Potawatomi Trail

MODERATE 222 reviews
#1 of 13 trails in

Potawatomi Trail is a 17.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Pinckney, Michigan that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 17.4 miles Elevation Gain: 1,207 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

cross country skiing

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

snowshoeing

bike touring

running

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Pinckney Recreation Area: (734) 426-4913

hiking
3 days ago

Great conditions. Lots of bikers due to an event but that is to be expected on this trail. Good route if you’re staying at Blind Lake and want a short exit.

hiking
4 days ago

Nice trail! Backpacked in 11 miles and camped at Blind Lake and hiked the remaining 7 miles the next day. A lot of incline on the way out. Enjoyed the scenery, boardwalks over marsh land, and bridges over the lakes. Would definitely do it again!

running
bugs
muddy
9 days ago

loved every minute ❤️

hiking
15 days ago

Nice Michigan trail. If hiking in mid summer, be sure to wear appropriate insect repellent . Terrain was pretty consistent and had good footing.

hiking
rocky
18 days ago

hiking
bugs
29 days ago

Good trail all together. Just did all 17.4 today 20190819 for my best friends birthday. The first 12 miles were good but that last few were killer. Not really hard just draining us from the heat and such. Great time though!

hiking
1 month ago

Busy Saturday morning. Lots of traffic. Didn’t even attempt dogs off-leash due to traffic. But it’s a great trail!

hiking
1 month ago

Long one... We did 12.6 miles 1-12 then 4-7 great shade and breeze on a walk warm summer day in July. Definitely the most courteous bikers ever, although a bunch of them. Pereft trail conditions with views and wildlife. Go bathe in this forest!

running
2 months ago

walking
3 months ago

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Not the most scenic trail but decent if you want to get in some miles in a rustic setting. Wooded, fairly flat hiking with no real payoff isn't really my thing, but I know a lot of people enjoy it. Lots of bikers and bugs.

backpacking
4 months ago

I backpacked the Potawatomi (Poto), camping overnight at the beautiful Blind Lake campground on a Wednesday/Thursday hike. The trail was in excellent shape, despite recent heavy rain and it being early spring. There was one large tree down across the trail about 1/2-mile after you cross Doyle Rd (in the biker direction of travel), up at the northernmost part of the trail; if you don't want to lift your bike over it, skip the part north of Doyle and use Doyle as a shortcut. I expect it will be gone in a few days anyway. The section running north past Gosling Lake was a pit - trash and litter strewn everywhere, including dozens of shotgun shells from someone shooting at the Gosling Lake boat launch. Elsewhere, spring ephemerals are in bloom all along the trail. I saw two MTB riders early Weds (I hit the trail at 9:30am), a few more later in the day, maybe three trail runners. Saw several more MTBs go by later while at Blind Lake. Blind Lake is wonderful (vault toilet, but with TP and hand sanitizer), the pump water is tasty. the views excellent. Four of the campsites were eventually occupied, everyone was quiet, all were backpackers. On Thursday morning hike out from Blind Lake back to Silver Lake, saw a couple more trail runners, maybe 5 MTBs. My pictures are geo-tagged on my 4/24/19 track. Higher-resolution versions and quite a few additional shots are at https://johnmetzler.smugmug.com/Parks/Pinckney-State-Recreation-Area/Potawatomi-full-loop-overnight/.

hiking
bugs
4 months ago

5 months ago

I was not looking forward to sharing the trail with bikers, but it really wasnt bad. Everyone joyfully respects this great place to explore. 18ml not your thing? There are many loops within this one. Try one, try them all. Really enjoy this whole area. Go Blue!

hiking
5 months ago

Great day for the Hiland Lake loop 6.4 miles, be sure to watch out for mountain bikers. Best to hike in the opposite direction as the bikers helps to see them coming. Some good elevations, highly recommended.

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail and perfect time to hike. Took a wrong turn and ended up off the trail so actually hiked 19miles.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike today! Trails are a bit slick but yack tracks help a ton. Hiked with our 19, 22, and 24 year old children as well as our 1 year old golden doodle. Everyone had a great time. Not much traffic today.

10 months ago

great trail. watch out for the bikers

running
10 months ago

I have ran the trail a couple times and really enjoy it, the most difficult trail you will find in southeastern Michigan. Mountain bikes travel in the opposite direction, so you have to keep your eye out for them. I try to get out there early, but still come across a dozen bikers on the weekend.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

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.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Easy and beautiful hiking! Nice rolling hills.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

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 .

hiking
Saturday, September 01, 2018

Great trails and a ton of fun

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

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.

hiking
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

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.

backpacking
Monday, June 11, 2018

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
Thursday, May 31, 2018

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
Thursday, May 31, 2018

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.

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