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Built on rolling hills with a lot of cruiseability, mixed in between the grinding climbs.


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Map Key

9.0

Miles

14.5

KM

100%

Singletrack

1,116' 340 m

High

968' 295 m

Low

713' 217 m

Up

713' 217 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

24%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs No Dogs

E-Bikes Not Allowed

Overview

One of the more popular Metro Detroit trails, Pontiac has been a favorite for decades.

One of the best known and most used trails in the Detroit metropolitan area due to its location (just 11 miles from Pontiac and 38 miles from downtown Detroit) and challenging terrain, Pontiac Lake Recreation Area has been providing an escape from the hustle and bustle of this auto building community for hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers for years.

Pontiac Lake is a single, easy to follow loop (with two optional, signed, difficult sections) which starts and ends just off of a main parking lot. Starting to ride this fast, flowing trail with major elevation changes is a commitment, but one which handily rewards riders.

Description

Starting from the parking lot, you'll cross Gale Road, and head a few hundred yards down the doubletrack until the trail starts off to your left. Rolling for the first couple of miles, you'll hit the main climb about 2 miles in.

After reaching the top of the climb, you'll be rewarded with one of the challenging, rocky descents that Pontiac is known for. At 3 miles in, you are presented with an overlook of Pontiac Lake. The trail continues to flow and swoop through the words till the final switchback climb that ends the trail.

After a fast decent, come back out onto the doubletrack you started on, and heading straight will take you back to the parking lot, or you'll see the start of the singletrack on your right, should you feel like another lap.

Contacts

Shared By:

Nick Shue with improvements by Nathan Bagnall and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 141 votes

#120

Overall
  4.4 from 141 votes
5 Star
55%
4 Star
35%
3 Star
9%
2 Star
1%
1 Star
1%
Recommended Route Rankings

#3

in Michigan

#120

Overall
89 Views Last Month
38,786 Since May 27, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
1%
20%
18%
60%
1%

Photos

The Chute
Jul 3, 2013 near Waterford, MI
Dropping in.
Apr 22, 2016 near Waterford, MI
Heading into the chute.
Aug 15, 2021 near Waterford, MI
When presented with the choice, take the "hard" option. It's not too challenging and it has a nice coaster-like quality on some steeps.
May 22, 2017 near Waterford, MI
Pin your ears back and smile
Sep 15, 2018 near Waterford, MI
Lots of Rocks!
Aug 15, 2021 near Waterford, MI
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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Minor Issues 21 hours ago
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jun 15, 2024
Natasha Beste
Kicked my butt. Definitely a level up than I'm used to. Something to work up to! 5mi
Nov 14, 2023
Jacob S
Nice time to ride! 6.5mi — 1h 25m
Oct 18, 2023
Ryan Andrews
Had an awesome time! Perfect weather
Aug 26, 2023
Ben Mulder
Trail is dry enough, but pretty sandy, heavily rutted from the storm and several trees down on trail 9.2mi — 16h 41m
Jul 22, 2023
John Hamburger
10.8mi — 1h 25m
Jul 17, 2023
Logan
Jun 27, 2023
Dave Burnham
May 27, 2023
Terrance T

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