Group
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About Pinckney-Blind Lake Rustic (hike-in)

The Blind lake rustic campground is accessible only by hiking or biking a minimum of 7 miles (one way) on the Potawatormi Trail. Campfires are prohibited; back-pack stoves only.

Operator
State
Access
Walk In
Hike In
Boat In
Features
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Reservable
Toilets
Trash Available
Location
Pinckney-Blind Lake Rustic (hike-in) is located in Michigan
Latitude
42.4191 N
Longitude
-84.0205 W
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14 Reviews of Pinckney-Blind Lake Rustic (hike-in)
Rustic, beautiful views

We got lucky with our site right on the water and the temperature was nice and cool so we did not have to deal with any bugs. We hiked right in and setup camp. This place only allows camping for one night as it's considered a pass-through campground. There is a decently clean outhouse(it appears to be cleaned daily by DNR staff), and each site has its own fire pit. The views are wonderful and the surrounding sites appeared to be enjoying themselves as well. Our site, B6, was equipped with a table, bench, and a fire pit. From what I could tell no other sites had a bench; fire pit and table only. We found another place to park which allowed us to cut down on our hike time because I was not about that 4 miles+ life. Our hike was maybe 15, 20 minutes tops. If staying on the water is not your jam, there were places at a higher elevation to try. There is also a fresh water pump. No electricity. You must hunt for the wood you want to burn in the pit. No ground fires. A great time!

Great place to go

This is lovely place to try out when your short on time. You can try out your new gear or just enjoy being outside. Very easy to get to and if you want to camp overnight you can buy a permit online super easy. This place is open year-round.

Flat sites, water, toilet, hike/boat in

Absolutely beautiful hiking area. Nice place to camp right on the lake. It's a 7 mile hike in(can also be accessed via boat), part of the Potowatomi loop trail(~18 miles) located in Waterloo-Pinckney recreation area. This place is filled with all sorts of mushrooms, never seen that many different species in one place. Parking for trailhead is at silver lake, be cautious as trail is primarily used for mountain biking. Be sure to walk counter-clockwise if walking the full loop trail, so that you see them coming. Not a big deal, fairly easy to step out of the way quickly. Lots of wildlife and a good bit of elevation change and 2 sections that can be skipped via shortcut if not up for the full 18 miles. Great views and lots of biodiversity, was surprised at how many different landscapes it seems you move through in such a short distance!

Great rustic camp site

Great location. The view of the lake is stunning. I really like having a campsite where you don't have to worry about setting up your tent next to a motor home. 

One potential issue is that every campsite has at least one other site that it is very close. If you have considerate neighbors like we did, it's a dream. If you are unlucky, you get the campers who get drunk and rowdy until 2am.

Perfectly peaceful

This is a rustic campground right on beautiful blind lake. It is only accessible by foot/bike/or boat. The hike/bike is about 7 miles or 4 (depending on where you park). The paddle in works out to be about 2.5 miles from the Halfmoon boat launch. The campground is simple. Vault toilet, water pump, and a fire ring, nothing too crazy. It is however very quiet and relaxing due to the fact it is not easily accessible. You have to reserve ahead of time and there is a one night maximum stay too. Kinda weird, but those are the rules. I would recommend this place to anyone looking for a quiet night on the water.

Hidden gem

Such a cool little backcountry campground. You can hike or paddle in, no car access. The hike can be done a few different ways with the shortest being around 4 miles. We opted for the longer one which was about 7 and it was beautiful. The campground has picnic tables, fire rings, and pit toilets. Limited cell service.

A great hike or bike in rustic campground on the Potawatomi Trail

Ranger Review: INNO INH120 Tire Hold Bike Rack at Blind Lake Campground, MI

Campground Review:

Blind Lake rustic campground is located off of the very popular Potawatomi Trail, making this campground accessible only by hiking or biking in.  Blind Lake campground is part of the Pinckney Recreation area which is located just about 30 minutes outside of Ann Arbor, MI.

Most hikers and bikers start their trek at the Silver Lake day use area where the main hiking and biking trailhead is located.  From this trailhead the Blind Lake campground is about 7 miles in on the 17.5 mile Potawatomi Trail. A vehicle permit ($6) or annual Michigan State Parks permit ($10) is required to enter. The Area Headquarters (734-426-4913) is located at the Silver Lake day use area where campers must purchase their campsite before heading out on the trail ($17).  The headquarters is also where you can purchase a vehicle permit or annual Michigan State Parks permit. The park is open all year, making the Blind Lake campground a popular stop for hikers in the winter.

Blind Lake campground has a total of 10 sites, all very close to the water.  There is one vault toilet and a trash bin. There is a hand pump well in the campground for clean drinking water.  Each site has a large picnic table and a modern fire ring. Firewood can be scarce as the nearby woods have been picked pretty clean and carrying firewood into the campground is a lot of extra weight!

All of the sites at Blind Lake campground have lots of shade and are large enough for a couple of tents on each site.  During the nice summer days there will be lots of hiking and biking traffic through the campground as the Potawatomi Trail runs directly through it.  Many stop to take a break at the campground and have a look at the beautiful lake.

Serious hikers can connect the Potawatomi Trail to the Waterloo-Pinckney Hiking trail to bring their total trip to over 35 miles of back country hiking.  The Potawatomi Trail features numerous loops for any skill level. The shortest loop is the Silver Lake Trail at 1.9 miles. Next, the Crooked Lake Trail at 5.1 miles.  Or the full Potawatomi Trail at 17.5 miles.

Overall, I enjoyed my stay here at Blind Lake campground and I would return.  I was only one of two campers there and it was quiet at night. During the day you do hear the hikers and bikers going by on the trail so it isn’t completely isolated from the “real world”.  The Dyrt campground review is available on YouTube at the following LINK.

Click HERE for a printable trail map of the area.  For further details check out the following link HERE, which includes amenities, trail guides, hours & fees, directions and more.

Product Review:

As a Ranger for the Dyrt, I sometimes get to test and evaluate new products.  At Blind Lake campground I tested the INNO INH120 Tire Hold Bike Rack.  This bike rack holds up to two bikes and plugs into your vehicle’s receiver hitch.

The INNO INH120 is a tray style bike rack, making it ideal for expensive carbon bikes.  The rack uses arms to hold down the wheels and not the frame of the bike, keeping your paint from getting scratched up.  The bike rack works with either a 1-¼” or 2” receiver. My truck is a heavy-duty and comes with the 2-½: receiver. I used an adapter and the bike rack worked just fine.

The INH120 bike rack can hold two bikes with a maximum total weight of 120 lbs.  The bike rack fits bikes with wheel bases from 34” to 48”, so it works with kids and adult sized bikes.  The bike needs to have a minimum of 20” wheels to a maximum of 29” wheels to be held down properly. Tires sizes from 18c to 3” wide fit in the trays.  This covers almost all bikes and makes it very handy to use with the family.

The rack comes neatly packed and requires some assembly.  The assembly is straightforward and only took about 30 minutes, even while trying to film the process for a video.  Spare parts are available from INNO if something were to break. The rack felt very sturdy and well built and felt comparable to other racks I’ve used from Thule and Yakima.

Once put together I tested out the INH120 bike rack with my fatbike that is running 29+ sized tires.  The 29” wheels are 3” wide and fit nicely into the tray of the rack. I did remove the plastic adjustable wheel clamps on the arm of the rack.  This allowed me to have the arms more vertical and provided a better hold on my large tires. These plastic wheel clamps are what you move inside the arms to adjust for different size bike wheels.  It only takes a second to unclip the clamps are adjust for different bikes.

What is also nice is the bike rack has 4 different positions it can tilt, allowing easy access into the back of your vehicle.  One of the positions is vertical so you can keep it on the vehicle while not in use, but not have it hanging off the back and making your vehicle longer.

The INH120 bike rack also included a cable to lock the rack to your vehicle.  This cable can be used to loop through the frame of your bike to lock it to the rack as well.  I require this feature on a bike rack because all too often bikes are stolen when you make a quick stop for food or to run into a store.

An unboxing and assembly video for the INH120 bike rack is available to view HERE.  

A quick video demonstrating how easy it is to load and unload your bikes from the INH120 bike rack is available to view HERE.

Blind Lake

We hiked into the blind lake campground and stayed one night. The campsites were very clean and the put toilets were clean. We really appreciated having a water pump near our campsite.

Great backpacking site an hour away from Detroit

Hiked the complete potawatomi trail (18 miles) great site for lakeview but #3 looked to be the best with swimming access. Heard the party at the lake house across the lake but wasn't too bad, just not the Backcountry experience. Trail was very well maintained however keep your head up as there are many mountain bikes on the trail. Great place to train and get your trail legs as well as test out new gear. Overall great place near home.

Couldn’t find it!!!

I hiked the Potawatomi trail this weekend to get to my reservation site #2 on Blind Lake. I started at trailhead #2 instead of #7 because the ranger explained it really fast and I didn’t quite understand the two starting options. I did take the shortcut which gives you a 7mi hike in, though if you start at #7 I think that makes it a little less but by how much I couldn’t say. If you do the full trail loop without the shortcut to #11 you’re adding on at least 2.5mi.

I started a bit late and when you get to the end of the trail at #12 there’s no further directions. There’s even a trail marker that has an arrow pointing the way you just came saying Trail. No other indications of which way to #12. You cross Crescent Rd and then there’s a dirt path road which one end loops back to Cresent Dr and because for whatever reason I thought I had it wrong I didn’t try the other way on the road. For an hour as it’s raining and getting dark I looked and even called the ranger but they were closed. I hiked up Cresent Rd and knocked on the first house I saw but they ignored me after several attempts!!! At this point it was dark as pitch and raining super hard with lightning. So I made camp right next to someone’s boat slip.

Next day I found out the camp was on the path I didn’t take on that dirt road but I kept walking so much and didn’t see anything that it made me feel like it was the wrong way.

So not a great trip, but I did get my rustic experience having only lake water and no toilet - oh yeah I totally went in someone’s backyard. Not relaxing at all though, lol. I give 3 stars because as a newbie I think the trails are well marked but not the ends. If they had one more marker for 12 i would’ve made it. If they had one more marker or arrow for #10 i would’ve found the water pump by the Yurts.

Lesson learned though- often what’s on the map is a lot further than you think so keep walking till you think you’re going the wrong way then walk a bit more. Second, totally start out early so you’re not caught in a rain storm at 9pm trying to pitch a tent next to someone’s boat house.