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30th Anniversary party on Paint Creek Trail



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October 16, 2013 - The Paint Creek trail was extra busy last Saturday and not only because of the gorgeous weather.

Cyclists and trail enthusiasts from the five communities that the 8.9 mile trail touches were on their way to the Paint Creek Cider mill to celebrate the 30th year anniversary of the trail becoming Michigan's first Rail to Trail.

Multiple events were held throughout the day including free cider and donuts, a recognitions ceremony and educational trail chats on the way to the cider mill. Family bikers could stop in several locations along the trail and learn about the Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve or the Trout Unlimited Angler Access Point, or Prairie Restoration at Dutton and Silverbell to name a few locations.

Everyone met up around 10 a.m. at the cider mill and learned about the acquisition of the trail by Penn Central Railroad in 1983 for $450,000, and its development thereafter in a video produced by the City of Rochester Hills.

The 2014 winning trail photos for the 2014 calendar were also on display for families milling about the mill.

Ninety percent of the trails users are Oakland County residents.

"I think its important that people use the trail as a transportation corridor to support their local businesses and get exercise at the same time," Kristin Myers said, Trail Manager.

She said people with the Paint Creek Trail are really looking forward to any extension into downtown Lake Orion. "We want people to go as far as they can in Oakland County, we want them to come into the business districts."

The two most popular trailheads in Orion are the Atwater trailhead located behind the Kentucky Fried Chicken off M-24 and the trailhead located at Clarkston Rd. and Kern Rd, where parking is available for horse trailers.

Beyond the downtown area, Myers is also hoping to extend further up M-24 to connect with the Polly Ann Trail, the number one request of ultra-trail users, she said.

Apart from honoring all the township, volunteers and trail commissioners, the Paint Creek Trail staff also honored David Moutrie, bike patroller of the trail from 2005 to 2012. Moutrie passed away almost a year ago. His wife, Kristina and son Stuart, accepted an 11-by-14 canvas photo of him on his bike. .

"He was our trail ambassador. He was the face of the trail. Everyone knew who he was," Myers said.

Learn more about the Paint Creek Trail, or view trail maps and other information at www.paintcreektrail.org.

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