National Recreation Trails Database


Trail Description Continued

Paint Creek Trail, the first rail-trail in Michigan, is a nature lover's dream. It follows the Paint Creek as it meanders though fields, prairies, woodlands and marshlands. The Paint Creek is the major remaining cold water designated trout stream in the Detroit area, around which many game and non-game birds, frogs, snakes and toads make their home. A naturalized corridor, the Trailways is home to fox, squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, quail, pheasant and forest birds. White tail deer are frequently observed in early morning or at dusk. Acquired in 1983, it was developed with crushed limestone in 1990. Crushed limestone was chosen over asphalt to maintain the natural setting. This 8 ft wide, all weather surface makes it ideal for many activities, including hiking, hiking, walking, skiing and horse riding and serves a broad population of 128,000. The Trail Commission recently restored a 1.3 acre natural Prairie and commemorated the project with a cultural art project and educational video. Our prairie site is home to many native species, including Big Blue Stem and Wild Lupine.

The Paint Creek Trail is an integral part of the extensive Oakland Trail Network which will include 212 miles of trail when completed. Some significant connections include: Clinton River Trail and Macomb Orchard Trail. Our next connection will be with the Polly Ann Trail. Our trail also extends through Bald Mountain Recreation Area, a 4,637 acre state park with an extensive trail system. Many historic resources are located along the trail. Historians believe that the Native Americans were active in the area and followed the Paint Creek to create a transportation corridor. Within a short walk from the trail, the Paint Creek and Goodison Cider Mills are located in the unincorporated Village of Goodison. In Orion Township, the Carpenter-Rudd Mill Site abuts the trail and Bald Mountain. Our design, connections, partnerships and accessible resources improve the quality of life for all users.


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This website provides access to the National Recreation Trail (NRT) database, a collection of information on the various trails which have been designated as NRT's. These trails are located throughout the United States and U.S. territories. The amount of information may vary from trail to trail. If you need more information than is available on this site, please use the contact(s) listed for that trail. (If no contacts, are listed, you may request help from American Trails at

The on-line database has details on the currently designated National Recreation Trails. The NRT Program online is hosted by American Trails: