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Potawatomi Trail

 4.6 (29)

Length


17.5 Miles 28.1 Kilometers


787' 240 m

Ascent

-783' -239 m

Descent

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

9%

Max Grade (5°)

995' 303 m

High

883' 269 m

Low

Conditions


All Clear 95 days ago
Mostly Dry, Some Mud History

Getting forecast...

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

Dylan Graves

Dogs Leashed

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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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Aug 15, 2018
Laura Wahamaki
Aug 10, 2018
Fla Di Stefano
Perfect first backpacking trip. Stayed at Blind Lake overnight, we took the Silver Lake Trail shortcut. 16mi
Jul 14, 2018
Danny Ribble
11mi
Jul 4, 2018
Jordan D
12mi
Jun 17, 2018
Duncan K
Jun 16, 2018
Duncan K
14mi
May 26, 2018
Paolo Forchielli
lots of bugs, got blisters on both heels 17.5mi
May 6, 2018
Katie Wren-Keyandwy
Took two shortcuts, rested a couple of times, gave our pup water, took some photos, took our time. It was great! 12.5mi

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 29 votes

#151

Overall
  4.6 from 29 votes
5 Star
62%
4 Star
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3 Star
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Rankings

#1

in Michigan

#151

Overall
314 Views Last Month
11,491 Since May 16, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate

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