Logo for the Paint Creek Trailways Commission

How long is the Paint Creek Trail?

The developed portion of the Paint Creek Trail is 8.9 miles long. The southern terminus is south of Ludlow Street in Rochester, adjacent to the Rochester Municipal Park. The Trail traverses north north-west to Atwater Street in the Village of Lake Orion. For a map on how to access the trail from the Rochester Municipal Park, download our Trail Access Map.

What is the surface and slope of the Trail?

98% of the Trail is surfaced with crushed limestone. However, from Atwater Street south, approximately 1/4 mile, the Trail is paved with asphalt. The Trail surface is not conducive to roller blades or skateboards, but can accomodate larger stroller wheels and wheelchairs. There are no plans to surface the entire Trail with asphalt. The slope of the trail is generally 2%, going south to north.

Does the Paint Creek Trail connect with the Polly Ann Trail?

Yes and no. There is no direct, official route to connect with the Polly Ann Trail at this time. However, a temporary route has been established.  To access the temporary route map, you can download it here:  Paint Creek – Polly Ann Route Map.  Currently, the Charter Township of Orion is planning a connection on the north side of Clarkston Road, east of M-24, to the trailhead at Clarkston/Kern.  This will connect the Paint Creek Trail with the Polly Ann Trail at Clarkston and Joslyn Roads. We will post more information as it becomes available.

Where can I obtain a map of the Trail?

Maps are located in the brochure boxes at various points along the Trail. You can also download and print maps by clicking here. Hard copies of maps can also be obtained at local government offices, or by contacting the Paint Creek Trail office at (248)651-9260 or manager@paintcreektrail.org

Where are the closest restrooms?

IMG_2800There are two restrooms, open seasonally, in the Rochester Municipal Park, which is adjacent to the Trail. Restrooms are also available M-F, between 8am-4:30pm at the Paint Creek Cider Mill Building, at the corner of Gallagher and Orion Roads, and at the Rochester Police Department. From May – October, a portable restroom is located at the Tienken Road Parking Lot/Trailhead. The Trailways Commission would like to have a permanent facility near Tienken Road, but there are property setback issues that need to be resolved with the City of Rochester Hills.

There are also businesses in the downtown Lake Orion and downtown Rochester area that provide restrooms to customers. A new public restroom is being planned next to Children’s Park in Lake Orion, next to the Orion Township Fire Station. It should be completed by the end of 2017.

Are there any drinking fountains along the Trail?

Photo of drinking fountain at the Tienken Road Trailhead in Rochester HillsYes, there is currently two drinking fountains, open seasonally.  One is located at the Tienken Road Trailhead, and the other is located just south of Gallagher Road near Flagstar Bank. The Trailways Commission is always looking for additional water sources for the installation of additional drinking fountains, especially in our northern section of trail.


Where do I park when driving to the Trail?

There are 8 parking locations for your convenience. Click here for Trail Parking Information.

Are dogs allowed on the Trail?

Yes, dogs are allowed on the Trail, but owners must have them under control and on a 6 foot leash at all times. Owners must also clean up after their pets. We currently provide doggy “clean up” bags for your convenience. For the safety of your dog, and the safety of others, please do NOT let your dog run loose on the Trail._1FF1567

If you plan on walking your dog into the Rochester Municipal Park, you will need to obtain a special permit from the City of Rochester. For more information, click here:  City of Rochester – Park Dog Permit Application


Are horses allowed on the Trail?

Oakland County Mounted Patrol Horse Yes, horses are allowed on the trail, in limited areas. Because of local ordinances, horses are not allowed in the Rochester or Rochester Hills portions of the Trail. However, horses are allowed north of Dutton, all the way to Atwater Street in Lake Orion. This is approximately 7.0 miles of Trail. As with dogs, we ask that equestrians clean up after their horses. There is no official staging area for horse trailers, but one of the easiest place to park would be south of Clarkston, west of Kern in Orion Township, near the Trail restroom facility.  For more information, including other parking options, please visit our Horses page.

Are strollers and wheelchairs allowed on the Trail?

Photo of a father with a jogging strollerYes, strollers and wheelchairs are allowed on the Trail. We suggest using a stroller with wheels that can adequately handle the surface, instead of the smaller “travel” strollers. Manual and electric wheelchairs are allowed and encouraged for visitors requiring them. For visitors with mobility disabilities, please read our policy on Other Power Driven Mobility Devices for information regarding permissable and non-permissable devices.




Is there a place to rent bikes or horses?

NEW!!  You can now rent bikes at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, Michigan.  Here is a link for more information, including rental rates and options:  Royal Park Hotel Bicycle Rental Program.  We are unaware of any horse rental facilities, but would be happy to post them if they are available.

Where are the closest restaurants and stores?

Paint Creek Cider MillThe Paint Creek Cider Mill is open from April 1 through December 31 during business hours, Monday – Sunday, 11:00am – 8:00pm. The Cider Mill is located near the halfway point of the Trail, at the corner of Gallagher and Orion Roads.

There are many restaurants in Downtown Rochester on Main Street near the Trail.

The Paint Creek Market is located on the east side of Orion Road, north of Gallagher and sells beverages, food, and other convenience store items.

Also near the halfway point of the Trail, there is the Wyndgate Golf Course and Gatehouse Grille. They are located west of the Trail on Gunn Road.

In Lake Orion, the trail ends approximately 1/4 mile south of the central business district, with many popular restaurants and businesses. For more information, you can download a map here: Lake Orion Parking

Are there any bike shops or running shops near the Trail?

There is a  running shop near the terminus of the Trail in Lake Orion. Hanson’s Running Shop is located at the corner of Broadway and Flint Street. Their phone number is (248) 693-9900. Rochester Bike Shop is also located on Main Street in the City of Rochester, and their phone number is 248-652-6376.  In addition, Main Street Bicycles is located on M-24 north of Clarkston Road in Orion Township. Their phone number is: (248) 236-9100.

Do you groom the Trail in winter for cross country skiers?

Photo of a snow covered bridge on the trail
Photo by Eva Carrio

No, the Trail is not groomed for cross-country skiers. Grooming equipment would damage the trail surface, and the Commission policy is to keep the Trail as natural as possible.

Do we need permission to hold a special event on the Trail?

Yes, the Trailways Commission requires a Temporary Use Permit for any special organized event. Your group or organization must fill out a Temporary Permit Application, submit a $10 – $30 application fee, (depending on your organization’s structure) and add the Paint Creek Trailways Commission as additional insured on your organization’s liability or event insurance. You must contact Trail Manager Kristen Myers at (248) 651-9260 to be scheduled on the next available Trailways Commission agenda. The Commission meets on the third Tuesday of each month, at either the Rochester Municipal Offices, 400 Sixth Street, Rochester, or the Paint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion Road, Oakland Township, 48306. (Visit the Commission page for exact dates and locations). For complete instructions and a copy of the Temporary Permit application, download our Temporary Use Permit Policy and Application. For a list of already approved events, visit our Special Group Events page.

How do I donate a bench to the Paint Creek Trail in memory or in honor of someone?

The Trailways Commission bench program has been suspended as of October 2017, due to reaching bench capacity. If you would like to be added to a waiting list, contact the trail office.

Is there a “Friends of the Paint Creek Trail” group?Friends of the Paint Creek Trail Logo

Yes! In July, 2010, the official Friends of the Paint Creek Trail group was launched, and on September 30, 2010 a Board of Directors and Executive Board was elected. The Friends group was formed to provide support for the Trail, and assist with environmental stewardship, events, amenity planning, merchandise sales, and fundraising. Membership in the group is free – to join or to donate via PayPal, visit our Friends website.

Where is the Paint Creek Trail office?

Thanks to the generosity of the Charter Township of Oakland, the Trail office is now located at the former Paint Creek Cider Mill building at 4480 Orion Road, Rochester, MI 48306 (at the corner of Gallagher). The Trail office is on the second floor, overlooking the Trail and the creek. Office hours vary, but are generally Monday thru Thursday, 8:00am-3:00pm.

What are the Trail hours of operation?

The Trail is open year-round from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.

Where is the Lost and Found?

The Lost and Found is located at the Trail office in the Paint Creek Cider Mill.  If you have lost or found an item, please contact the Trail Manager at 248-651-9260 or email manager@paintcreektrail.org.  We mostly find keys that have been dropped along the trail, and have quite a collection.  We post found items on Facebook whenever possible.


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