Looking for the best trails around Big Rapids?

Explore the best rated trails in Big Rapids, MI. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Fred Meijer Flat River Trail and Betsie Valley Trail. With more than 22 trails covering 508 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

Recent Trail Reviews

William Field Memorial Hart-Montague Trail State Park

Trail itself is smooth and easy to use. We rode in the middle of Fall, after wind storm, so trail was leaf and branch covered, still, not hard to ride just a bit..Bumpy.

October, 2022 by erubringer

Trail itself is smooth and easy to use. We rode in the middle of Fall, after wind storm, so trail was leaf and branch covered, still, not hard to ride just a bit..Bumpy.

Pere Marquette Rail-Trail

great trail

September, 2022 by yoopersteve89

I ride from Midland to Clare, then ride back. It’s a great trail with plenty of stops for restrooms, water fountains, and convenient stores. The trail is fixed in Sanford, and no longer requires navigating around the detour.

Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park

Comstock Park to Rockford

September, 2022 by jimyt53

Hi i I am partially disabled and have to use a electric assist bike to be able to ride. The past few weeks ive been able to go to Rockford and bake While there was some maintenance being done along trail, it was a awesome ride and some beautiful areas to see along the way As you get closer to Rockford is used more by both walkers and bikers Thankful for this trail

Accordion

Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park

Nice ride. Well maintained asphalt trail. Fish hatchery in Paris is worth a visit.

September, 2022 by erubringer

Nice ride. Well maintained asphalt trail. Fish hatchery in Paris is worth a visit.

Fred Meijer Heartland Trail

Greenville to Alma

September, 2022 by twkramer04

The first 12 miles heading north out of Greenville was so bumpy and cracked I was wishing I had my gravel bike vs. my road bike. It smoothed out after that and the trail was fast and relatively nice.

Watch the road crossings. Eventhough they look quiet I found that quite a few of them had traffic.

Overall a pretty nice trail.

Pere Marquette Rail-Trail

Awesome ride

September, 2022 by yoopersteve89

I’m a huge fan of this rail trail. Park at the tridge, ride to Clare for lunch, then ride back! There are tunnels under the busy roads near Midland and Clare, but you have to watch out for a few road crossings in between. Water fountains at both ends, Sanford, and Coleman. Little store halfway between Sanford and Coleman. Plenty of restrooms along the trail.

Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park

A treasure of a trail!

August, 2022 by jbjimm

I've now ridden from Cadillac through Tustin, LeRoy, and Ashton to Reed City. Such a delightful trail for road bikes! I especially liked the portions north of Ashton as they were away from the road and more undeveloped (woods, hills, valleys, cool swamps, neat farms) and interesting. The condition of the pavement is very good except for two locations 1) a very short section north of Tustin where some roots are starting to undermine the asphalt, and 2) immediately north of Reed City where there are some cracks across the pavement. Enjoy this treasure of a trail!

Musketawa Trail

If you are a road biker, don't bother. There are so many better options.

August, 2022 by timmyb1957

I will preface this by saying I am only reviewing the portion of the trail between the Marne endpoint and the long rail trestle just shy of Ravenna, AND I am reviewing this from the standpoint of road cyclists. Rail trails (especially rural ones) are usually very good to great for road cyclists. This is one of the few that I would say to simply not even bother with. It is obvious this trail was put down years ago and then has had little (very little) money spent on maintenance through the years. There are so many trouble spots which were painted so long ago that the paint has now faded and is barely visible. The repairs were never done.

If you have a bike that can absorb a lot (and I mean "A LOT!") of impact without discomfort, this might be OK, IF you are capable of quick reactions and have good riding skills. We traveled an hour to reach this trail via car and it truly was not worth it.

Starting at the trailhead outside of Marne, the parking is plentiful, paved, and quite inviting. There is a larger portable toilet provided, which was well-maintained on this day. The parking leads directly onto the trail without using any roads or connectors, which is good.

The first three miles are truly the worst paved trail we have ever ridden on and we have ridden trails in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Utah, ... We had been told that the pavement was "not the best" but we kinda underestimated just what that meant. By the time those first three miles were finished, my hands and wrists hurt so badly, I needed some ibuprofen, and this has NEVER happened to me in my years of riding. Sadly, I had none with me. There were so many spots where the grass is actually growing up through the pavement right in the middle that it is starting to look like a 2-track. There were several ruts/bumps that were so severe, they could possibly damage a rim if taken at any speed above 10 mph. The worst part is, this section is mostly shady, so your eyes can't pick up on these hazards too well.

The next three miles improved slightly. Not a great trail, but not as dangerous as the first three. This took us to Conklin, which is about one block long. Fortunately, they have a real nice little store there from which you can buy some refreshments or maybe some ibuprofen!

After you leave Conklin and continue on, the trail again gets marginally better. It is beginning to deteriorate, though. There are places where you can see the asphalt is eroding because it hasn't been sealed in so long and the hard surface is becoming almost a gravel. We rode for another five miles or so until we reached the long trestle over Crockery Creek. This is one of the very few sights to see on this trail, but it is a good one. A nice place to simply stop and listen to the rapids beneath you (probably 60 feet down, or so). Nice photo opportunity.

The positives I can give for this trail are (1) they did a great job squaring the crossings to the street (they almost always made sure you were seeing traffic at a 90-degree angle, instead of the actual angle of the trail at the road), and (2) signage was very good (stop signs were well marked and always had the name of the cross-street so you knew exactly where you were on the map).

The good news about the negatives is, these problems are fixable. It simply takes commitment of resources. Some communities do this, some don't. I truly hope that those in control of this trail allocate what is needed to bring this trail up to the standard it could be at. Houses can be run down but have "good bones". This trail has GREAT bones. It could be fabulous. Hopefully, it will be.

William Field Memorial Hart-Montague Trail State Park

one of the BEST!

July, 2022 by tjmodd

This trail is one of the best out there; flat, shaded, well-maintained, perfect for a road-bike. Not all trails are like this one. Take advantage of it!

Musketawa Trail

Enjoyed this trail

July, 2022 by tjmodd

Paved the whole way. Some rough areas that aren’t terrible. More sun toward the west end of the trail but quite a bit of shade over all. I ride this trail with a mountain bike and love it. Mostly flat but the east end of the trail has 3 to 4 hills. Will do this one again!

Fred Meijer Flat River Valley Rail Trail

Lowell to Smyrna ride was great!

July, 2022 by kevin.f.leininger

July 2022 - Started in Lowell and rode north about 12mi to Smyrna and came back. It was a great trail. The first mile or two was paved, then it switched to well maintained crushed gravel. Most of it was very solid, with a few wet parts that were a bit soft but easily passible on a fat tire e-bike. While there were roughly 10 road crossings, it was very rural with most of your view being pasture, woods, ponds, and farm fields. I saw multiple deer, woodchuck, birds, and other wildlife. They were harvesting haybales at the farms, so that was cool to see as well. The trail was well traveled, so it felt remote yet safe given all the other walkers, runners, and bikers around.

Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park

Wonderful Trail / State park

July, 2022 by uscgduggy

I recently moved to the Cadillac area and have had this trail in my crosshairs for quite some time. So yesterday ( 7-23-22 ) , I set out from Cadillac at 0900 and rode the trail in its entirety, arriving in Grand Rapids just before 5pm. The scenery along with small town Americana was very enjoyable.
I had visited this site several times prior to my adventure to learn of what I may have to look forward to. I would like to add a few thoughts…
First of all, I’m a mountain biker. This trail is very easy, but riding with a M.B. surely has advantages. The unpacked portion was ( for me anyway ) more to my liking. I can’t speak for others, especially you skinny tire riders, but it was my favorite section ( south of Big Rapids to Sand lake roughly ) . I passed a small group on this section but that was it and saw nobody until I picked back up with the paved section at Sand lake. The riding was easy, being hard packed gravel and dirt. I’ve rode trails all over the U.S. and there’s one thing they all have in common- the paved trails usually show signs of degrading and that makes the ride tougher on those that expect a smooth surface. It is what it is. Hence the reason I enjoy natural non paved. And like I eluded, I noticed more users on the paved portions north and south than I did on the natural mid section.
Takeaways—
There’s always someone that feels the need to litter. I don’t know how many Cliff bar wrappers I picked up, at least 6. There’s no need for it.
Those that point out every detail or flaw of this trail- y’all need to get outside more!😂. As I said earlier, skinny tire folks won’t care for the mid section probably. But the entire trail is so easy and well maintained, it’s even better than riding the local roads .
Bring your own food and water, yet there are many places to get off and replenish supplies if need be.
Overall, this was truly a great experience. My hats off to the volunteers and DNR for maintaining such a wonderful resource . I will be doing this ride again in the upcoming fall for sure.
For those that wonder, I had a ride waiting for me in GR. My girlfriend had planned it so that she would be downstate and picked me up for the trip back up north. 90 miles on a bike is enough for one day,😂
Everyone enjoy this trail and others in this great state!

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