The Paint Creek Trail was the first rail-to-trail route in Michigan and has been a popular trail since its opening in 1983. The trail extends nearly 9 miles miles through Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, Orion Township, and Lake Orion. The trail has a crushed limestone surface and is used for biking, walking, jogging, and horseback riding.
The trail passes through many wooded areas and parallels the route of Paint Creek. The trail is eight feet wide, and dog owners must keep their pets under control and on a leash. Horses are only allowed on the trail north of Dutton Road.
Horse owners and dog owners must clean up after their animals.
The southern end of the trail starts near Main Street in Rochester, near the Paint Creek Tavern. You can park at Rochester Municipal Park and access the Paint Creek Trail by using a paved path from the parking area. Rochester Municipal Park is a beautiful park on Pine Street that has a paved path that circles a pond.
In Lake Orion, you can access the trail from a sidewalk along the south side of Atwater Street, about
400 feet east of the intersection for Atwater Street and Lapeer Road/M-24. A short paved fork south of Atwater Street ends behind the Kentucky Fried Chicken along Lapeer Road/M-24. You can also access the trail in Lake Orion from the end of Newton Drive, where you can park at the end of the drive.
Other parking areas are located at Clarkston Road, Gallagher Road, Dutton Road, and Tienken Road. The parking area on the north side of Tienken Road is one of the most popular trail access locations, and cars will park on the edge of the grass when the parking spaces fill up.
The Paint Creek Trail's southern end in Rochester is not far from the Clinton River Trail
The northern end of the Paint Creek Trail in Lake Orion is less than two miles from the Polly Ann Trail