is a nice trail, that is used by many.

Very nice ride until you hit the Unadilla mark, then it gets tougher. About 2 miles later it turns into a back road scenario and gets tougher still.

I hike the trail at least twice a month, and in the summer a lot more often. I only hike the nonpaved sections, and spend most of my time East of Gregory. I have talked to members of the DNR many times about the trail. They receive no funding for the trail, and most of the maintance is done by the townships. That is the reason that the trail is in such poor condition East of Munith. There are plans to continue the trail East of Munith to Jackson. At which point, the Lakeland trail would connect to Jackson's intercity tail system. I would love to see that happen, but I am not holding my breath, as there does not seem to be much interest and less funding.

Very nice ride. When travelling from Hamburg (East) to Gregory (West) the paved trail turns to dirt/powdered gravel at the Unadilla line. It gets progressively more wild and suited to mountain biking as you ride toward Gregory.

IMO I didn't feel the horses caused any damage or inconvenience to the trail. The trail appears to be poorly maintained in places but is no issue for a mountain bike.


I enjoyed biking on the pave trail between Hamburg and Pinckney several times. I like it. The trail is quite flat and the surface is smooth. Once it passes through the horse trails of Pinckney State Rec Area to Munith, the trail turns more challengable. Horses mess everywhere. The sandy surface near Stockbridge may make bikers sick, but very good for exercise. The trail between Stockbridge and Munith is also joyful, and is covered by grass, sometimes dropped big branches. I can say that Lakelands Trail is good for serious bike athletes.

Riding from Stockbridge is terrible, as we experienced on 6/22/14. We are experienced mountain bike riders, but the usual trail cliente will not be able to manage. the horses have destroyed conditions and there is no trail maintainence. When suddenly it changes to a different township (something with a P name) then it is great and eventually becomes paved. Also most has no mile markers and the numbering is inconsistent township to township. No water and few outhouses.

More $ needs to be put into this trail!!!

I rode, or rather attempted to ride, this trail in July 2013. I started at Stockbridge. I have a 1995 Schwinn hybrid bicycle with 700 X 35C tires - typically well suited to a crushed limestone trail. The problem is that this trail has been destroyed by inconsiderate horse riders. Horse hooves have ruined the trail from Stockbridge to a point just west of Pinckney, making it virtually unridable on a bicycle. I rode from Stockbridge east three miles, then turned around after a teeth-jarring ride over the hopelessly pitted and bumpy trail. I attempted to ride the trail from Gregory toward Pinckney, and again the trail was in terrible shape due to horses. The only portion of the trail which can be ridden on a bicycle is from just west of the Pinckney depot to the east end in Hamburg Township. This portion of the trail is very nice. It's unfortunate that the horse riders, who think they own this trail, have been allowed to destroy what could be a fine asset for the area. Horses should be ridden in the grass along the trail, and not on the improved surface.

We biked this whole distance in two different rides. The last being the 13th of October, 2013. Starting in Munith it is very rough. Think grass and holes. The section from Mt. Hope Road to Stockbridge is a bit better. The closer you get to Pinkney the better the trail gets. Gradually it becomes paved and is very nice. The biggest problem for bikers on the older crushed limestone is the horses have chewed it up making it very rough. If you are looking for a challenge and a work out bike it all the way to Munith. In the Pinkney area I would rate this 5 stars. In the Munith area maybe a two stars.

I forgot to give my Review a rating... I Love this Trail.

I start in Hamburg and go out anywhere from 10-15 miles from the start, turn around and come back. I really enjoy this trail. After the first 8 miles or so, it turns in to crushed stone, and then further out, it gets a little softer, but it is still very nice to ride. Very much in the country. It is flat with only a few small cross roads. Lots of animals. Very nicely kept, and since I many times finish my evening ride in the dark with a light, I feel that it is has been very safe as well, however, it also feels very secluded at that time so I am cautious. You never know when you're going to run into a chipmunk, or a bunny, or a frog, or a deer. I've had encounters with all of them. Lol

There are a number of fallen trees across the trail making it difficult to enjoy. People on foot and using bicycles were to courteous to my son & I on horseback.
The colors are changing so it is beautiful. Also NO bugs!

I rode this trail 9/21 starting in Stockbridge and going east. From Stockbridge to Gregory the trail is very rough and soft, could have been partly to heavy rain the night before. There seems to be a lot of horse traffic in this area that also made for tough going. Also, several trees down in this section of the trail on my way to the east, however most were gone by the time I returned. This trail changes from poor to fantastic as soon as you enter the Putnam Township section. At that point the trail is hard and wide and smooth crushed stone. When the trail crosses M-36 just before Pickney, it turns to blacktop. From there to Pettysville road it is perfect.I did not go any further east than there today. I would recomend this trail as long as you don't start West of Gregory unless you are on a mountain bike and ready for a rough ride.

I did the trail on 9/15/13 and found that there's about three miles of new pavement. I started at the Hamburg Rd. trailhead by the Hamburg Pub and parked in the lot by the trail. From there west the pavement goes 8.5 miles. The new pavement is a bit narrower and has room on the side for horses. There were probably about ten stops for road crossings along the way, a bridge over a small river, an underpass and the Zukey Lake tavern and an ice cream spot easily accessed from the trail. I rode a bit past the pavement on my road bike and the trail was smooth, at least for a bit before I turned around.

HI, I rode this gorgeous trail yesterday, Aug. 29th, 2013, but the trucks were spraying straw so I couldn't go west from D19.
Could ANYONE give me a PAVED mileage update from the Hamburg end to the end of paving West of Pinckney? I have looked at all kinds of maps but cannot tell how far M39? is ?
I would REALLY appreciate this. Thanks! and KUDOS to the townships that have put huge amounts of $$$$ into this fabulous trail.

As of now the improved trail is great for biking. Bridges and aprons are complete, no more barriers.

Improvements including paving the trail from where pavement ended at the Hamburg Twp border east of Farley, across D19 and past Pinckney to the next M36 crossing west of Pinckney.

From there the surface is packed but not paved, perfectly smooth for now, thru Pinckney rec area to the western border of Putnam twp (in the middle of nowhere). The Rec area section is very pretty, like being up north. Keep an eye out for the nest on the cell phone tower, not sure if it is osprey or eagle. Suggest biking this section ASAP before the horses tear it up.

West of the Putnam border the trail is bikeable to the next M36 crossing. After that it is jarring and miserable on a bike due to horse hoof prints. If you want to bike west, take roads instead of the trail. Past Gregory towards Stockbridge it gets a little better.

So glad to hear the trail is paved now further west of Pinckney. It's a nice trail but was wondering has anyone been on the new paved trail and how far west does it go?

It was a pleasant surprise to hike from west of Munith to Pinckney. The surface is in good condition, the bridges have been rebuilt. There has been a lot of money spent to maintain this trail. Wish the same could be said of the trail west of Stockbridge to Munith, about 6 miles. Most of that trail is in fairly good condition, West of 106 to Munith there are some bad spots. I have hiked the trail West of Munith about 2.5 miles or to the intersection with Coon Hill rd. This section is not maintained at all, and it is a pity, because at some point the DNR rebuilt the bridges and spent a lot of money to clear the trail. The trail could go all the way into Jackson, that would be nice. I did not find the trail destroyed by horse traffic, and the piles of horse poo were spread out fairly far apart.

So excited for all the improvements! I've always enjoyed this trail but never used it from the Pinckney trailhead west towards Stockbridge/Gregory because the horses had torn it up so much, choosing instead to always run/bike east towards Hamburg. Just used it this weekend (8/3) and paving has now been completed so that from Pinckney to Hamburg it is 100% paved. The Pinckney trailhead lot is undergoing reconstruction as well, it's been cleared and graveled, there is also a new pit toilet that's been installed. The paving of the trail seems to extend west as well, for as far as you can see from the trailhead. I will have to return there again soon and investigate how far west the paving extends. Kudo's to the construction team, it all looks great!

What is the work schedule as of July ? isthe brigde useabl ?

Not great for biking, I'm sure, unless you have knobby tires and a positive attitude. But I love it for running. My main issue is that this "park" extends well beyond Stockbridge to the west. I've explored part of it (*very* rough in parts), but still don't know where the western terminus is. Nothing online is up to date.

I really appreciate all the updates that have been done this summer. Some paving, a significant amount of resurfacing, rebuilding all the bridges.

Last week I rode the trail starting at Merril Field in Hamburg. This end of the trail is paved and the ongoing paving in Pinckney was easily detoured and the ballast was in great shape until the closed bridge at about the 12 mile point. Will try to go further in the fall when the paving and bridge repair are done.

I'll just echo the comments of others regarding the portion destroyed by the horse riders. Not only is it impossible to ride because of the ruts, but it's down right unhealthy with all of the horse feces. If any other trail organization was thinking of including equestrian access, this trail is the perfect example of why you should NOT.

I rode, or rather attempted to ride, this trail on July 5, 2013. I parked at the Stockbridge trailhead and headed east. I ride a 1995 Schwinn hybrid with 700 x 35C tires. The trail surface was covered from one side to the other with zillions of holes created by horsehoes. The inconsiderate horse riders ruined the trail. It was a jarring ride for 3 miles, when I gave up and returned to Stockbridge. The frustrating part is that there is plenty of room in the grass along the trail to ride a horse without tearing up the trail surface. I then packed my bike back onto my car and drove a few miles east to Gregory, and again rode east toward Pinckney. Again, the trail surface was destroyed by horses. This time, I decided to detour down County Road D32 through Hell, MI, then return to the trail in Pinckney. The side trip to Hell was nice, and when I returned to the trail at the Pinckney Depot, I was greeted with a nicely groomed gravel trail. I rode east, and after a couple miles hit a paved trail. The pavement went past Zukey Lake, and on another 2 miles to the end. The trail is scenic, and it would be a great trail if it weren't for inconsiderate horse riders who have destroyed the trail west of Pinckney.

Here's the work schedule: http://putnamtwp.us/lakeland_trail/workschedule.pdf. So far there's no sign of the bridge demolition, so they would seem to be behind schedule -- maybe because of all the rain we've had this spring.

My understanding is that the Trail construction will occur this year, and will adjoin the Hamburg Township portion of the trail to the East, and continue through the Putnam Township line to the West of Downtown Pinckney. For more information I would suggest visiting their website.

Wondering if anyone knows the status of the paving project through Pinckney? I heard that construction was supposed to start last fall.
Trail is great through Hamburg Twp. and would be great if it were paved for a longer distance.
Right now,the trail doesn't seem to be maintained at all west of Pinckney. I used to be able to mountain bike from Hamburg to Stockbridge 10 years ago, but it is pretty much impossible now.

My family and I took a nice bike ride today on the Lakeland Trail for the first time. We rode from Pinckney to Zukey Lake and back. The trail was paved most of the time and the rest of the time was well groomed sand/gravel. It was a beautiful trail and everyone we saw along the way was very friendly. I would highly recommend it.

My Wife and I rode the Trail from Pinckney to Stockbridge, The portion of the trail for Pinckney to Gregory is pretty much destroyed by horse traffic. Not only do the horses ride on the tail, but also on the sides. Bikers have tried to make a trail in the grass were the horses are supposed to ride and the horses ride there also. It looks like the equestrian riders do not even want to share the trail and are purposely making it unusable for bikers. They need to have signs for the horses to tell them were to ride and it needs to be enforced. I know the horses have been using the trail for much longer than the bikers but they need to share the trail so that everybody can use it. The section of the trail from Gregory to Stockbridge is not that bad and has some of the best scenery I have ever ridden through. We also recently rode the Kal-Haven trail and if the condition of this trail could be like that trail it would be able to be used by all. I think there is a plan to pave some of the trail from Pinckney to the Putnam/Unadilla township boarder but it keeps getting held up.

Like other bike riders, we found it impossible to ride west of M-36. We have heard how bad this was but thought maybe others were over exaggerating...but nope...the trail is so full of divots left by the horse riders (not to mention all the crap). After 3 miles of it...we could take no more! It would have been so nice to ride to Stockbridge. Such a shame. What I can not understand is the Lakeland trail has a very wide "grass" shoulder; I am positive 2 horse riders could ride side by side on the grass to get to THE DESIGNATED HORSE trails. So, why do the horse riders have to travel on gravel trail? It is apparent they are making a statement and want this trail all to themselves. Let those amaetuer horse riders and their "sissy" horses have the trail. Trail Link: please REMOVE this trail from your list. This is not a bike/walk trail...this is a horse trail.

The trail itself is very nice from Hamburg to Pinckney, and Gregory to Stockbridge. But Equestrians have dug up the trail between Pinckney and Gregory. This was the roughest stretch of RTT I have ever encountered. For my return trip to Hamburg I had to forgo the trail altogether and ride M36 back to Pinckney. Its a shame that the horse owners seem to think they own that portion of the trail.

I "discovered" this trail a couple years back and use it regularly. From the East trail end at Hamburg Road to the old Pinckney train station it is a beautiful smooth ride. On bike or foot you can exchange a lot of smiles. I rode the part West of Pinckney where it crosses M-36 a few times but stopped going after my fillings kept getting jarred loose by the horse hoof divots. There was no practical way to avoid them, not to mention the road apples.
I thought it was multi-use, but the few times I encountered horses, the riders treated me to glares and dirty looks. (I always nodded, smiled and or waved - just being friendly, folks!) There are dedicated horse trails just off the main rail-trail, so I don't quite get why they leave the main trail torn up like that. It would be nice if this main part were groomed occasionally.

I am new to RTC and live in Pinckney, MI. We have a paved RTT through Hamburg. Now that a section is paved, it has been a great asset to the community. Bikers, joggers, strollers, walkers and occasional horses alike use the trail extensively. Our biggest obstacle to having Lakeland Trail paved farther through Pinckney is; horse riders. Horse owners are popular out here in the midst of the Pinckney Recreation Area. Horse riders use Lakeland Trail to get to the area horse trails and have left their damage and crap on the trail. Now paving is blocked because they would rather block then come to an agreement to share the trail. Meantime they dominate the trail because it is pretty much unuseable to everyone else.
Despite some of the other reviews on this site, I can personally attest to the deterioration of the trail west of Pinckney over the past several years. I moved out here 6 years ago and could easily make the trip from Pinckney to Stockbridge with a mountain bike, especially the day after a good rain. Now the trail is so rough and full of potholes and crap, I can't always make it to Gregory and with a lot of struggle.
Horse riders have many trails in the area that are designated for horse riders only.
Why can't a RTT be designated for non motorized wheeled vehicles and pedestrians only? Does any other RTC members have any experience with a similar issue and how it was resolved?

Joe in Pinckney

The paved part from Hamburg to Pinckney is great! What is needed though is more forward thinking leaders and citizens in this state, so that a complete state wide paved trail system could be a happening... Wouldn't it great just to get on your bike or even walk from say Grand Rapids to Port Huron and not worry about cars/trucks. etc,...

I was a little hesitant to take this trail based on the reviews. However since we were in the area we went to check it out. We found about 5.5 miles paved in the Pinckney area. It stretched from mile marker 2 to 7.5. We parked near the tunnel at the intersection of M36 and Pettysville road. This part of the trail was nice. It was fairly shaded and there is many places to stop for food and a school playground (mile 3.0). This was enjoyable for an 11 mile round trip.

We tried to bike the trail and gave up after a total of three miles--this trail is definitely not for leisure biking. The gravel is deep and most of the trail is marred by horse "pot holes". We travelled the rest of our trip on the shoulder of the main roads. If the trail was widened and there was a separate "lane" for horses (and riders respected the divide), more people may be able to enjoy the beautiful trail.

I have noticed that the manure problem is better so far this year, but the trail remains difficult to navigate any way but by walking. The number of divots left all over the width of the trail make in all but impossible to ride a bike on and if running, you risk twisting an ankle. I just cringe anymore when I see horse trailers pull up to use the trail in Stockbridge. I thought I was just being cranky until I read the other posts and was glad to hear about the possibility of horses being restricted.

I've been hitting different sections of this trail over the last couple of weeks and can't believe some of the damage caused by horses, not to mention that large amounts of manure left behind. There are sections that are so damaged that jogging was difficult and I had to be careful with my foot placement due to divots left by horse hooves would make for rolling an ankle a real possibility. I can't imagine my kids getting by some sections of this trail on there bikes, especially just east of Gregory and west of Pinckney due to the damage.

Most other sections are quite nice and scenic and make you feel as thou your up north. It's just sad the surface couldn't be in better shape for a true multi use trail along it's entire route.

Unfortunately, the folks with horses will soon lose their trail privelages due to the antics of a few who destroy the trail for everyone. Surely, the true Equestrians are courteous enough to stay off the center of the trail and to clean up after their horses. However, most of the trails in this state have been closed to horses for the exact reasons which are apparent to anyone who has used this trail lately.

I pulled up a map of this trail on this website. Fortunately for me, I live east of the trail so it made more sense for me to start at the end labeled "endpoint" then driving all the way around to the other side. I am VERY glad I did. The trail is amazing - very scenic, nicely paved. About 7 miles in though, it turns to gravel. Still very compacted and not too rough, I continued on. Over the next two miles, the road conditions slowly worsened (for a bike at least) and the path got smaller in width. By around 11 or 12 miles, I was basically biking in sand. I ride a Giant lifestyle bike, good even on mountain bike courses, but this was too much even for me. I turned around before I got myself in further trouble by continuing on. So my advice - start on the Hamburg (east) side of the trail. A good 2/3 of the trail is unbikeable gravel but could still make for a great hike. If you live far from here I'd consider other options if you're looking for a long ride.

"The section of the Lakeland Trail in Hamburg Twp (around 6.5 miles) is now paved. This includes a tunnel under M36. Not all the work is yet done, however, this trail hold a lot of promise. We started in Hamburg Village and went west along the trail. There are 2 ice cream stops along the way. You can easily continue past the paved section for another few miles to D19 in Pinckney where there are a couple restaurants. This section is hard packed ballast and is almost as fast as the asphalt. This ride gave us around a 19 or 20 mile day (round trip)."

"I rode the trail last night from Merrill Rd (Hamburg) to M-36 West of Pinckney. The trail conditions were pretty good. I have read the posts about horses messing up the trails, but there are only a few short sections where the gravel has been ""chopped"" up and loose due to horse traffic. I rarely ever see any horses in the stretch I ride. I would like to see more bikes ""packing"" the divots back down, along with me.

I am more concerned about the dirt bikes and quads that are tearing up the trail West of Farley rd. near Pinckney. Someone has been doing donuts on the trail and rutting it up pretty badly. It looks like someone may have also dug a hole in the trail and covered it with loose straw (BE CAREFUL, or you could do a header there)"

I rode this trail on my MTB and I would suggest that the criticism regarding poor conditions for bikes must be coming from horse people to discourage use by bikes. It's in good condition and the only reason I saw for incompatibility was 3 groups of horses each with bike shy animals.

"The trail goes through a beautiful area. However, the horse traffic has made the trail too rough to be enjoyed by cyclists."

"Hate to see the complaints of how horses have ""ruined"" this trail. There is only a small fraction of public horse trails in the state, compared to hiking and biking trails. There should be plenty of room in the great outdoors for all users. What can be done?"

"I have to say i will never go bike riding on this trail again. Even the portion of the trail that starts in the town of Stockbridge is ruined by horses. Its so rough and full of sand that its impossible to enjoy a bike ride.

The DNR had such a nice trail and such a nice nature setting to run the trail though but they have negleted all others for the sake of horse riders.

They post that this trail is set-up for handicap, thers no way a person in a whell chair could ever negotiate this trail.

They made their choice, horse riders are welcome, everyone else can stay away!"

"I mostly ride east of Pinckney, to the end of the trail east of Hamburg. The trail west of Merrill Road is hard to negotiate. Biking or walking it's almost impossible if you're not somewhat skilled.

Some vegetation needs trimming, but not too much. Garbage lining the trail is very unsightly, mainly between Farley Road and M-36. Occasionally horses will leave deep divots and manure making it difficult for bike riding."

"This is a nice open, trail west of Pinckney for both horses and bikes but does need grading very rough on the butt while biking. East of Pinckney the trail is very hard to negotiate. It's very overgrown with vegetation for biking and must be impossible for horses. I used the trail on Sunday, Aug 22., 2004 between 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. between Dutton and Hall Roads."

"I have to agree with some of the other reviewers. The first couple of times I rode this trail it wasn't bad and the scenery is beautiful. The last three times I rode it I found it to be an upleasant experience. The horse divits have done such a number on the trail that you feel like you're rolling down a boulder field. Unless they make some changes, I don't know that I'll be visiting again. "

"I tried this trail my family in early September 2003, as it looked like a perfect distance for my six-year-old budding mountain bike racer, with nice destination towns whichever way you rode it.

Horses had been on it when it was wet (and not just on the south side, as the DNR Web site claims is the plan), and between the hardened hoofprints and mounds of dung, it was the worst biking experience we've found in Michigan. I'll echo a previous poster's comments and say if you're pulling a trailer, forget it -- not because it's not possible, but because you won't be able to miss the manure, and the hoofprints will shake your kid mercilessly. If you're on mountain bikes yourself, go ahead, but you'll rattle like you're at Pinckney or Island Lake, only without the fun terrain.

It's definitely not a multi-use trail. It doesn't need to be paved to be usable by hikers, runners or cyclists, and the area is very pretty, but it ought to be clearly marked as equestrian-only, as they've wrecked it for everyone else."

"Unpaved, crushed stone/gravel trails like these are great for offroad running and biking. There are plenty of roads and paved trails for biking so I say this one is beautiful as it is, unpaved."

"I rode this trail along with a dozen friends on December 29. We had a wonderful time. The trail is in good all weather condition. It would be nice if snowmobiles weren't allowed on the trail, though. "

I tried the trail on 7/13 on a cross bike starting in Stockbridge. I made it about 3 miles past Gregory then gave up and turned around. Trail surface is loose sand and horse manure. No milepost markers.

"This trail is NOT suitable for any bike riding unless you are on a full suspension mountain bike. This trail is definetly NOT suitable foe wheelchairs, baby strollers or bike trailers. This trail is essentially a horse trail and not a multi-use trail.

The DNR has promised to pave this trail for the last EIGHT years. But local opposition by equisterian clubs, developers and the inept DNR management has foiled any planned paving of this trail.

You can walk it, run it (watch out for the road apples) and take your horse, atv, dirt bike, snowmibile down it. Riding a bike wouldn't be very bright."

"Pretty trail; however, recommend mountain bikes only. Soft slag surface is very loose (particularly in the couple-mile stretch east of Gregory). Soft surface and bumps require your full attention on the surface ahead, allowing few opportunities to enjoy the surrounding scenery. My party of 5 bikers won't be returning unless some sort of clay/dirt composite is added to firm up the surface. We gutted out the entire roundtrip course, but saw many bikers bailing for the hard surface highway that loosely parallels the trail."

"I rode the trail on 5\5\01 from Stockbridge to Gregory. The trail surroundings are just beautiful, couldn't be prettier. This is a perfect trail for walking and jogging/running. I was riding my bike and found it a little difficult to ride in many areas because of the loose gravel, that's why I only rode part of the trail. It's easy to drive right by the Stockbridge parking lot. I did, but thankfully I realized it right away. The lot is only marked by a small brown sign. "

This trail was challenging to ride due to the often deep gravel surface in many places. Not for road bikes!!!! Good scenery and some nice restaurants in Gregory and Stockbridge.

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