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Paint Creek Trail

Easy/Intermediate

Trail

2.4 mile 3.9 kilometer point to point
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 33' 10 m
Descent: -124' -38 m
High: 738' 225 m
Low: 636' 194 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 1% (1°)
Max Grade: 3% (2°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Kenny Slocum

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A nice mellow jaunt along Big Paint Creek.

Kenny Slocum

Features River/Creek

Need to Know

There is water at the information kiosk near the sawmill area.

Description

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.

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Jul 21, 2018
Joe Allison

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#9525

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#27

in Iowa

#9,525

Overall
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69 Since Apr 28, 2018
Easy/Intermediate

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