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The Fred Meijer Clinton-Ionia-Shiawassee (CIS) Rail Trail stretches 41 miles between the mid-Michigan towns of Ionia and Owosso, offering a mix of pastoral and wooded landscapes. It crosses three counties and also passes through St. Johns, Ovid, Fowler, Pewamo, and Muir; the trail is paved in the towns and crushed limestone in between.
As it traces the path of the former Central Michigan Railroad, the rail-trail crosses nine trestles and has a replica train station as a trailhead in Pewamo. And, just off the trail in St. Johns, the Clinton Northern Railway Museum, housed in a restored 1920 depot, offers visitors the chance to explore old railcars, view railroad artifacts, and operate model trains.
The trail is part of a regional 125-mile trail network named after Fred Meijer, the grocery magnate and philanthropist who supported the development of the trails. In Ionia, the CIS Trail connects to the Fred Meijer Grand River Valley Rail Trail, which continues 16 miles west to Lowell. In Lowell, one could get on the Fred Meijer Flat River Valley Trail to travel north 22 miles to Greenville, and, from Greenville, continue the journey north and east 41 miles to Alma on the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail.
Parking and restrooms are available at the Pewamo Trailhead Welcome Center located in Pewamo at the intersection of Main and Higham streets. Another nice trail stop is the Clinton Northern Railway Museum (107 E. Railroad Street) in St. Johns. St Johns has a grant and should be building a facility this year but parking,restrooms and water are available in Muir, Fowler and Ovid as
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