Wilder Side of Oakland County
2016, Sunday, October 1st is the exciting and family friendly Rattlesnake Run 5K Run/Walk. It takes place on the beautiful Paint Creek Trail and is sponsored by the Michigan Nature Association. The $30 Rattlesnake Run entry fee on race day promotes efforts to preserve habitats for the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake, a species of special concern in Michigan. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to list the species as a Threatened Species under the Endangered Species Act.
The matrix of wetlands and dry uplands created by retreating glaciers set the stage for the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus Catenatus) to thrive in sections of Oakland County. For much of the summer these reclusive venomous reptiles used their heat-seeking pits to detect meadow mice and other small rodents. Now that October has arrived, the Eastern Massasaugas are heading back to their wetlands to slither down moist crayfish burrows for a six month snooze in a state of suspended animation.
Sunday’s race begins and ends at the Rochester Municipal Park located behind the municipal office building at 400 6th St., Rochester. Enter the park over the footbridge, and veer to your right on the sidewalk. It takes you to the beginning of the Paint Creek Trail, an 8.9 mile linear park located in northeast Oakland County managed by the Paint Creek Trailways Commission.
Paint Creek Trail was the first Rail-to-Trail in the State, as it was converted to a trail from the former Penn Central Railroad. Open to the public since 1983, the Paint Creek Trail receives more than 100,000 visitors annually. The non-motorized Trail is eight feet wide, and traverses through Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, Orion Township and the Village of Lake Orion. For more information on the Paint Creek Trail, a trail that follows the flow of Paint Creek, click here.
All participants will receive a commemorative Rattlesnake Run T-shirt! You can register on site the morning of the race, or register here before the race.
The race starts at 11 am but packet pickups and race day entry begin at 9:30 am. Medals go to the top 3 runners in all age groups. 13 and under; 14-19; 20-24; 25-29; 30-34; 35-39; 40-44; 45-49; 50-54; 55-59; 60-64; 65-69; and 70 +
Text and photos by Jonathan Schechter, Nature Education Writer for Oakland County Parks.
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