White Pine Trail State Park has become an important part of what makes Plainfield Charter Township such an enjoyable place to live and raise a family. The trail accommodates mountain biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, rollerblading, walking and running, and the northern 78.5 miles accommodates snowmobiling.
From Grand Rapids (Riverside Park) on the south end to Cadillac on the north, White Pine Trail State Park, at 93-miles in length, is the longest rail trail in the state. It was constructed on an abandoned rail right-of-way and trail surfaces include natural ballast, hard packed gravel, and asphalt. From Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park to the Russell Road Staging Area, north of 15 Mile Road, the nearly 15-mile paved section that runs through Plainfield Charter Township, the City of Rockford and part of Algoma Township are considered by many to be the most scenic segment of the White Pine Trail, and perhaps the most scenic stretch of rail trail in the state. Wildlife abounds along this stretch with much of the trail running adjacent to the Rogue River, offering scenic views of the river, lush woodlands, rolling terrain and numerous varieties of seasonal wildflowers.
Plans for the former Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad line started long before dedication on July 20, 1994, when Michigan residents began petitioning the state government to establish a permanent, paved trail for all non-motorized, recreational uses. Future trails will intersect the “White Pine”, establishing it as the backbone of Michigan’s rail trail network. Currently, facilities in Cadillac, Big Rapids, and Belmont serve as the major trailheads for the White Pine Trail. The Belmont trailhead is at Rogue River Park and includes amenities such as modern restrooms and picnic facilities. Future plans for the White Pine Trail State Park include paving the entire trail to Cadillac and constructing 17 major staging areas. Currently, the Michigan DNR only provides emergency maintenance services and looks to municipalities to conduct general maintenance and operating activities for the trail. Several communities along the trail are planning and building additional amenities to enhance the trail experience.
TRAIL HIGHLIGHTS Township Map
“FRIENDS OF THE WHITE PINE TRAIL”
The “Friends” is a volunteer group that was formed in 1997 (Web Page). We are a non-profit organization with a southern and northern chapter. The southern chapter meets on the second Wednesday of each month at various locations in the vicinity of the trail. The northern chapter meets periodically at selected locations near the trail. (Click here for the meeting schedule)
OUR MISSION To enhance and fully develop the White Pine Trail.
OUR VISION The White Pine Trail State Park will provide a safe, accessible, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly recreation opportunity.
OUR GOAL To see the White Pine Trail State Park have a paved surface from Comstock Park to Cadillac.
We need you as a member: We need you to help us support trail development. We are volunteers; none of us are natural resource professionals, yet we have been very successful in influencing a magnificent recreational resource. Your input, ideas, thoughts, and dreams are needed to continue this tremendous volunteer effort. We work with state and local officials to fully develop the trail and enable trail users an excellent trail experience. The more members we have in the “Friends” group, the greater our impact.
Together we can:
• Assist / support trail improvements. • Lobby for a paved and
fully developed trail. • Provide our organization maximum leverage.
Additional resources: Rails-to-Trails Conservancy www.railtrails.org
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