Year-Round Activity on the Paint Creek Trail

Here in Michigan the four seasons can seem to happen all in one week. To enjoy the true four seasons all year long try exploring the Paint Creek Trail. The 8.9 mile linear park runs from downtown Rochester – through Rochester Hills, Oakland Twp., and Orion Twp. – to the Village of Lake Orion. Walking, jogging, and biking the trail seem to be the usual choices, but others choose to ride a horse or cross-country ski the 8’ wide path. “The Paint Creek, a designated trout stream, crosses the trail at twelve locations. Anglers enjoy utilizing the trail to access great fly-fishing locations along the 8.9 mile stretch,” states Kristen Myers, trail manager.

Ms. Myers tells Rochester Media “The Paint Creek Trail was Michigan’s first Rail-to-Trail, and is used by over 100,000 people annually. According to a study done by MSU in 2004, 56% of users are bicyclists. Because of the large interest, a cycling event is a great way to celebrate National Trails Day.” The Paint Creek Trailways Commission and Friends of the Paint Creek Trail are hosting their inaugural Paint Creek Trail Crawl Cycling Event on Saturday, May 21, 2011. Registration is $25 and the event begins at 8:00 a.m. with the event running from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Attendees are welcome on foot or by cycling the route to collect five “stamps” to be entered into a drawing for several prizes. The event is approximately 20 miles round trip. Proceeds will benefit the Paint Creek Trail.

Open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every day of the year, Kristen continues, “The trail has a gradual 2% grade, traversing from south to north. I tell new users to start south, work their way north, and have a great “payoff” on their way back with an easier return.” Of course, anyone may just use part of the trail too. There are many parking areas and the trail is accessible from many locations throughout the communities it crosses. News, maps and rules are available on the trail’s web site.

Another exciting announcement about the Paint Creek Trail is the new partnership with the Michigan Council of Hostelling International. Many people may recognize the council by its former name of American Youth Hostels, Inc. The Michigan Council has donated $1,500 to the Paint Creek Trail to help offer educational tours of the trail to local area Girl Scouts. From environmental issues to trail etiquette, the young women will have fun learning about such things as who uses the trail and the plant and animal life they may see along the way.

By Michael Dwyer

For more information:
Paint Creek Trail and National Trails Day


Paint Creek Trailways Commission
4480 Orion Road
Rochester, MI 48306
(248) 651-9260
The trail office is located in the former Paint Creek Cider Mill at the corner of Orion and Gallagher Roads. The Trail office is located on the 2nd floor.
The Michigan Council of Hostelling International
Travel education, local activities, and access to a worldwide network of budget accommodations.
About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at

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