Built on the bed of the former Grand Trunk Western Railroad and Detroit Urban Railway, the West Bloomfield Trail is one of Michigan's first rails-to-trails conversions, opened to the public in 1993. As in its railroad heyday, the 6.8-mile rail trail connects the communities of West Bloomfield, Orchard Lake, Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake and the campus of Orchard Lake St. Mary's school (formerly the Michigan Military Academy).
As you travel along the finely screened and compacted limestone path, you will pass by several lakes, ponds, natural areas and residential neighborhoods. The 162-acre West Bloomfield Woods Nature Preserve serves as the central staging area for the trail with Sylvan Manor Park providing trail access on the eastern end where the trail transitions into the Clinton River Trail.
Clinton River Trail
Just east of Sylvan Manor Park, the 16-mile Clinton River Trail continues on the same historic railway line as West Bloomfield Trail as it crosses and follows the course of the Clinton River. A "HAWK" beacon was installed at Orchard Lake Road in 2014, providing safe crossing over this very busy roadway.
The trail consists of four different segments. The western trail segment continues through Sylvan Lake to Bagley Street, crossing a pedestrian bridge built in 2011 over Telegraph Road as the trail enters Pontiac. The next segment of trail is a 4-mile sidewalk bypass. Where the trail terminates at Bagley Street, head south on the sidewalk on the east side of the street, and continue on the sidewalk east on South Boulevard, then north on Opdyke Road where a sign and parking area marks the entrance to the eastern section of trail. The trail is paved from Opdyke Road to Adams Road, traveling through downtown Auburn Heights. East of Adams Road the trail is surfaced with finely screened limestone. This section is nicely maintained and offers lots of great scenery and views of the river.
A half-mile east of Adams Road is the site of the "Adams Road Mastadon” where mastodon bones where discovered in 2006. In Rochester, the trail connects with the southern end of the Paint Creek Trail, which you can ride north a quarter-mile and find plenty of good places to eat and relax in downtown Rochester. Two miles east of Rochester the trail merges with the 23.5-mile Macomb Orchard Trail.