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Great trail in SE Michigan. We did part of this trail this past weekend as a two day, one night hike. The bugs were not noticeable during the day. We did need to cover up while hanging out at camp though. Barely anyone on the trail although it was a beautiful weekend. Pines campground doesn't allow fires so we chose to spend our one night at Green Lake. We were pleased with our choice. Definitely want to check out this trail again soon.

This is a great trail. I brought my 9 year old son who’s a 21st century digital boy. Definitely didn’t do the complete 17 miles but with the shortcuts and a few other tricks we made it out and had a great time. Both crooked lake and blind lake campsites are nice. And I loved the water pumps. We still used a sawyer water filter because ya never know. Mosquitos weren’t too bad but that’s probably because haven’t had rain in a week or so. We did have to move aside for about 15 mountain bikers along the way but we could always see them coming. I highly recommend this beautiful trail.

Easy and beautiful hiking! Nice rolling hills.

Great trail. Considering what we have in southeast Michigan, this trail is a gem. On the Waterloo side, you have rugged trails that are hiking only, filled with good vegetation. That turns into horse trails, so look out for dung. Camped at the pines, which was just fantastic, and then booked it from the pines to blind lake the second day. This was my eighth night I’ve spent at blind lake. It’s a great campsite, with the exception of glampers getting dropped off with acoustic guitars this time. After blind lake, you have a pretty busy mountain biking trail and a short hike out.

Over all, I highly recommend this hike for late spring and all of fall. The insects would be pretty bad in the late summer, and the heat and mugginess make it a little unbearable.

Thank you note to the park rangers who they went of their way to come in and help evacuate one of my friend hiker when she felt sick . I lead hike every weekend almost on this trail. It is one of the most amazing trail in the area .

This is a harder “moderate trail. Lots of climbs and sharp turns to keep you on your toes and out of your seat.

hiking
21 days ago

Great trails and a ton of fun

the trails are a good excersize. but if you camp, there are weird howeling noises at night along the trails for hours. probably dogs? i barely slept, thinking of Bigfoot.

mountain biking
1 month ago

great mix of forest & fields. awesome boardwalks and lots of flowly single track.

Great hike. Bring bug spray.

You have to pay. Sorry, nature walking is free.

Did the Penosha and Kahchin trails a couple days ago. Well marked, get paper maps at the gate. All trails start off the parking lot at Bishop Lake. Very few bugs on the day I went, using a basic low-Deet bugspray. Looks like the previously eroded areas others mentioned have been reinforced with rubber [recycled tires?] gradations to prevent future erosion. Saw a few people on the Penosha nearer to the far parking area, but otherwise it was quiet. Great hike in a wooded area. There is a paved half-loop around Bishop Lake that was very scenic. Swimming area at the lake if you plan to cool off afterwards.

Good hike! A lot of sites to see, also a nice lake in the area. Will visit again!

2 months ago

Holy mosquitoes and bad directions. Nice terrain though.

hiking
2 months ago

Completed the full 17+ mile loop a few weeks back. Well marked and the trail was very well-maintained. The campsites partway through were nice to stop at for a water resupply. Would rate the trail as challenging due to the numerous hills, but definitely doable. Some beautiful views along the way, though the mosquitoes made it so that our stops were very limited and short-lived. Would highly recommend, just bring some bug spray with you and be sure to dip your tired feet in the lake afterwards.

Be prepared for Defcon 5-level mosquitoes. Much of the Waterloo side is covered in horse excrement, and the horses also do a pretty good job of tearing up the trail, so parts of it will feel like walking through sand. The Pinckney side has much higher quality trails, both in terms of scenery and trail maintenance. Ran into one person on the trail while hiking during weekdays.

Itinerary: Portage Lake trailhead > Pines campground > Green Lake Campground > Silver Lake. Around 10-11 miles each day for a 3 day/2 night sprint.

Be aware that Green Lake campground is a drive in campsite and there may be plenty of people on the weekends, so try to arrive early as you cannot reserve in advance and must self-register (bring cash, $17).

Pines DOES have water about 1/4 mile north - there is a water spigot near the gate to the stable area.

Green Lake also has a water pump.

Just remember to permethrin your gear, wear deet, and wear long sleeve shirts/pants.

backpacking
3 months ago

A friend and I did a modified version of this trail and we found it to be great! Trails were marked well, everything was well maintained, and the campsites were clean and beautiful. I did get some bites from mosquitoes but a little 100% deet kept them at bay. Just don’t stay out past dark! Would definitely recommend!

backpacking
3 months ago

Its not a difficult trail but it is a hard trail, that is VERY BUGGY, there is no relief from the mosquitos, the campsites for backpackers are a little tight but they are nice. Again they are not bug free, and it seems like bug spray is like ringing a dinner bell. The hand pump for water at the campsites is however a great bonus, its ice cold, and no it does not have a funky taste. It is definitely challenging, but a good beginner trail for the hobby if the biters slack off later in the season. The 3 stars are because of the bugs.

backpacking
3 months ago

Good trail for beginners, started at silver lake (marker 1) headed to blind lake camp ground using the shortcut. Camp grounds were nice and clean, but the vault toilet needed a little attention. The addition of having a water pump at site is always great. Finished the loop the next day heading to markers 12, 4, 3, 2, 1. I think the total loop was around 11 miles. All in all great little weekend trip. Mosquitos were the worst I have ever experienced. All staff we ran into were friendly and welcoming.

on Potawatomi Trail

backpacking
3 months ago

Great beginner backpacking route. Our family (kids age 8, 7, 3) completed the short cut version of this trail over Memorial weekend, this was our kid's first time backpacking. We parked at the Silver Lake trailhead and hiked in to Crooked Lake campground for night 1. Used the shortcut to hike to Blind Lake for night 2. Hiked out past the stone fireplace since we were all ready to escape the still, humid air in the thick woods! We crossed paths with many bikers- most were very courteous. The campgrounds were ok- the pit toilets were in serious need of emptying and cleaning as the ammonia was throat burning (I've used pit toilets in many places-these were the worst I've seen). I had to clean up a handful of glass shards from our Blind Lake site before setting up camp. Also, be sure you have reservations for camping- the rangers were active in checking permits at Blind Lake. We watched some unfortunate soul be asked to leave after a long talk with the staff. The trail itself was great! Well maintained and mostly well marked- marker 10 made us stop and think for a minute though! The trail is challenging- but my 3 year old made it (he hiked most of it on his two feet, he freeloaded rides from mom and dad on occasion). I gave this four stars because, gross camp toilets.

Great trail for being so close to home. Much more elevation than you would expect so it's good for a long weekend backpacking hike and training. I did about 15 miles a day for the first two days. I ended up doing about 38 miles when I included hikes to water and camp sites. A good number of water spots on the first half to filter from. However it seems to become more rare after that. Passed two small groups of horseback riders. If you are in a closed in space simply step off the trail and say hello or anything to announce your presence so as to not spook the animals. I think they are mostly used to it but it's just good practice.

Mountain Biking

Great trail, well groomed!

Thought this would be a good place to walk my dog, we enjoy longer trails, however dogs were not allowed on trails. We went anyway, but will probably not go again because directions are extremely confusing.

hiking
5 months ago

Awesome trail. Low traffic.

5 months ago

Beautiful trail to hike .

This app says dogs are allowed on the trail - there is a very small area for dogs, however, it is not on the trail.

Great trails! More importantly though were the clean, roomy and stocked pit toilets and the discovery center has water. I enjoyed following the blue arrow trail markers and will definitely return.

trail running
7 months ago

Excellent running trail, I didn’t encounter any bikes but there was still a decent amount of snow on the ground. This is the only place to train for the Hell 50 mile ultra marathon because other trails in the area aren’t nearly as challenging.

Hiked from Discovery Center to N. Territorial. Lots of elevation and demands endurance. Hiked it with a buddy in wet snow. Definitely pounded my legs.

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