Paint Creek Trail to Host Ribbon Cutting and Recognition Ceremony


Ceremony planned for September 21, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. on the Paint Creek Trail

Oakland Township, Michigan: Join the Paint Creek Trailways Commission on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. on the Paint Creek Trail to celebrate the opening of Bridge 33.7 and the 2019 trail resurfacing along with a Recognition Ceremony for several past Trailways Commissioners.

Bridge 33.7, a 95-year-old timber pedestrian bridge located on the trail between Dutton and Silverbell Roads, was completely replaced during the summer of 2019. The design of the new seventy-five-foot keystone-style steel truss bridge greatly improves accessibility for trail users and also supports a greater load capacity, allowing maintenance and emergency vehicles to safely cross. The bridge is fundamental to the operations of the Paint Creek Trail and the new bridge provides safe, continuous use of the trail for cyclists, pedestrians, equestrians, nature lovers, and anglers. Funding for the project was provided by the Michigan Natural Resources’ Trust Fund grant program, a Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), and a grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. Oakland Township Parks and Recreation, who is responsible for the maintenance of Bridge 33.7, also contributed a $156,000 cash match for the bridge replacement.

The ribbon cutting ceremony will also celebrate the Trail’s 2019 resurfacing. As part of this project, the entire Paint Creek Trail was resurfaced with crushed limestone. Resurfacing of the trail is an ongoing event of a cyclical nature and last occurred in 2004. The four Paint Creek Trailways Commission member communities of the Oakland Township, Orion Township, Rochester, and Rochester Hills each committed funds towards the resurfacing of its section of the trail. Additional funding for the project was generously provided by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. This project greatly improved the smoothness and regularity of the trail, and provides a safer and more predictable and enjoyable surface for all trail users.

In addition to the ribbon cutting, the Trailways Commission will also honor six past Trailways Commissioners for their service to the Paint Creek Trailways Commission. Each of the past Commissioners will be presented with a commemorative pewter Paint Creek Trail spike in a display box. Being honored that day are Dr. Susan Bowyer, former Commissioner for the city of Rochester Hills; Frank Ferriolo, former Commissioner for Oakland Township; Kim Russell, former Commissioner for the city of Rochester; Lisa Sokol, former Commissioner for Orion Township; and Hank Van Agen, former Commissioner for Oakland Township. Former Paint Creek Trailways Chairperson and Commissioner for Rochester Hills Rock Blanchard will also be honored at the event with a resolution recognizing his longtime service to the Commission.

Attendees are asked to please park at the Paint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion Rd., Rochester, Michigan, 48306 and walk 1¼ miles south down the Paint Creek Trail to the bridge site for the ceremony. Please contact the Trail office at 248-651-9260 if you have a disability and require accommodations to fully participate in the event.

The Trailways Commission had planned to hold a ribbon cutting in 2020 to celebrate the opening of the new bridge and the trail resurfacing but social distancing guidelines prevented it. “The Commission is excited to celebrate the completion of these two projects with our member communities, our generous project supporters, and our enthusiastic trail users,” said Paint Creek Trail Manager Melissa Ford.

“During this ribbon cutting event, we are celebrating the completion of many needed projects along the trail. We also are honoring our past Commissioners for their community service,” said Donni Steele, Paint Creek Trailways Commission Chairperson. “Over the past several years, these Commissioners selflessly donated their time and energy to improving, watching and caring for our Paint Creek Trail – truly, one of our community gems,” she continued. “We are also very thankful for the generous grants bestowed upon us, along with the continuous community collaboration, which allowed these long-standing projects to become a reality.”

About the Paint Creek Trail: The Paint Creek Trail was the first non-motorized rail-to-trail in the State of Michigan, and traverses through the communities of Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, Orion Township, and the Village of Lake Orion. The Trail annually serves approximately 100,000 pedestrians, cyclists, equestrians, anglers, nature enthusiasts, and users of all ages and abilities. For more information about the Paint Creek Trail, visit, or call (248) 651-9260.

About the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund: The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is financed by royalties paid on the sale and lease of state-owned oil, gas, and mineral rights. Applications are accepted from state and local government agencies for the acquisition and development of outdoor recreation facilities. The deadline for applications is April 1st of each year, with the decisions made in early December. The MNRTF makes the grant recommendations and submits them to the state legislature for approval and appropriations.

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