“A classic SE Michigan loop that makes for a beautiful run.”
— Dylan Graves
Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife
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).
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 running in the same direction as the bikers.
This is a great trail run. The rocks and roots are definitely there, but you can avoid these pretty easily.
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 Trail Run 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 run. 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 run, too!
Flora & Fauna
Typical recovering Michigan deciduous forest, with maples, oaks and hickories dominating. Some pines as well.