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Pontiac Lake Recreation Area

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.4 (116) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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 Unknown

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

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 116 votes

#99

Overall
  4.4 from 116 votes
5 Star
56%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
10%
2 Star
1%
1 Star
1%
Recommended Route Rankings

#3

in Michigan

#99

Overall
824 Views Last Month
32,152 Since May 27, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
1%
24%
8%
66%
1%

Photos

The Chute
Jul 3, 2013 near Waterford, MI
Dropping in.
Apr 22, 2016 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
The signpost near the start of the Pontiac Lake Mountain Bike Trail. The posted mileage may be a little generous in reality.
May 22, 2017 near Waterford, MI

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 12 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

May 8, 2021
Meagan Fraser
9.5mi — 1h 20m
Mar 20, 2021
Jason Unger
Great trail, fun ride...what through me off was confusion at the end--we got off 1 marker too soon, rode for an hour+ trying to get back to car. — 2h 30m
Dec 19, 2020
Joe Hamm
10.7mi — 1h 33m
Oct 23, 2020
Becky Quinn
8.9mi — 1h 58m
Aug 31, 2020
Rob Brown
Aug 26, 2020
Rob Brown
Aug 15, 2020
Sneha Inguva
9mi — 1h 50m
Aug 8, 2020
Sneha Inguva
9mi