The 25-mile Musketawa Trail provides a patchwork of scenery from Muskegon to Marne, neatly divided by its four trailheads. From west to east the trailheads are in Muskegon at Broadway and in Ravenna, Conklin and Marne. Grand Rapids is only 4 miles east of the Marne trailhead, making it the most heavily used of these facilities.
Leaving Muskegon on the paved trail you pass through light industrial and residential areas and skirt the county prison and the fairgrounds. Then sprawling hay fields and crops of blueberries, corn and cucumbers dominate the rest of the way to Ravenna. Ravenna, at mile 13, is considered the midpoint of the trail. Look closely at the old railroad water tower along the trail; the base was repaired and restored, and a replica wooden tank was installed to mirror its appearance during the era when the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad ran this line.
The Ravenna business district, located about 0.5 mile north of the water tower and trailhead, is a good place to stop for a rest or to eat or stock up on snacks. The Crockery Creek trestle, just ahead, rises 45 feet above Crockery Creek. The eastern portion of the trail is more heavily shaded, passing through long stretches of open farmland and wooded landscapes of pines and maples.
At the small village of Conklin, about halfway between Ravenna and Marne, there is another trailhead with no amenities. Despite its proximity to Grand Rapids, the Marne trailhead is in a rural area. Nevertheless, it is a hopping spot in every season. Bicyclists, runners, walkers, inline skaters and even horseback riders head here in warmer months, while snowshoers, cross-country skiers and snowmobilers taking to the trail when the snow flies.
The Musketawa Trail will only get busier, as long-term plans call for extending it east to connect with Grand Rapids trails and west from Muskegon to meet the Hart-Montague Trail
To access the Muskegon trailhead, take US 31 to Exit 72B. Take Sherman Avenue east for 1 mile. Turn left onto Broadway Avenue and travel for 1 mile. The trailhead will be on your left.
To access the Marne trailhead, take westbound Interstate 96 to Exit 25. Take 8th Avenue (turn right at the bottom of the ramp and then left at the T intersection) and follow it north for approximately 1.5 miles. The trailhead will be on your left just past Garfield Road.