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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 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.
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