Explore: Polly Ann Trail

Explore: Polly Ann Trail

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Nov. 14, 2021)

Leonard, Oxford, Lake Orion, MI – Northern Oakland County is known for the parks and trails that connect people with nature, and the Polly Ann Trail is a great example of this. Stretching nearly 17 miles that uses part of an old Grand Trunk Western Railroad line, The Polly Ann Trail starts in Orion Township, passes through Oxford Township and Addison Township through the Village of Leonard. From there it extends further into Lapeer County, going another 20 miles to North Branch Township.

Through Oakland County the trail is easy, with a crushed stone surface and plenty of width for passing runners and bicyclists.  North of Leonard the trail gets more rustic.  Along the way, visitors pass through patches of woods as well as farmlands, seeing lakes and streams along the way.  In Leonard  there’s the old Leonard Mill, which locals are hoping to restore.  More info on that historic place and efforts to save it can be found at https://www.leonardmill.com/.  In Orion Township visitors can see the new township hall which is under construction.

During my strolls at the end of October, the Detroit Institute of Arts had public art pieces along the trail in Orion Township, including Monet’s Rounded Flower Bed and Whistler’s Noctune in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket.  Even without the art though, the trail provides miles of beauty and nature, especially with the leaves changing for the fall season.

Learn more about Polly Ann Trail at https://www.pollyanntrailway.org.


Check out places to Explore in Oakland County and beyond in the Oakland County Times Explore Index.  We are currently looking for a sponsor for our Explore! series. If you’d like to help us do more stories like this, please contact editor@oc115.com for more info.  Or you can make a donation to our website through PayPal.


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