Pontiac Recreation Area, with over 3,800 acres of rolling woodland terrain, is open year-round for a variety of activities.

Camping and Day Use

The park contains three campgrounds. The modern campground features 176 campsites, picnic tables, electricity and shower/toilet buildings. The campground is open from spring to fall. Facilities at the equestrain staging area and campground are limited to vault toilets and a hand pump well for water. The organization campground is a rustic campground without modern facilities. It is available for group use.

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 shelters are available on a first-come-first-serve basis or they can be reserved and rented on a daily basis.


Designated trails meandering throughout the recreation area are available for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking. Horses can be rented for riding on 17 miles of trails. Hay rides, sunset rides and pony rides are also available. The 11-mile mountain bike trail has been ranked as one of the "Top 100 Trails" in the United States. A 1.0 mile hiking trail runs from the campground to the beach area.

Boating & Fishing

For anglers, Pontiac Lake offers excellent fishing for bass, pike and panfish. Boats are available at private liveries along the lake. Boaters enjoy the lake for cruising, water-skiing and tubing.

Winter Activities

The park is open for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling, although there are no established trails or areas for these activities. Snowmobiling within the park is allowed when there are 4" of snow or more.


The area's habitat, a mixture of marshes, ponds, heavy forest, old farm fields, river bottom and lakes support a wide variety of animals and excellent hunting. Rabbits, squirrel, woodland 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.

Rifle Range

A supervised rifle range with a 25/50/100 yard rifle, pistol and blackpowder range is available for use by park visitors. There is also a shotgun range and an archery range.

Area Attractions

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 country 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.

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.


To get to the park from M-59, drive north on Williams Lake Road then turn left on Gale Road. Follow the signs to the various park facilities.

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