Saginaw Valley Rail Trail

Trail Map

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Saginaw Valley Rail-Trail is a perfect summer escape, since the foliage-drenched corridor offers respite from the sun. This 10-mile trail edges Saginaw's southern boundary before it heads south to St. Charles. Equestrians follow a parallel path that begins at Stroebel Road, where there is plenty of parking, and continues all the way to Martin Road.

From the trailhead, you are in nature's garden. Luscious displays of Queen Anne's lace and wildflowers cluster along the route. Interpretive signs identify many of these species and add a nice touch to your trip. Equally pleasing is the thick carpet of plants flanking much of the trail. The intact canopy of trees makes you feel as if you are in a large forest. The trail provides views of a mix of agricultural and residential land.

About a third of the way through your journey, you will reach a trailhead at the corner of Swan Creek Road and Van Wormer Road that has restrooms, soda machines, drinking fountains and parking. Located between Van Wormer and Benkert roads is a fishing platform, where you may see anglers hoping to snag a trout, perch or smallmouth bass.

There are three pocket parks, complete with wooden gazebos and benches, along the trail. The first is located between Stroebel Road and River Road, the second between Spencer Road and Lakefield Road and the third between Teft Road and Prior Road. These shelters provide opportunities to relax and further soak in the solace of your leafy green surroundings.

The last half of the trail skirts the Shiawassee River State Game Area. This natural area gives you the chance for some excellent wildlife viewing. Stop at the viewing platform at Martin Road and take in the scenery. Watch for geese, ducks, swans and white-tailed deer throughout the year. Lumberjack Park in St. Charles is the end of the line for this straight, wide and smooth trail. The trail ends with a trip across a historical stone railroad trestle bridge and a pretty view of the Bad River.

Parking and Trail Access

To start in Saginaw, head south of town on State Route M-46. About 1.25 miles east of State Route M-47 turn right onto S. Center Road. Go 1.75 miles to Stroebel Road. Turn right and go 1.5 miles to the trailhead and parking lot (no facilities).

To start in St. Charles, from the stoplight downtown at Saginaw Street and W. Belle Avenue, go 1 block west on Saginaw to E. Water Street. Turn right and proceed 2 blocks to the trailhead and parking on the left.


A beauty of a trail!

   September, 2015 by wildcatrudy

This trail was not quite what I expected, but regardless, it is one of the nicer trails I have traveled. There is plenty of forested area to ride through for shade. There are glimpses of farmland beyond the trees bordering the old rail line. At the southern more

Fast Bikes

   September, 2015 by diawags1_1

I have lived in Shields for 23 years and was so excited for this trail. I have used it since it's creation. I walk my dog there very often but I find that lately the race bikers have made it kind of dangerous. I have seen 10-20 bikers flocked together more

my favorite trail

   May, 2015 by lkg519f

This is a smooth and scenic trail.I bike it several times a week and always see lots of wildlife. I also always see the trail being maintained. It is kept very nicely. It's shady in a lot of spots which is great for a hot day. read more