9501 Sashabaw Road,
Clarkston, MI 48348
(248) 625-0877 Park
Trail Length: 10 Miles
Groomed Classic? Yes
Groomed Skating? Yes
Trail fee? Yes
Ski rentals? Yes
Trail Map: Yes
Getting there: 2 1/2 miles north of I-75 (Exit 89), entrance on the left.
Directions to get there: Yes
10 minutes north of Pontiac, Independence Oaks provides groomed ski trails, rental equipment and restroom facilities. Cross-country ski equipment is available for rent Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
There's some challenging uphills and downhills as well as almost totally flat loops. The loop around the lake generally has the worst snow - it's used by so many people that it generally gets packed down hard. It will also suffer from walkers. Get off the lake trail and conditions usually improve considerably.
The park tends to only groom when there is new snow. They get all the parking lots cleared before they even think about grooming, so earlier arrivers to the park after a snow fall: beware!
The trails are relatively narrow for both a skate lane and classic track, so the classic track can suffer. Big downhills can be very slick from people snowplowing. There's and AWESOME uphill (marker 15 to marker 14) for those who want to get in some really hard intervals!
"Awesome hilly trails make you feel like your up north. You'll not believe you're an hour from Detroit. Park service people though enthusiastic are not knowledgeable about trail conditions. They'll tell you no skiing when it's great back in the woods." - Michael Bliss