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Pontiac Lake Recreation Area



9.0 mile 14.5 kilometer loop
100% Singletrack


Ascent: 713' 217 m
Descent: -713' -217 m
High: 1,116' 340 m
Low: 968' 295 m


Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 24% (14°)


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

Nick Shue

Electric Mountain Bikes Not Allowed

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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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Features, History & Background


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May 31, 2020
Rob Brown
May 23, 2020
Julie Nobbe
May 8, 2020
Rob Brown
May 5, 2020
Drew DAgostino
May 4, 2020
Rob Brown
Oct 13, 2019
Mindi Johanneman
Oct 5, 2019
Pete Januszewski
Oct 4, 2019
me and bock. spent way to much time on the horse oath

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 95 votes


  4.4 from 95 votes
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in Michigan


1,248 Views Last Month
24,538 Since May 27, 2013



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

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