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.
Ranger Review: INNO INH120 Tire Hold Bike Rack at Blind Lake Campground, MI
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The lake was amazing to swim at night..must to it
7 mile Hike in only on a beautiful lake! Have not had a chance to camp out there yet. Took a hike in to check it out.
Camp ground is located along the Potawatomi Trail in Pinckney Recreation area. Bikers head the opposite direction from hikers. The route I followed was about 8 miles in to Blind Lake. There is a 2.5 mile section I was told can be wet that you can easily s kip by following Patterson Road for a short distance to rejoin the trail. Trail was in great condition and is well marked with numbered posts. Reservations can be made ahead for 1 of the 10 sites at Blind Lake. I had campsite 3, which is right on the lake. Sites 4, 5, 6 and 7 are right along the trail. Avoid 1 and 2 which are narrow, gravelly and at the top of the hill. Each site has new picnic tables, a fire ring and access to a new vault toilet. There is a hand pump for water, too. I took a 5 mile route out, following post 4 and then 5. Both days contained some hills for challenge, scenic areas and bridges across streams. Entry/exit parking lot has a vault toilet and hand pump water. Campsite fee is $17 if done at the Ranger Headquarters. Advance reservations have an additional $8 fee.
Hiked in here after work on a Monday, 7 mile minimum if you start at silver lake and take the shortcut. Not very secluded, but a nice spot on the lake still. Saw a lot of mountain bikers and there are some houses on the lake so there was some boat traffic as well.
The campground itself is nice, with an outhouse, water spigot, and a trash can so you won't need to pack out everything if you stay here.
Great place to stay for an overnight hike.