Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, with 3,745 acres of a mixture of marshes, ponds, heavy forests, old farm fields, river bottom and lakes that support a variety of animals and excellent hunting. Designated trails throughout the recreation area are available for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking.

Except perhaps for some cities in Europe, I am most happy place-wise in the rolling hills of the Appalachians. I’ve never needed cliffs. Just some hardwoods and a couple thousand feet of altitudinal change without airplanes or asphalt too near. In North Florida I was lucky to have sinkholes and the scarp provide me a few similar rolls and a quiet place to hang my hammock only 20 minutes’ drive and 15 minutes’ walk into San Felasco. Southeast Michigan has been equally challenging. There are some pretty woods and nice lakes, but hills in the Midwest are rare. Today, though, I found my new day hike. Okay, the altitude rises and falls only a couple hundred feet, but that will do when the chipmunks are the loudest things around. Admittedly, I didn’t love the lakeside beach, but this Florida boy probably always will think of water below 65F as deadly unless it’s being consumed, so I’m not a great judge of that end of the trail. (The few people that I saw there with fishing poles and happy dogs seemed to love the lake, though, so I’m sure that it was lovely if that’s your thing.) The walk was a nice few hours, especially in the middle of the trail network because of the infrequency of overlaps between the bike and horse and hiking paths and because it was still just chilly enough to keep the crowds away while the first green leaves were peeking out.

I can't believe this is in SE Mich. You show up to the park and suddenly there are steep hills everywhere. Love the constant elevation changes on the trails and the dense forest. The most scenic parts of the park are found in the 1) northeast part of the park just south of Maceday Rd and 2) the ridge trail just northwest of the campground that gives you a view for miles.

The primary hiking trail goes from the beach to the campground. For a loop, you can hike the mountain biking trail back to the beach (after checking out the scenic overlook on the bike path just past marker #4). This makes a great loop of 5 or 6 miles.

A little bit of everything for everyone. Always a fun time at Pontiac lake

mountain biking
9 months ago

This trail is awesome!! I did this trail three days after I did the Poto trail. It reminds me of the Poto with the roots and the loose uphills, and the downs are rewarding like DTE. This trail is only dangerous if you are not an experienced rider. If you get to mile 7 and see the easy/ hard sign, take the hard trail the drops are basically straight down and amazing but the uphills are just like the drops and it takes no time at all to complete that part of the trail and it meets back up with the original trail. If you haven't ridden this trail do it ASAP you will not regret it!!!

horseback riding
10 months ago

Very nice terrain ☺️

mountain biking
11 months ago

should be rated as difficult for mountain biking. Huge drops with rock beds, ruts and tree roots. Steep hills to climb and tight turns. My favourite trail in Metro area♡♡♡

Friday, May 19, 2017

gorgeous spring hike from campground to the beach. a real gem.

The best mountain bike trail in southeast Michigan.

hiking
Sunday, April 16, 2017

hike counterclockwise and you can see the bikers coming.... keep dog on short leash so you can quickly jump to the side as bikers zoom by

nice trail and well signed, easy to hike but better wearing hiking shoes because can be muddy here and there. It starts near the parking lot but soon enters into the wood. Don't forget water!

hiking
Sunday, April 02, 2017

Lots of good hills. Pretty scenic. Lots of bikers. Would do it again.

hiking
Sunday, April 02, 2017

Loved the trail. Definitely a decen workout. We walked the bike trail. very scenic and lots of hills and rocks and roots. Would for sure do it again.

Nice trail with lots of good scenery and hilly terrain.

hiking
Friday, September 02, 2016

This is quite a nice park with a variety of recreational options. We went for a 4.3 mile hike on a Friday afternoon with our dogs. The bike trail is pretty busy, so you want to stay away from it. The hiking and in many areas hiking/equestrian trail. It's partly hilly and mostly wooded and wasn't too busy. There is an $11 charge for the recreational passport.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Today (8-27-16) was my second time riding this trail. It's about 9.7 miles. It's located in a very nice state park. The trail goes through woods and some open areas. I have been mountain biking for a couple of years. I am not an expert but can handle advanced trails like the Holdridge Lake of Mt. Holly Recreation area. I am not exactly young at 65 but quite athletic. I am not crazy about this trail that's why I gave it a 2. The primary reason is that the trail has lots of sandy areas with gravel and locks in the middle of the trail. This causes the bike to slide and rather hard to control. On the positive side the park is very nice with a beach.

Good for a short but moderate hike. Some points of rooted terrain and 30+ degree incline.

I used the staff's directions on finding the trail but I couldn't.

mountain biking
Monday, July 04, 2016

Lots of great climbs. Also lots of loose rocks and exposed roots so be careful!

Rocky and fast. Love the first Hill.

We hiked the mountain bike trail. 11 mile hike with lots of hills. the whole thing took about 5.5 hours. Bring your swim suits, taking a swim in the lake at the end was icing in the cake.

hiking
Saturday, April 23, 2016

We love hiking the horse and bike trails. Many sections to do to change things up. We go hiking here often.

mountain biking
Saturday, February 27, 2016

I use to race expert on this trail back in the 90's. Now I have a t.b.i. and look forward to riding it again!

mountain biking
Monday, November 09, 2015

first-time on this trail. Intermediate rider

Great trail. Some nice, challenging climbs with big and fast downhills.
The best way that I can think of to describe this trail, is it felt like the Poto's little brother, because of the challenge / reward ratio.
there's two "easy / hard" forks in the trail. The first one is a little tricky, particularly, the climb back up on the other side. The second is no big deal at all.
Like the Poto, you can get some good speed on the downhills here, and the climbs will leave you winded.
Very good trail, I will be back!

What an awesome challenging ride !! Tough climbs but well rewarding downhills . Intermediate not for beginners but a great wilderness ride. Give it a try its a wonderful way to spend the day

mountain biking
Friday, May 23, 2014

Great trail, I would also recommend not coming here if you're out of shape from the winter or you haven't gone mountain biking before. I wish there was some more technical features, but the occasional rock garden and steep drop keep me satisfied. The climbs are tough, but all of them are rewarding because of a nice downhill at the end. Definitely adding to my riding rotation.

mountain biking
Friday, May 23, 2014

Do not come here for your first trail ride ever and are mildly out of shape from the winter!!!!! I was out matched from the get go. 5 out of 5

hiking
Monday, November 04, 2013

Great trail with some tech stuff! Awesome!

hiking
Saturday, February 16, 2013

Fun and challenging. I went on a very hot day and was wiped out after but totally worth it. Tough climbs and fun drops also with some very fun turns.

mountain biking
Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Great Trail! Pretty washed out, but I loved the whole flow of the trail. Challenging climbs, but not too difficult to complete. Very rocky, lots of roots, but not too many crazy switchbacks. Great Ride!

mountain biking
Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Extremely fun and challenging. Has all aspects, great up hills, fast downhills, drop offs, rock beds etc. couldn't ask for more from a trail.

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