Fred Meijer Flat River Valley Rail Trail


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Fred Meijer Flat River Valley Rail Trail Facts

States: Michigan
Counties: Ionia, Kent, Montcalm
Length: 21.7 miles
Trail end points: Jackson's Landing Park on E. Washington St./SR 57 (Greenville) and Foreman St. E west of Beech St. (Lowell)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Ballast, Dirt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6712196
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Mountain Biking, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Fred Meijer Flat River Valley Rail Trail Description

The largely unimproved Fred Meijer Flat River Valley Rail Trail links the cities of Lowell, Belding and Greenville in Kent, Ionia and Montcalm counties, respectively. While plans call for the eventual improvement of the entire trail, most of the former railroad corridor, which travels primarily through dense woodlands, currently has a rough ballast surface.

As of 2014, only a 2.3-mile stretch in Belding between Long Lake Road and State Street has been improved with an asphalt surface. The scenic and smooth segment, which courses through the community's downtown, features three restored trestles over the Flat River.

The trail is an integral component of the Mid-West Michigan Rail-Trail Network, which will eventually stretch 125 miles from Owosso to Alma. Like the other pathways in the system, the trail is named after Fred Meijer, the grocery magnate and philanthropist who generously contributed financially to its development. In Greenville, trail users can connect directly to the Fred Meijer Flat River Trail at Jackson’s Landing Park on E. Washington Street/State Route 57. The trail makes a scenic loop around Greenville. A short trip north on the local trail also leads directly to the paved Fred Meijer Heartland Trail, which stretches north 41 miles to Alma.

At the trail’s southern end in Lowell, the trail will one day meet an extension of the Fred Meijer Grand River Valley Rail Trail, allowing trail users to travel to Saranac and Ionia and, via the Fred Meijer CIS Trail, farther east to St. Johns and Owosso.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking for the Fred Meijer Flat River Valley Rail Trail can be found in Greenville at Jackson’s Landing Park on E. Washington Street/SR 57 and in Belding at a park located at the intersection of Depot Street and Broas Street. Additional parking locations will be made available as the trail is improved.

Fred Meijer Flat River Valley Rail Trail Reviews

The trail starting from Foreman Street in Lowell is still a rocky rough ride. The rails are gone, but that's about as far as it has progressed.

I was riding from Alma to Greenville (FM Heartland), Greenville to Lowell (FM Flat River), Lowell to Ionia (FM Grand River), Ionia to Fowler (FM Clinton-Ionia-Shiawassee), then roads back to Alma.

On the FM Flat River segment I made it about 5 miles from Greenville, almost to Belding, before bailing and using roads to cut over to Ionia and skipping the Grand River segment.

FM Flat River between Greenville and Belding is not recommended or fun on any bike I can think of, due to occasional pockets of deep loose basalt that cause tires to dig in and fishtail/skid suddenly. Anti-truck and ATV barriers are missing and surface has loose areas from vehicle traffic. As of 7/3/18 the cover photo blocking tree is still across the trail too, though enough branches are trimmed off to climb through with a bike.

Disappointing as I wanted to do the whole loop, but the potential for this to be epic in the future is high.

mostly rock and grass between Belding and Greenville. Not rideable at all in current state.


I drove to Lowell to take this trail north from there. It is not paved. It is rocks about the size of a small fist at least where it starts in Lowell. I was on my mountain bike, but only ended up going a short ways along it as the size of the rocks made it very bumpy and for me unpleasant. I ended up taking the shorter paved trail that started at cedar park and went to the high school and back.

I had an appointment in Greenville, Mi. Took my bike along. I did the circle around Greenville. For bike riding not impressed. For a family with small kids or those that walk or skate it is perfect.

Work has begun on developing approximately 2.3 miles of trail from M44 on the south side of Belding up to Long Lake Road north of town. It includes the addition of new decking and railing for three existing trestles.

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