Paint Creek Trail

Connecting the communities of Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, Orion Township and the Village of Lake Orion in Oakland County, Michigan.







Welcome to the Paint Creek Trail!

Owned and managed by the Paint Creek Trailways Commission (PCTC), the Paint Creek Trail is an 8.9 mile linear park, located in northeast Oakland County. It was the first Rail-to-Trail in the State of Michigan, as it was converted to a trail from the former Penn Central Railroad. Open to the public since 1983, the Paint Creek Trail receives over 100,000 visitors annually. The non-motorized Trail is 8 feet wide, and traverses through Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, Orion Township and the Village of Lake Orion.


Trail South of Dutton


The Paint Creek Trail has an all-weather surface of crushed limestone. Many users prefer the crushed limestone because it helps the trail maintain its natural feel and setting. Limestone was chosen because it is an environmentally friendly surface for the trail's close proximity to the Paint Creek, and it is low maintenance. The Paint Creek Trail is ideal for year-round activity. If you like to hike, jog, bike, ride a horse, cross-country ski, fish or just watch nature, the Paint Creek Trail is for you!

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Latest Trail News...

From Creek by Louis Carrio


New! Paint Creek Trailways Commission Internship Program

The Paint Creek Trailways Commission is looking for a summer intern from May 5 - September 5, 2014 (Flexible start/end dates based on academic calendar). Interns will get hands on experience with two major trail community events, and program development.  In addition, intern will get an opportunity to gain non-profit experience with our Friends of the Paint Creek Trail group. Experience will include event coordination, communications, marketing, program development, and administrative duties.  Majors: Parks, Recreation, Leisure Services, Event Management, Communications, Marketing, or closely related field. Knowledge of native plants and/ or natural landscaping a plus! Intern will have opportunities to work in an office setting, and on the Paint Creek Trail. If interested, download our Internship Posting & Job Description and Internship Program Application

New! 2013 Summary of Events and Accomplishments

Did you ever wonder what goes into managing the Paint Creek Trail? We've compiled a list of Trailways Commission events and accomplishments for 2013. It is available here:

2013 Summary of Events and Accomplishments

"Paint Creek Trail - Connecting our Communities since 1983" video

On October 12, we debuted our new trail history video. It's now been posted to YouTube. Thank you to the City of Rochester Hills for producing this video for us!


2014-2018 Paint Creek Trail Draft Recreation Master Plan - January 21, 2014

The 2014-2018 Paint Creek Trail Draft Recreation Master Plan is now available for review. You can access it at:
2014-2018 Draft Recreation Master Plan

The Paint Creek Cider Mill is now open at 11:00am!

The Paint Creek Cider Mill, a favorite stop along the Paint Creek Trail, is now daily Tuesday - Sunday from 11am - 7pm. Visit their website at for more information and to see their new menu!

Bike Fixit StationsBike Fixit Station

The Friends of the Paint Creek Trail donated their first gift to the trail - a Bike Fixit Station located at the Paint Creek Cider Mill. Cyclists can inflate their tires, and make adjustments and repairs utilizing the tools attached to the station. In addition, with an iPhone or Smartphone bar code scanner app, cyclists can scan a QR code and read repair instructions onsite. The Friends group was inspired to purchase this for the Paint Creek Trail after seeing two more installed in the area - one on the Clinton River Trail, and one in Rochester Municipal Park. Both were donated by local resident and cycling enthusiast Ryan Katulic. Thank you Ryan and the Friends of the Paint Creek Trail for your donations!

Friends of the Paint Creek Trail

Friends of the Paint Creek Trail has been very active! Last year, they successfully raised over $10,000 for trail improvements, through various fundraisers, donations, and merchandise sales. The Friends group mission is to assist with the environmental stewardship of the Trail, as well as organize events, assist with merchandise sales, and help develop project ideas to enhance the trail and the user experience. As a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, our Friends group will be eligible for grant funding, and all donations are tax deductible. There is no cost to join! If you would like to become a Friend of the Paint Creek Trail, or would like information such as meeting agendas and minutes, please visit our Friends page!

Rochester Historical Art Project

On June 6, 2009, we unveiled our Rochester Historical Art Project, in downtown Rochester. Located on and adjacent to the Downtown Rochester River Walk, the Art Project is a series of 6 glass panel displays that depict pictures and text regarding local historic sites. Some of the sites include: Chapman Pond, Western Knitting Mills, Rochester Train Depot, and more!

This project was a collaboration among the Paint Creek Trailways Commission, Rochester-Avon Historical Society, Rochester Historical Commission, Rochester Hills Musuem at Van Hoosen Farm, the Preede Foundation, and the Rochester Downtown Development Authority.

Oakland County Trails Master Plan

The Oakland Trails Advisory Council, in cooperation with Oakland County Parks and Recreation and Oakland County Planning & Economic Development, recently approved a five-year Master Plan for Trails in Oakland County. The Master Plan was "developed to provide a framework for creating a connected system of Greenways & Trails throughout Oakland County". The Master Plan is available for download:

Oakland County Trails Master Plan (30.61 MB)
for smaller downloads:
Oakland County Trails Master Plan - Executive Summary (918 KB)
Oakland County Trails Master Plan - Introduction (1.44 MB)
Oakland County Trails Master Plan - Existing Conditions (20.73 MB)
Oakland County Trails Master Plan - Vision (6.82 MB)
Oakland County Trails Master Plan - Design Considerations (1.10 MB)
Oakland County Trails Master Plan - Action Plan (180 KB)


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Did you know?

The Paint Creek Trail - Michigan's Millennium Legacy Trail

Millennium Legacy Trail

In 1999, the Paint Creek Trail received a special honor. The Southeast Michigan Greenways Trail, a conceptual network of inter-connected trails and greenways throughout the 7-county area of Southeast Michigan, was proclaimed Michigan's Millennium Legacy Trail by the White House on October 21, 1999. The Paint Creek Trail carried the honor of being the physical representative of the trail system since it serves as an excellent physical and operational example for other trails. As part of the designation, the Trailways Commission was given a $10,000 grant for a Millennium Legacy Trail Art Project. The grant, along with other matching funds, paid for our Prairie Restoration Art Project - a gazebo-like structure located on the Trail north of Gallagher, that commemorates our Prairie Restoration Project south of Silver Bell Road.


The Paint Creek Trail - a National Recreation Trail

On June 1, 2006, the Paint Creek Trail received the honor of being named a National Recreation Trail by the U.S. Department of the Interior. The National Recreation Trails program recognizes exemplary trails of local and regional significance that provide for numerous outdoor recreation activities in a variety of urban, rural, and remote areas. Over 900 Trails in every state have received this designation. The NRT Program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service in cooperation with American Trails. As a National Recreation Trail, the Paint Creek Trail will benefit from the prestige and increased visibility of being part of the 10,000 mile National Trail System. The Trailways Commission received a letter and certificate signed by the Secretary of the Interior, as well as logo signs to be placed along the Trail. Additionally, the Trailways Commission receives access to technical assistance and unique funding opportunities. As part of this designation, the Paint Creek Trail is included in the on-line National Registry of Trails, and is given it's own NRT webpage. The webpage includes descriptive information, pictures, and facts about the Paint Creek Trail. You can access it here: Paint Creek Trail - a National Recreation Trail.

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