The Pere Marquette State Trail, managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, begins in Clare and courses for 53 miles west through beautiful woodlands and fields to Baldwin. If you want to go east from Clare, you can hop on the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail via a 1.5-mile on-road connection to travel 30 miles to Midland.
The eastern portion of the trail, from Clare to Reed City, is paved. The remainder of the trail is crushed limestone. The trail passes nearby wetlands, showcasing wildflowers and streams, and offers trailside benches to rest and enjoy the scenery. Along the way, you’ll cross over Baldwin River and Sanborn Creek; pass by bogs, lakes, and ponds; and trek through tamarack stands and rolling fields.
In Reed City, the trail intersects the White Pine Trail State Park just east of Old US 131/Chestnut Street. That trail travels a whopping 93 miles, north to Cadillac and south to Grand Rapids. This charming small town community makes a nice rest stop with a welcome center (including bathrooms) located in the Reed City Depot. The eye-catching building is modeled after the original 1892 train station.
Parking is available at the Baldwin trailhead on the trail’s west end. In Reed City and Evart, parking and bathrooms are available at the restored railroad depots. In Farwell, parking is available in the City Park off Main Street.