Explore the most popular trails near White Lake with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.




nature trips




horseback riding

White Lake, Michigan Map

Great trail! Definetly challenging. Hilly, Muddy, Rocky and lots of tree roots. Keeps you on your toes. We loved every mile.

14 days ago

Had a beautiful hike at HSRA - the Oaks, remaining maple leaves, and beeches were in peak color (to the extent Oaks have peak color). I expect most leaves and color will be gone in another week. Trails were in great shape despite a fair bit of rain the past week. Only a few issues, mostly with trail marking, but also recommend you do this trail clockwise, rather than counterclockwise as shown on the track: the trail posts/markers face a clockwise hiker, not the counterclockwise hiker. That said, all my comments are from counterclockwise hiking (live and don't learn). 1) go to the picnic shelter parking lot (marker #22 on the official map - http://www.michigandnr.com/ParksandTrails/Details.aspx?id=284&type=SPTR) - the trailhead isn't actually marked there, but go to the shelter, then past it toward the horseshoe pits, there you'll see the trail heading toward the lake (we went counter clockwise). 2) We missed the turnoff about .3 miles after marker 12 (heading from 12 toward 10), so we ended up continuing on to 10, took the Chief Pontiac Trail (hard to see, is a bit before marker 10 when coming from 12) over to 4, rather than staying on the horse trail to 9 and then to 4. This wasn't a big deal - nice scenery here and added about 0.5 miles. Once we got back on the loop shown here, we missed another turn just past 5 (maybe 300ft or so). It's a very small trail, with a small tree down across it, just as you come along/past the south end of Haven Lake - if you find yourself heading east with no lakeshore on your left, you missed the turn. The scenery on this "mistake" wasn't as good as on the correct trail. All good fun. As always, photos are geo-tagged on my track and more/higher res versions are at https://johnmetzler.smugmug.com/Parks/Highland-State-Recreation-Area/Haven-Hill-Lake-loop/

Very challenging. Hilly. You’re sharing the trail with horses so watch where you step. Quite poorly marked and we got lost. But pretty and mostly quiet.

For some odd reason I started this loop clockwise from the parking lot . At first I had some difficulty staying on the trail. There’s a lack of markers at that end. The rest was really nice , well marked. Lots of boardwalks and not too many hills. It had a northern Michigan feel. Lots of deer. I’d do it again .

I hike this park often, it is a scenic park. the trails offer a wide variety of landscapes, hills, switch backs, heavy hardwoods, pines, lakes, ponds and scenic overlooks.

This is my favorite hike. The trails are all blazed nicely with trail maps at intersections. Trails are well maintained and wide with some boardwalks through the marsh and bog areas. Lots of different trail options so it doesn't get monotonous. There are 2 lakes. At the north end of the park you will hear traffic noise from M-59 but other than that I have to say this trail is just about perfect. It's my favorite place to hike.

This was a wonderful, well-groomed trail. Just for hikers. Take your big spray! We loved this quick hike!

3 months ago

Too much air traffic and noise from the nearby Oakland County Airport. Nice trails, just no solitude.

I’ve missed this trail on previous visits. It’s overshadowed by the paved hike/bike trail. But it’s a hidden gem! Perfect length for me but several shortcuts can make the trail longer or shorter. Quiet and well groomed. Very easy to navigate. There are informational signs and plenty of places to rest. There weren’t a lot of bugs. Wildflower meadows make butterflies abundant.

Pontiac lake mtb trail was great to run. I'll definitely be back.

A pretty easy out and back hike. Part of the trail is a shared equestrian trail so you have to watch where you step. There's a nice scenic overlook above Pontiac Lake. The park abuts Oakland County Intl Airport so you still hear a lot of air traffic here...just no getting away from it. other than that, a nice little hike that could be followed up by a swim of you're inclined.

Nice well marked trail.

Very well marked trail. Decent for all skill types.

4 months ago

This is a very natural trail. Not overly groomed but well marked and easy to navigate. I would have liked a bench or two and an outhouse, but otherwise a great trail. Not too busy. Campground was quiet.

Beautiful park and some good hills on the path. Only 3 stars because of how narrow the path is with so many blind corners, many times we have to very quickly jump into the woods and brush to avoid collision with mountain bikers. We had our dog with us and a few times it was a little hard to get out of the way quickly. Tons of bugs too - lots of mosquitos this time of year we reapplied big spray often. Also, this is listed at 8 something miles, but the full loop is 11 miles.

4 months ago

So many bugs that follow and surround you all throughout the trail that it ruins the experience. If you do head out, do NOT forget bug spray.

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

Monday, October 09, 2017

I did parts of this trail while doing the Green loop. I strongly recommend adding the inner loop north of Haven Hill lake (at 16, take the loop counterclockwise to 17 and then the cutoff back to 16) – it is a very pretty little addition. I didn’t like the “outer” loop (15 to 14, then back to 16, 15, and onward) as much, I probably wouldn’t repeat that part.

Monday, October 09, 2017

I hiked the Green trail, with the addition of the small loop north of Haven Hill lake. The green trail is nice. It is easy, with no long or particularly steep climbs and lots of shade for most of the trail. The section from marker 1 (by the historic barn at the horse trailer parking lot) through 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, to 11 at least, and maybe it was to 12 as well, is also used by horses. I’m not a fan of hiking on horse trails, although watching out for manure isn’t much different than keeping an eye out for rocks or roots. On the Green trail, if there isn’t manure there probably are rocks and roots, as a trail should have.
I strongly recommend adding the inner loop north of Haven Hill lake (at 16, take the loop counterclockwise to 17 and then the cutoff back to 16) – it is a very pretty little addition. I didn’t like the “outer” loop (15 to 14, then back to 16, 15, and onward) as much, I probably wouldn’t repeat that part. My pictures & track from those are under the "Haven Hill Lake and Woods" trail on here.

mountain biking
Wednesday, September 06, 2017

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
Saturday, August 19, 2017

Very nice terrain ☺️

Sunday, August 06, 2017

The trail was lovely and well maintained through the woods, but the real standout was the wildflower garden/meadow! It was genuinely stunning!! August was a great time be be there, but I want to see it all seasons. I traded my day pass in for an annual on the way out!
Amended 8/10/17-- for pete's sake, bring bug spray!

mountain biking
Sunday, July 02, 2017

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.

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!

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