Glacial action has left the Pontiac Lake Recreation Area with many ponds, marshes, fields and rolling hills covered with heavily forested areas. The park has miles of hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails (including horse rental), as well as a third-mile of beach, scenic overlooks and a secluded campground.
In terms of mountain biking, the Pontiac Lake Recreation Area trails are perhaps the best known and most used trail system in the Detroit metropolitan area. This is due to the park's location (just 11 miles from Pontiac and 38 miles from downtown Detroit) and challenging terrain (there's a reason locals have named one climb "Big Puke Hill"). Pontiac Lake has been providing an escape from the hustle and bustle of this auto building community for hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers for years. You can expect to encounter other trail users due to the mountain biking trails intersecting with the hiking/equestrian trails at Pontiac Lake and it's important for the future of trail access for all that you slow down and yield to hikers and equestrians. Horses can be skitish around the sudden appearance of a fast moving bicycle and the last thing anyone would want is for harm to come to another person or animal on the trail.
Trail length: 8.5 to 10.5 miles, depending on your route (generally take the left options to ride the longest route).
Please don't use trails during wet weather or the spring thaw as some parts of the trail a prone to erosion damage.
Biking season: All year (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.). Other activities include bicycling, boating, camping (reservation), canoeing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, swimming, water skiing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling. Lodging and dining are available in Pontiac and Waterford Township.
These trails are maintained in part by volunteers of the Michigan Mountain Biking Association (MMBA).
Parking and Trail Access
How to get there from Detroit: 11 miles west of the Pontiac Silverdome on M59 (west of Pontiac) to Williams Lake Road, then north to Gale Road, then left to the beach parking lot.