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Pontiac Lake Recreation Area - Beach, Trails, Fishing and More

Pontiac Lake Recreation Area is a nice place to swim, boat, bike, hike, and horseback ride. The large park has miles of trails, a large sandy beach, fishing piers, picnic areas, campgrounds, and other facilities to enjoy.

Beach Area

Pontiac Lake Recreation Area has a long sandy beach on Pontiac Lake. A beach house with restrooms and changing facilities is located a short distance from the parking lots and the beach.

There are three picnic shelters and many picnic tables at the beach area. Other facilities include volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, swing-sets, a basketball court, and ball field.

Recreational Trails

The Pontiac Lake Recreation Area has many miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The trails mostly have a dirt surface, and sometimes have rocks, grass, or tree roots in the trail.
  • Mountain Biking Trails - Pontiac Lake Recreation Area has a very popular mountain biking trail that starts in grassy area and then rolls and curves its way through heavily wooded areas. The 11-mile trail has many climbs and dips. The biking trailhead is near the north parking lot at the beach area.

    The mountain bike trail is maintained through a cooperative effort between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Clinton River Area Mountain Biking Association (CRAMBA).

  • Hiking Trail - The park has hiking trails that meander across a grassland and through the woods, one to the beach area and the other to Gale Road. The beach trail can be used to hike between the modern campground and the beach area. The hiking trailheads are at the beach area, at the modern campground, and on the north side of Gale Road.

  • Equestrian Trails - Pontiac Lake Recreation Area has 17 miles of horseback riding trails. Horse trailer parking is available at the staging area at the end of Maceday Road, which is also the location of the equestrian campground. The trails traverse through wooded areas, over grassy areas, and winds over hilly terrain. There is a horse stable on the south side of Maceday Road.

Fishing Piers

Pontiac Lake Recreation Area has two handicap-accessible fishing piers on Pontiac Lake. Anglers cast their lines to catch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rock bass, yellow perch, and northern pike.

You need a fishing license to fish lakes in Michigan. If you don't have a Michigan fishing license, you can purchase one online at the Michigan DNR E-License web site.

Boating and Kayaking

Pontiac Lake is well used by watercraft, fishing boats, and recreational boats.

The Pontiac Lake Recreation Area has boat launch on Pontiac Lake, which can be accessed from a drive at the Williams Lake Road entrance. The boat launch has two ramps with handicap-accessible docks. Boat trailer parking and a vault toilet are available near the launch.

Radio-Controlled Airfield

You'll often see small planes swooping and soaring at Pontiac Lake Recreation Area. The Pontiac Miniature Aircraft Club uses the remote-controlled plane airfield, which is located on the south side of White Lake Road.


Pontiac Lake Recreation Area has three campgrounds. The park's modern campground has 176 sites with electrical service, a playground, and modern restrooms. A group campground, where you can use a tent, is located on the north side of Maceday Road.

A rustic equestrian campground is located at the end of Maceday Road. The campground has space for horse trailers and includes a vault toilet.

For campground information, please visit the Michigan DNR's web site.

M-59 Trail

The M-59 Trail is accessible south of Pontiac Lake Recreation Area. From the beach entrance, use the path on the east side of Williams Lake Road and go south to M-59. The trail can be used to travel to Highland and Pontiac.

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