“A nice mellow jaunt along Big Paint Creek.
— Kenny Slocum
Need to Know
There is water at the information kiosk near the sawmill area.
This trail connects Donahue Road
with White Pine Road, which is just west of the park information center and Big Paint Campground.
From the White Pine Road trailhead, the trail is a nice, grassy doubletrack moving right along the banks of Big Paint Creek. A few trails branch off of the west end of this trail, the Bluff Trail
and Larkin Valley Trail
, making it a good jumping off point for longer, more climby routes.
The trail crosses the highway, State Forest Road, about halfway through. Shortly after that junction, there's a creek crossing that has large boulders to help pedestrians cross. A few other equestrian crossings invite more adventurous users who aren't afraid to get their feet a little wet in the shallow creek.
The tread is mostly grass and dirt, but a few spots can be slightly muddy. The scenery in the narrow valley is bucolic, and the option to continue onto Donahue Road
makes this a relaxing, low-grade option that won't thrash the legs.
Flora & Fauna
Big Paint creek is stocked with Rainbow and Brown trout, and also contains native Brook trout. When the water runs clear these critters are easily spotted nipping at bugs on the surface.
A small pond just before the Donahue Road
trailhead is a regular spot to watch waterfowl and Great Blue heron, and any number of temporary visitors using the Mississippi flyway during migrations.