When complete, the Paul Henry - Thornapple Trail will be a 42-mile, multi-use recreation trail, extending from Grand Rapids to Vermontville; it eventually may be extended to Jackson. The trail is being constructed on or near a former railroad corridor. Some sections have been completed, while others are either in development or proposal stage.
The trail passes through farmlands, woodlands and small towns, coursing along and over rivers and creeks. Indeed, some people call it the most beautiful rail trial in Michigan. Part of its beauty is its proximity to the Thornapple River.
Currently, paved sections of the trail include 2.5 miles through the heart of Kentwood. The southern 1.25 miles in Kentwood (Wing to Stauffer) runs through a rural area. The northern spur (Stauffer to Kalamazoo/44th) runs through neighborhoods and commercial sections of Kentwood.
Three and a half miles of the Paul Henry - Thornapple Trail is paved between Middleville and Irving. Kent County Parks hopes to have another mile paved by the end of summer 2011, which will complete the paving between Dutton and Caledonia.
The Thornapple Trail Association anticipates opening another trail section in 2012, linking Caledonia to Middleville, as well as paving a section through Hastings.
For the most up-to-date information on the progress of this trail, or to get involved with this trail's development, visit the Thornapple Trail Association
In Kentwood parking is available at Stauffer and 52nd Street (Stauffer Station), and very limited parking is availble at Wing Station. Bowen Station (Kalamazoo and 44th Street) has parking for 30 cars. All parking lots are on the trail. Overflow parking is available at Challenger School one block east of Stauffer on 52nd street.
Maps of the trail are available on the Trail Websites.
We recently traveled a portion of this trail near Middleville Mi. It traverses alongside the Thornapple River and its backwaters. It is a paved section that is beautiful and well maintained. It appears to be used often by bikers, hikers and the local ...