Potawatomi Trail

HARD 176 reviews

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

17.4 miles
1,187 feet

dogs on leash



cross country skiing


mountain biking

nature trips

road biking

trail running







wild flowers


If you enjoy a peaceful trail run with very little traffic, this is the place to be! You will find hikers in the summer months and a few mountain bikers, but this challenging loop offers great outdoor fun all year round.

21 days 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.

1 month 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!

1 month 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.

1 month 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.

1 month 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.

2 months ago

Mountain Biking

2 months ago

Awesome trail. Low traffic.

3 months ago

Beautiful trail to hike .

trail running
5 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.

trail running
8 months ago

Great running conditions, brought our dogs for the loop. There's a good amount of mountain biking, so keep an eye up ahead of you and your animals close on leashes. The hills are rolling, beautiful landscape, super pretty in the fall! Definitely need to get back and mountain bike there.

Oh, and there are spigots for water and bathrooms!! Well marked trails. A+

8 months ago

Beautiful trail I hiked their 3 times

mountain biking
9 months ago

Beautiful trail that will kick your butt. Well worth the effort.

10 months ago

Difficult. Really.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

spent 4 days here this weekend. it is beautiful and nice trails. people need to learn what poison ivy looks like before they report it to be everywhere. poison ivy has 3 leaves and a hairy vine. i didn't see any poison ivy. definitely going back soon!!!

Sunday, June 04, 2017

I did the ~11 mile loop on a Saturday. The trail is well marked and easy to follow. It is a quite a bit hilly but the inclines were gradual. The bikers were all nice but there were many of them. As others have mentioned, be careful when stepping to the side as there is a lot of poison ivy.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Backpacked this trail over Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday into Sunday. This was my FIRST backpacking trip ever. Hiked the 7 miles into Blind Lake camp from HQ, using the shortcut. The DNR map is not very helpful, we were confused a couple of times so we ended up using GPS on our phone to double check where we where. The water source on the shortcut is a down the road a little bit by the Yurt camping. For Blind Lake being a hike in campground, it was busier than I expected. Then I realized with the road being nearby, many people just got dropped off close to the camp and "hiked" the 200 yards to their campsite. Kids, wagons, lacrosse sticks.. etc. The lake was also more active than I anticipated for a hike-in, jet skis and loud boats.. but it was Memorial Day Weekend. Everyone was very nice, including the bikers, trail runners and people with dogs. We opted to stand on side when they came by, lots of poison ivy.. just a warning. The next morning we hiked out using the shortcut by the stone fireplace. Our phone gave out so we didn't get a full map of the route, but another hiker mapped it at around 11.1 miles using both of these shortcuts. As a first time backpacker, this was a tough trail, lots of hills.. but my sister and I are VERY stubborn so we finished. I have a new love of hiking sticks, I learned they can be very helpful. We averaged just under 2 mph for the hike, and we definitely want to go back and hike more of the trails as day hikes.

Monday, May 29, 2017

We went Saturday morning thru Sunday early afternoon on Memorial Day Weekend. We hiked full 18 miles but ran out of battery on phone so could record whole trek. Lots of Mountain bikers.

trail running
Monday, April 24, 2017

Good place for trail running. Soft ground. Long trail. Moderate inclines and declines. There are also a lot of BBQ racks on the lake shore. So in warm weather, it would be nice to enjoy some BBQ after a hard run.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Great place to train if you're going on a hike somewhere west or up north!!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Great trail - diverse landscape and challenging terrain. I hiked it all today and my distance tracker showed 20 miles, possibly due to taking other bits of connecting trails. I hiked this in mid February and it was quite icy and wet. I'm excited to see how the trail is late spring.

I found keeping on the Patoawatomi a bit confusing at times because while most intersections have signage, the distance you travel at some points between signs is miles and there are countless off-trails and shore trails. Nevertheless, if hiking, just look out for cyclists and step aside when they are coming through and it should be a great day hike.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Can you do an over night trip here? Pitch a tent for the night like now in December? Would like to do an over nighter.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Great trails! A lot of elevation changes, footing can be a little treacherous in a few places with rocks and roots. Only downside is not the trail itself, but bike riders coming in the opposite direction not always paying attention to trail traffic.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Amazing hiking trail would be 5 stars but the mountain bikes come out of nowhere at speed and have no regard for people on the trail.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

I day hiked the 17.7 mile loop on Sunday, 14th of August, going counter-clock , as the bikers go clockwise. There were very few hikers, but lots of bikers.
The good:
- It’s a loop! You can park at different locations, and get back (I started at Hankerd Rd)
- Nice shade - mostly through woods and some lake banks. Not muddy, as it has sandy soil.
- Moderate workout (not recommended the whole hike in a day for beginners)
- Has a nice backcountry camping site near Blind lake (you can take a swim there during summer); sites can be reserved and paid online. https://www.midnrreservations.com/PinckneyRecreationArea%2fBlindLake%3fList

The not so good:
- Lots of poison ivy an trail sides (wear long pants, or long socks);
- Too many bikers share the trail make and it easy to get into a collision… probably during the week is somewhat different.

mountain biking
Saturday, August 06, 2016

Killer trail. Lots of roots and drop offs. Definitely a challenge but very very fun.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Great hike. Rustic trail makes it more like a walk through the woods thanks cultivated park. Shared trail with a few mountain bikers. Suggest biker add bells to warn hikers they're coming.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Fairly challenging and a lot of bike traffic. Had fun overall though and the walk-in rustic camp was nice.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The trail itself is very well maintained, and there were very few areas blocked by overgrowth or fallen trees. There are a lot of lakes that make for very nice scenery, and if you pack accordingly, you could go off trail to swim. Bikers are traveling in the opposite direction of hikers, and flyby very fast sometimes. Blazes are sporadic, and mile markers not present, but it's fine. All in all, a very nice trail for hiking.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Very poorly marked trail. You would think that with as many people who have complained about this, corrections would be made, I won't be back.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

We backpacked from the trailhead into Blind Lake campground and had a blast. It is challenging trail to say the least. Lots of hills, several are quite large and difficult. It's about a 7 mile hike into Blind Lake (if you take the shortcut like we did) and about 4.5 mile hike back out. Our campsite was rusticly gorgeous. I will do this again after I lighten the load in my pack.

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