Enjoyed the chance to explore a new area of Michigan and saw this FKT route posted by Kathryn Burt. I was moved by the deep meaning behind the trail to her and her family and wanted to explore the route. It was a truly beautiful fall day and as I reflect upon the route - this was a such a pleasant trail to run. The trail is nearly 100% crushed limestone and essentially flat, crossing only a few major roads. Otherwise - you are able to just enjoy the feeling of running through the woods on a trail that does not require you to look at your feet constantly. There were a number of families out walking, beautiful pastures (I miss our horses so it was a joy to see some running around!), lots of little critters including deer, squirrels, and more, some cyclists, and a few other runners. I opted for the out and back since I drove out solo. Though I believe the official trail ends at Atwater road - I opted to run a bit extra to the trailhead that crosses over Paint Creek again and then turned around from the trailhead sign/parking lot there. Since I accidentally forgot to bring my beloved Picky Bars or any calories with me for the miles - I was extra motivated once I finished to drive to the nearby Paint Creek Cider Mill and enjoyed a few cider donuts as a reward (thank you for the recommendation Kathryn). I fully expect others to post a more speedy time for the out & back version as my legs were feeling heavy from other training earlier in the week - but I was just eager to explore and soak up the pleasantries of a new trail.
So happy you enjoyed the Paint Creek Trail & the apple cider donuts. Thanks for the thoughtful write-up, and BIG congrats on the FKT!! Cheers, Kathryn