This singletrack trail is a challenging, scenic route for hikers and bikers, alike.

The Potawatomi Trail passes over hills and by lakes, with sometimes sandy terrain and exposed roots to make for a technical challenge. Both hikers and bikers use this track. Mountain bikers describe the route as fast and flowing, with decent elevation change.

Photo Credit: Peter Morville

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Biking gear
  • Water
  • Sun protection
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RT Distance 17.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 1208 Feet
Activities Mountain Biking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Features
Dog Friendly
Forest
Lake

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great, short overnighter

I was really impressed with the scenery for being only ~1 hour from home near Detroit. You won't be getting any breathtaking views but there are plenty of lakes and a few creeks that make for some nice spots. Seems like this would be a great trail for beginners, as you're never too far from your car and the terrain is only challenging in a few areas. My only real complaint is that it was super busy. I started at about 4:30 on a Monday afternoon and saw a bunch of bikers. Only a few other hikers but I was running into a biker once every ~10 min for a couple hours at one point. Long story short: I wouldn't be going here if I had an entire weekend to spend, but it was a great hike for the quick overnight that I had time for.

October Camping

A friend and I camped at Crooked Lake and hiked a portion of the crooked lake trail (total trail is 5.4) and a chunk of The Poto trail, putting us at 13 miles total. A fair amount of mountain bikers and more foot traffic than I expected. Camp site was full both nights even for mid October. If you're looking for peace and quiet, I push to later in the season or during the week. Beautiful trail thou. Lots of hidden lakes and bridges. Water pumps at the Crooked Lake and Blind Lake camp sites.

Backpacking the Potawatomi Trail

If you are in lower Michigan and are itchin for a nearby backpacking trip then this is it. The trail has several hills and passes by and over many inland lakes. I backpacked to the Blind Lake rustic camp site. It's not a good place to go if you are trying to get away from civilization as the lake has a lot of boating traffic. Late Fall and Winter backpacking would be the only time I would go.


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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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