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blue Potawatomi Trail

  4.6 ( 35 ) Favorite

Trail

17.5 mile 28.1 kilometer point to point
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 787' 240 m
Descent: -783' -239 m
High: 995' 303 m
Low: 883' 269 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Map Key

A classic SE Michigan loop that makes for a beautiful hike.

Dylan Graves

Features Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife

Family Friendly It's a long loop, but if you just want to take this in sections, the terrain is pretty easy for dogs, families, etc.

No camping along the trail except at the Blind Lake backpacker campground. Use caution during hunting season even though there are no closure dates or anything like that. The trail just closes whenever the park does (typically between dusk and dawn).

Overview

The Potawatomi Trail is a real classic in Southeast Michigan, one of the longest and oldest loops in the area. A lot of mountain bikers use it, but it is still pedestrian friendly. I'd suggest going counter-clockwise in order to avoid hiking in the same direction as the bikers.

Description

The trailhead is pretty hard to miss, just before the large parking lot at the Silver Lake swimming access. Once on the trail, you'll immediately ascend a small hill and cross a road. At the first junction, keep left (right takes you along the Silver Lake Trail).

All the other junctions are pretty hard to get confused. The trail is well-marked, with distance markers every quarter mile or so. Use the Hiking Project mobile app if you're confused. You can also shave off a little less than five miles if you take the Potawatomi Shortcut Trail north of Halfmoon Lake.

It is a very scenic trail with lots of views and variety. It is rolling through glacial hills and moraines, and there are some obvious eskers and erratics throughout the hike. There are lots of lakes and some streams as well. All water crossings have wooden bridges across them, so you shouldn't get wet, unless it is a particularly muddy time of year. It makes for a great winter hike, too!

Flora & Fauna

Typical recovering Michigan deciduous forest, with maples, oaks and hickories dominating. Some pines as well.

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Check-Ins

Jun 16, 2019
Ryan Delp
Jun 1, 2019
Victor Rebella
May 25, 2019
Christopher Bibbs
May 19, 2019
Adam Fuchs
We did it in 24 hours! Camp ground is awesome :) 17.5mi
May 18, 2019
Victor Rebella
17.5mi
May 17, 2019
Adam Fuchs
Apr 19, 2019
John Decirce
Did a over night hike of the trail staying at blind lake. Very nice trail with changes in vegetation from fur trees to many others. 12mi
Apr 13, 2019
Jeff Bock
Awesome overnighter, do the whole thing! 7mi

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 35 votes

#154

Overall
  4.6 from 35 votes
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#1

in Michigan

#154

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14,377 Since May 16, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate

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