Explore: Clinton River Trail in Auburn Hills
(Crystal A. Proxmire, May 10, 2023)
Auburn Hills, MI – For a couple of miles, The Clinton River Trail runs through the city of Auburn Hills. For a recent stroll I started at the Opdyke Road Trailhead and took it to Downtown Auburn Hills. The path runs along what used to be a railroad line, built in 1880 to connect Pontiac to Romeo. In 1883 the line was expanded westward to Jackson. According to the historical market closer to downtown, the last time a freight train rolled through on the tracks was 1998. Auburn Hills bought in and in 2003 that stretch of the trail opened.
It’s a nice little walk, often taking users through tree-lined backyards on a trail raised up higher than the surrounding properties. The trail also goes over I-75, as well as along the back side of Avondale High School. In a few places, old railroad ties can still be seen alongside the paved pathway. At Opdyke there are places to sit, and a bike repair station.
The Clinton River Trail spans 16 miles in Oakland County and connects to other trails including the Polly Ann Trail and West Bloomfield Trail. A trail system connecting Port Huron to South Haven is in the works, including the Clinton River Trail.
Along this stretch the path is very smooth, and seems to be a popular place for runners and bicyclists. Among the animals I spotted for my walk were a bunny rabbit and a cat that was in the midst of hunting something smaller than itself.
Learn more about the Clinton River Trail at http://www.clintonrivertrail.org
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