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Established Camping

Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area

About

State Park

From the website:

The Blind Lake Rustic Campground is located about halfway along the 17-mile Potawatomi Trail in Pinckney Recreation Area. It's a looped trail so hikers can enjoy miles and miles of scenery (without an out-and-back). There are 10 campsites outfitted with a vault toilet, hand-pump water access and fire rings. Only dead and downed timber are to be used for firewood.

You must check in at the park office on the day of your reservation. Camping is only allowed for one-night stays.

Reservation Info

Reservations are encouraged and are taken by phone (734-426-4913) or online at MiDNRReservations.com.

Day-of arrivals are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Location

Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area is located in Michigan

Detail location of campground

Coordinates

42.41226801983146 N
84.01989824573218 W

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Access

  • Walk-In
    Park in a lot, walk to your site.
  • Hike-In
    Backcountry sites.
  • Boat-In
    Sites accessible by watercraft.

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
    Available
  • Verizon
    Good
  • AT&T
    Unknown
  • T-Mobile
    Available

Site Types

  • Tent Sites
  • Dispersed
  • Group
  • Tent Cabin

Features

For Campers

  • Trash
  • Picnic Table
  • Firewood Available
  • Phone Service
  • Reservable
  • Drinking Water
  • Toilets
  • Pets
  • Fires

Reviews

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4.5

out of 5

18 Reviews

Jason H.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Apr. 16, 2023

Great View and Great Trails

Trails are well maintained and offer varied terrain. The best site to get is site B3. It was perfect.

If you're wanting more camping, less hiking, there is a small dirt lot near the top of a hill on Goodband Road. Look for Blind Lake trailhead on Goodband Rd in Google maps.

*Some sites now have hammock posts

SiteB3
Month of VisitMay
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Jason H., April 16, 2023
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Jason H., April 16, 2023
j
Reviewed Sep. 11, 2022

Beautiful area

We stayed in spot b3. Near the lake. We parked at one of the closer spots instead of hiking in. There was a spot in Cresent Drive. Flat area for a tent plenty of fire wood to be found. Bathroom and water is not too far of a walk. I am planing on going back.

SiteB3
Month of VisitSeptember
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by jmonshor , September 11, 2022
Corey O.
Reviewed Jun. 14, 2021

Love coming here

I love coming here. Nice little hike in sites. No need to hike 7 miles if you don't want to. There are a couple other parking options from 1-2 miles in and out. Have stayed in a variety of sites here. B3 is my favorite. Right on the water, beautiful views. B10 is awesome and slightly secluded from the others.. Not much privacy between alot of the sites and you have the hiking/mtb trail behind you. Need to source your own firewood, area is fairly picked over, has fresh water pump. Fairly clean vault toilet.

Month of VisitJune
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Corey O., June 14, 2021
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Corey O., June 14, 2021
  • (4) View All
Megan W.
Reviewed Jul. 27, 2020

Nice campground but not remote

This was a nice campground but the lake had a lot of boat activity and was a bit loud during the day. BEWARE that the only site with water access (and a nice view) is B3, NOT B6 as reviewer Ryan M describes. We reserved B6 based on his photos and were sorely disappointed when we arrived and saw that B3 is in fact where he stayed. As long as your expectations are tempered then you will have a nice stay!

SiteB6
Month of VisitAugust
Ryan M.
Reviewed Oct. 9, 2019

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!

SiteB6
Month of VisitNovember
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Ryan M., October 9, 2019
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Ryan M., October 9, 2019
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Ryan M., October 9, 2019
  • (5) View All
Rachael D.
Reviewed Sep. 11, 2019

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.

Max O.
Reviewed Aug. 21, 2019

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!

Site3 (right on water)
Month of VisitAugust
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Max O., August 21, 2019
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Max O., August 21, 2019
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Max O., August 21, 2019
  • (7) View All
Christopher B.
Reviewed Jul. 31, 2019

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.

Kate K.
Reviewed Jul. 28, 2019

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.

  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Kate K., July 28, 2019
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Kate K., July 28, 2019
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Kate K., July 28, 2019
Kate K.
Reviewed Jul. 8, 2019

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.

  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Kate K., July 8, 2019
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Kate K., July 8, 2019
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Kate K., July 8, 2019
  • (5) View All
Mike B.
Reviewed May. 21, 2019

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.

SiteSite 9
Month of VisitJune
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Mike B., May 21, 2019
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Mike B., May 21, 2019
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Mike B., May 21, 2019
  • (42) View All
Bryan T.
Reviewed Apr. 27, 2019

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.

  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Bryan T., April 27, 2019
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Bryan T., April 27, 2019
Michael S.
Reviewed Sep. 7, 2018

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.

Site#4
Month of VisitSeptember
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Michael S., September 7, 2018
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Michael S., September 7, 2018
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Michael S., September 7, 2018
  • (10) View All
K S.
Reviewed Sep. 3, 2018

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.

SiteNext to someone’s boat slip on Blind Lake
Month of VisitOctober
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by K S., September 3, 2018
Teresa K.
Reviewed Sep. 2, 2018

In the middle of wilderness

The lake was amazing to swim at night..must to it

C
Reviewed Aug. 30, 2018

Rustic

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.

Month of VisitSeptember
  • Review photo of Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area by Craig G., August 30, 2018
P
Reviewed May. 27, 2018

Perfect Overnighter!

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.

Site3
Month of VisitJune
Tee Jay M.
Reviewed Apr. 28, 2017

Nice Spot on the Lake

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are fires allowed at Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area?

Yes, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, fires are allowed at Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area, although make sure to check current fire restrictions in the area.

Does Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area have wifi?

No, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area does not have wifi.

Is there cell phone reception at Blind Lake Rustic Campground — Pinckney Recreation Area?

According to campers on TheDyrt.com, Verizon signal is good, AT&T is unknown, and T-Mobile is available.