Trail Projects

Paint Creek Trail Signage Project

March 19, 2018:  The Paint Creek Trailways Commission recently received word that our grant application to the Michigan DNR’s Iron Belle Trail Grant Program has been recommended for funding!  This $30,000 project, being funded by a $25,000 grant and by a $5,000 cash match,will fund the following elements, including design and labor:

  • (5) Gateway/IBT Signs. We currently have one Gateway sign in the City of Rochester, north of Ludlow. A new design will incorporate the Paint Creek Trail name, add the Village of Lake Orion, and add the Iron Belle Trail logo.
  • (2) IBT Trailhead Info Stations: With the connection route on Clarkston Road from the Paint Creek Trail to the Polly Ann Trail determined, we would like to install an Iron Belle Trailhead Information station, directing users west on Clarkston Road (when connection complete). The information station will also direct users to amenities, and local restaurants/businesses, and be a primary focal component of the important PCT and Polly Ann Trail connection.  The second station will be located in Rochester, where the Paint Creek Trail meets the downtown Rochester River Walk (the connector to the Clinton River Trail).  This station will welcome users officially to the Paint Creek Trail as part of the Iron Belle Trail network, and provide route information, and local amenity/business information.
  • (36) Road Crossing/Safety Signs, updated with IBT logo: The current signage at our road crossings is damaged, outdated, and not designed with proper traffic safety standards.  We would like to update all road crossing signs using the appropriate safety standards, and include the Paint Creek Trail log0, Iron Belle Trail Logo, Road name, community, right-of-way safety information (ie “cross traffic does not stop”, or “trail users must stop at crossing”, etc), and mile marker information, as appropriate.
  • (11) Map signs: Our current map sign is outdated.  We would like to show the Iron Belle Trail connections, our new trail extension into the Village of Lake Orion, the IBT logo, and up to date rules and courtesy information.
  • (11) Wayfinding signs: with the promotion of the Iron Belle Trail, we’d like to add 11 signs pointing our users to Iron Belle Trail route information, local points of historic or cultural interest, amenities, bike repair stations, picnic areas, Bald Mountain Recreation Area, local parks, and other trail connections.

 Bridge 33.7 Replacement and Trail Resurfacing

Paint Creek Trail was scheduled for two major construction projects in 2018. BOTH PROJECTS HAVE BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL 2019.

Bridge 33.7, which is located on the trail between Dutton and Silver Bell Roads, is scheduled to be replaced.  This $750,000 project, which is being funded by a $300,0000 Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant, a $300,000 Federal Transportation Alternatives Program grant, and a $150,000 cash match from Oakland Township Parks and Recreation, is scheduled to start in late Spring or early Summer 2018.  The Paint Creek Trail will be completely closed to thru traffic for 60-90 days.  Unfortunately, there is no detour.  You will be able to use the trail from Rochester Municipal Park to Dutton Road, or Silver Bell Road to Children’s Park in Lake Orion. The one mile section between Dutton Road and Silver Bell Road will be completely closed during the bridge replacement. Please plan your visit to the Paint Creek Trail accordingly.  After the bridge is replaced, the Paint Creek Trail is tentatively scheduled to be re-surfaced with crushed limestone, from Rochester to Lake Orion, with rolling closures.  At this time, bridge construction is tentatively planned to start around June 1, 2018 and both projects will tentatively be completed by September 30, 2018. This schedule is tentative, and subject to change.

You can get regular updates on the construction and trail closures the following ways:

  • Paint Creek Trail FaceBook Page:
  • Paint Creek Trail Twitter Page:
  • Paint Creek Trail Website Page:
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 248-651-9260

Tienken Educational Pathway Project


March 19, 2018 Update:  The Tienken pathway is scheduled to be developed in Fall 2018.  Only the pathway surface will be developed this year.  We will hold more informational input sessions as we plan on developing any other low-impact elements.  

Plans  are underway to develop an Educational Pathway north of Tienken.  The pathway will be surfaced with crushed asphalt, and several educational displays will be placed along the 1/4 mile path.  In addition, we will be adding a few benches, a trash receptacle, dog waste bag dispenser, and native plant gardens.

The project site is located 800 feet north of Bridge 32.3, which is the first bridge north of Tienken, on the east side.  The project site is on Trailways Commission property, between the developed Paint Creek Trail and the Kings Cove Condominiums.

To provide more information on this project, we’ve developed a list of Frequently Asked Questions (Click here for a PDF copy:  Tienken Pathway FAQs):

What is the mission of the Paint Creek Trailways Commission?

The Trailways Commission is charged with managing the Trail property, and takes great thought and effort into providing the best experience for all trail users and visitors.  Their mission is “to provide trail users a natural, scenic, and educational recreation experience while preserving the ecological integrity of the Paint Creek Trail for the enjoyment of present and future generations.”

Why are you developing this pathway? The Paint Creek Trailways Commission has been interested in developing interpretive passive recreation side trails for over 15 years, and has included such projects in their Recreation Master Plans.  In addition, the section of the trail in the City of Rochester Hills was next in line for a cultural project (the first project was a Burr Oak Leaf Sculpture in a Gazebo-style structure in Oakland Township.  The second project was the Rochester Historical Art project, a series of 6 glass displays along the Downtown Rochester River Walk).  The Commission feels the location of the first interpretive side path is appropriate because an unofficial path has already been created, and very little earthwork would need to be done. The PCTC believes this project fulfills its mission.

What kind of surface will be developed? The path will be surfaced with crushed limestone, like the rest of the Paint Creek Trail.

Why does it need to be 5 feet wide?  The new pathway will be 5 feet wide.  To be in compliance with Federal Law and the Americans with Disabilities Act, any new public pathway must be at least 5 feet wide to accommodate wheelchairs.

When will the surface be developed? We are hoping for summer 2019, after the Bridge 33.7 Project in Oakland Township is completed.

What else is planned for the pathway? The pathway will be pedestrian use only – no bicycles may be ridden on it (although you could “walk” your bike on the path) We plan on building native plant gardens in several sections along the path.  We will also have a “respite” area with a few benches, trash cans, and dog waste bag dispenser.  We will have 3-5 interpretive displays spread out on the ¼ mile path.  Subjects of the displays may include:  Native Plants vs Invasive species; Trail history; Wildlife along the trail; Trail etiquette; and the Paint Creek Designated Trout Stream.

What is the timeline for the interpretive displays?The priority is the pathway development.  Once that is done, we will plan and design the interpretive displays, and work with local gardeners regarding the native plants.  We are hoping to develop the displays in 2019 by late fall or early 2020.

Who is paying for this project?The City of Rochester Hills will be paying for the surface. The Paint Creek Trailways Commission, the Friends of the Paint Creek Trail, and local grant dollars will pay for the development of the project.  The benches will be made of recycled plastic and will be paid for by donors.

I am concerned about maintenance and trash. Who will be maintaining this pathway?The City of Rochester Hills Parks and Forestry Department currently maintains their section of the Paint Creek Trail.  They will also maintain the new pathway, and will empty the trash when they empty the other trash cans along the trail. We expect no increase in the amount of trash collected above that which is now generated on the parallel section of the main trail.

I am concerned about safety and speeding bicycles. What are your plans regarding both?  Based on initial feedback from residents in Kings Cove, we will make this path pedestrian only, and install “no bicycle riding” signs.  This should alleviate some concerns about bicycles. The Oakland County Sheriff Mounted Patrol will continue patrolling this area seasonally.  In addition, we plan on developing the path with diversions that would deter any fast riding for bicyclists that choose to ignore the “no bicycle riding” rule.

This is close to my condo, and I’m worried people will trespass or use this area as a bathroom. We understand that this path will be a little wider and more developed than the current path, and understand you may be concerned about your property.  After speaking with some board members, we have offered to install “Private Property – No Trespassing” signs at several of the access points that residents of Kings Cove have created over the years.  We will do our upmost to discourage anyone from entering Kings Cove.  In addition, since this area will be developed and maintained, we believe there will not be people using this area as a bathroom.  We provide a restroom seasonally 1000 feet south of this location, and feel that it will be used appropriately.  If any residents find that there are new trespassing or “indecent” issues, we will continue to advise them to call the Oakland C0unty Sheriff’s Office and the Paint Creek Trail Office so it can be addressed.  We have a local ordinance in Rochester Hills prohibiting trail users from trespassing onto adjacent lands.  The Sheriff’s Office can write tickets to anyone caught trespassing.

Are you building a nature center? No.  We are not building any structural buildings.  We have no plans to build a nature center.

How will enormous utility trucks have access to the power lines and equipment if you install benches, trash cans, gardens, etc., in their right-of-way? Will their trucks destroy the asphalt? We will not be installing anything in utility right-of-ways.  All improvements will be done on Paint Creek Trailways Commission right-of-way.  Utility trucks can still access power lines and equipment.  Their trucks can continue driving in the grass.  If need be, they can drive over the crushed limestone surface, and it will not damage it.

I’m worried the benches will encourage people to linger around our condos and create noise all hours of the night. The benches will be provided for those who wish to use them to rest while on the trail during open times.  We have over 30 benches along the 8.9 miles of trail, and have not had any complaints about people “lingering” or creating noise all hours of the night.  The trail is closed from 10 pm to 6 am every day.  If someone is on the trail during that timeframe creating noise, or doing something illegal, we recommend that you call the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and make a report.

Will you be removing the trees between this path and our condos? No.  The tree line will remain untouched, and will continue to provide screening from the Paint Creek Trail.

I have more questions. Who do I contact? You can contact Trail Manager Melissa Ford at [email protected].

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