Pontiac Lake State Recreation Area

Pontiac Lake State Recreation Area

Pontiac Lake State Recreation Area of Oakland County, Michigan

Hiking Pontiac Lake State Recreation AreaCross country ski Pontiac Lake State Recreation AreaMountain bike Pontiac Lake State Recreation AreaHorseback ride Pontiac Lake State Recreation AreaSnowmobile Pontiac Lake State Recreation AreaCanoe or kayak Pontiac Lake State Recreation Area

Trail Distance:

Over 20 miles long.


12 miles W. on M59 of 175/M59 intersection to Williams Lake Rd. N. right to Gale Rd. follow signs or 15 Miles E. on M59 of US23/M59 intersection to left on Tegerdine rd. follow signs.

Trail List:

Trail Description:

Ski trail is not groomed.

Pontiac Recreation Area, with 3,745 acres of rolling woodland terrain, is open year round for a variety of activities. The area's habitat, a mixture of marshes, ponds, heavy forests, old farm fields, river bottom and lakes support a wide variety of animals and excellent hunting. Designated trails meandering throughout the recreation area are available for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking.


  • Michigan State Park Explorer Program - Learn more about the natural features and resources located in this park with the Outdoor Explorer Program.
  • Hunting - Rabbits, squirrel, grouse, woodcock, ducks, geese, raccoon and deer may be hunted during their respective seasons. This same habitat attracts a number of different birds and is an excellent area for birding.
  • Playground - These play areas offer a variety of playground equipment for children.
  • Beach House - Provides clothes-changing area for swimmers.
  • Swimming
  • Fishing - For anglers, Pontiac Lake offers excellent fishing for bass, pike and panfish. Two new universally accessible fishing piers are located at the Pontiac Lake Beach Area.
  • Picnic Area - Picnic tables and fire pits/grills. Day-use facilities located on Pontiac Lake provide park visitors with a ball field, 1/3-mile long beach, modern concession stand, boat launch, bathhouse, toilet buildings and picnic areas.
  • Picnic Shelter(s) - Picnic shelters are available on a first come- first-serve basis or they can be reserved and rented on a daily basis.
  • Alcohol Restrictions Apply - Possession or consumption of alcohol is prohibited in all state-owned lands in Section 18, T3N R9E, and sections 12 and 13, T3N R8E, except with the written authorization of the park manager.
  • Shooting/Archery Range - A supervised rifle range with a 25/50/100 yard rifle, pistol and black powder range is available for use by park visitors. There is also a shotgun range and an archery range. Click here for additional information.
  • Hiking - A 1.9-mile hiking trail runs from the campground to the beach area.
  • Bridle Trails - Trails may have other designated uses. Horses can be rented for riding on 17 miles of trails. Hay rides, sunset rides and pony rides are also available. Please contact the stables at 248-625-3410 or the park at 248-666-5401 for additional information, hours and current prices.
  • Mountain Biking - The 11-mile mountain bike trail has been ranked as one of the "Top 100 Trails" in the United States. Major trail reconstruction has separated equestrians to promote safety for all riders.
  • Snowmobile Area - Allowed with 4" of snow or more on the ground. The park is open for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling, although there are no established trails or areas for these activities.
  • Boating Access Site/Launch - Access for boating and fishing. Boaters enjoy the lake for cruising, water-skiing and tubing in addition to fishing.
  • Concession/Store
  • Cross Country Ski
  • Metal Detecting Areas - Metal detecting is recognized as a legitimate recreation activity when it is conducted in ways that do not damage the natural and cultural resources in Michigan State Parks nor violate applicable state statutes. If you wish to use a metal detector in this state park, here is a map that shows clearly where this activity may take place. Any items found must be reviewed by park staff and may be retained for further investigation.
  • Fishing in the Parks - Learn more about fishing at Fishing in the Parks, a free educational program.

The park is located near the urban areas of southeast Michigan and is easily accessible by the major highways: I- 75, I-96, US-24 and M-59. The Pontiac Silver Dome is only 15 minutes away. Detroit's convention and cultural centers, Dearborn's Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, are only 45 minutes from the park. Some of the state and county institutes of learning are easily accessed from Pontiac Lake Recreation Area: University of Detroit, Oakland University, Colombiere Center, Oakland Community College, and Wayne State University.


  • 7800 Gale Road
  • Waterford, MI 48327-1058
  • Google Map

Contact Information:

  • 1-248-666-1020

Return to Oakland County, MI Trails Page

Pontiac Lake State Recreation Area

Permission and information sources are from Contributers to this Web Site, the Department of Natural Resources, Michigan.gov, National Park Service, and the USDA Forest Service.


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