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Pontiac Lake Recreation Area

 4.3 (67)
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Map Key

9.0 Miles 14.5 Kilometers



713' 217 m


-713' -217 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (14°)

1,116' 340 m


968' 295 m


Shared By Nick Shue


All Clear 90 days ago
Dry, Fallen Trees History

Getting forecast...

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

Nick Shue

Dogs Unknown

Features -none-


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.


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.


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Your Check-Ins


Nov 3, 2018
Christian Clark
Oct 16, 2018
speed racer
Sep 24, 2018
Dustin Moulton
Sep 17, 2018
Chad Sperry
climbs, decents, gravel, hard pack, chunk 9mi
Sep 16, 2018
Adam Makarewicz
Sep 15, 2018
Bart C
Easy route 11mi
Sep 8, 2018
Nolan Maryanski
Sep 2, 2018
Arno Van Weert

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Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 67 votes


  4.3 from 67 votes
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in Michigan


235 Views Last Month
16,586 Since May 27, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

This trail doesn't have many tight turns as other local trails, but flows through uphill and downhill sections very nicely. The scenery is quite majestic throughout the trail. The Uphill and Downhill sections do often require careful attention. A solid challenging trail! Jun 24, 2017
Dennis Lee
Metamora, MI
Dennis Lee   Metamora, MI
Im new to the sport and this was one of the first trails I rode and forewarning: It will kick your ass. The first 1/3 of the trail will beat you up if you're not fit. Alot of ups and down but man what a fun ride. Some points technical but the downhills are winding and flows nice! You can get going pretty fast but I'd be cautious. Jagged rocks and very sharp turns at the bottom of some of the downhills. Will def be riding this again soon! Jul 8, 2018

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