Agree on signage
We agree on the signage issue. It is very difficult to find the western trailhead even with the directions provided. There is no marked parking for the trail, nor any sign to tell you where it begins. There are several private businesses with parking lots. Right on Dickman Rd and N. Brady Rd. there is a sign announcing the trail, but the only information on it is about Fort Custer. There are no trail maps on the signs and no paper maps or brochures anywhere we could find.
Since it was Sunday, we parked in one of the business lots and started on what we thought was the trail since it had signs that said "No Motor Vehicles". It turned out to be the trail, but when we came to a bridge, the trail forked with no sign indicating which fork led where. One went under the bridge, and it was obviously newer asphalt so we went that way thinking it was a new way to safely get past the bridge. The trail followed Helmer Rd. which is busy, noisy and ugly with businesses and light industry until it came to a dead end at Dickman Rd. near the airport.
We followed it back to the bridge and tried the other way which led to the north side of the river and the trail to downtown Battle Creek. Sadly, we didn't have time to follow this all the way.
The trail is bumpy despite being paved, so on some of the long down hills, it isn't safe to let gravity take you up to high speed. It is a pretty trail along the river.
A recent storm had felled a number of trees which had been cut and moved off the trail, so there is some maintenance going on.
We agree with the reviewer who said to print and bring the trail map.