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The Harger Line Rail-Trail runs for an arrow-straight 10 miles through farmland in rural Saginaw County. The trail opened in 2008, two years after the underlying Harger Line Railway corridor was acquired by the Michigan Department of Transportation.
The scenic trail features 5 bridges over creeks and intersects several unpaved country roads. Trail users should be aware that the two major crossings of Portsmouth Road and State Route 83/Gera Road are uncontrolled intersections; extreme caution must be exercised when passing through. Benches along the entire length of the trail allow users to take a rest or simply enjoy the surrounding tranquility.
The Harger Line Rail-Trail’s western trailhead can be accessed by taking Interstate 75 to the Holland Road/M-46 exit and heading east. After just 0.75 mile, take a left on Towerline Road; parking is available a short distance up the road at Kueffner Park.
The eastern trailhead (which offers ample parking) is located where the trail meets Saginaw Road/ M-15 just west of Richville. The parking lot is on the south side of Saginaw Road/ M-15. Look for the large brown trail sign.
My husband and I rode this trail on the morning of July 4th. If you love farmland, this is a great trail! We clocked it at 9.5 miles (19 mile round trip) and found the asphalt to be mostly smooth. There are plenty of benches along the way nestled into shade, and miles are marked at each road that the path crosses. There are good staging areas at either end of the trail.
The trail is relatively flat, and we did very little shifting as we rode. However, we started on the east end of the trail and found our time was a bit faster on the return trip; Thus, it appears there is the slightest of upward grades riding east to west. We enjoyed the countryside and seeing all of the crops. We also enjoyed seeing several other riders on the trail, and a couple of walkers.
There are no restroom facilities for this trail; expanding the size of one of the staging areas and adding some kind of restroom might be a nice addition.
However, closer to the east end of the trail there is a sign that points you toward an ice cream place 1/2 mile down a crossroad (Portsmouth Rd) that is actually part of a bigger shopping complex (cafe, shops, and restrooms). Not far from the east end of the trail you can find fast food and other restaurants a short distance away heading east on Hwy 46. On the west side of the trail, it is a short distance south on Hwy 15 to the town of Richfield, that has a couple of local eateries worth visiting.
All-in-all, it's a nice trail with pleasant scenery, some wildlife (mostly birds), and based on our experience some very friendly people along the way.
Nice quiet path, not too many road crossings. Flat flat flat. Hope you like fields!
I walked part of this trail for the first time today and it was GREAT. There wasn't a soul on the trail - I started from the Richville end and walked as far as Gera Road. I am just started walking and I definitely like walking the trail so I don't have to fight with traffic around my house. The trail was very nice, quiet and very breezy today - there isn't a lot to see except farm crops but that is better than cars & trucks to close to you when you are walking. There are small bridges and a few park benches. It is well maintained not a lot of over brush or trees in the way. Even though I gave it a 5 star rate it would still be nice to have a restroom somewhere for people that can't do the full 10 miles without a break. Since it is one of the first trails in the area and not well known I can understand why it is basic.
I hate to say this, but this stretch of trail reminds me of driving through the middle of Illinois or Indiana--it's pretty much endless farmland.
I drove up to the Saginaw area for the day, planning to take this trail and the Saginaw Valley Rail Trail. I am glad I stopped at this trail first. It was an easy run, out and back from the west end to the east. Flat as a board, and only one slight curve part of the way through. At 11am, the trail was desolate. I passed only one other person on a bicycle on my outbound trip, another on the way back, and a group of four walking at the western end.
The trail is nicely kept up and very smooth. Yet, if you are looking for different scenery, this is not the place. If you travel the first few miles, you've pretty much seen the whole trail. There is a bridge crossing a creek once or twice along the way, but not much more than that. I realize there is some wildlife along the way, but there isn't much else about this trail that would make me want to return. I wish it connected to other trail systems, as part of a longer ride.
Rode the Harger Line Trail today, 22 miles RT through fields of soybeans, corn, sugar beets as well as clover. It was a lovely, flat, paved ride with only a dozen other trail users. This is a nice easy ride.
I have not done this trail in the past due to the parking area being down the road.
today we drove by and found a new parking area at the trailhead.
A little windy for a bike ride. But it was great for a walk.
Thanks to who ever paved it
Will use it alot this year.
I've probably walked/biked this trail a hundred times. My grandson LOVES to bike the trail and we do it quite often. You will definitely see some of wildlife if you keep your eyes open, whether it be birds, deer, fox, squirrel, etc.
Very peaceful trail....very light/little traffic.
You won't find a quieter trail...country supreme, riding through farmers fields and wildflowers galore. I have also seen deer and many species of birds there. I enjoy resting near the birdhouses along the trail. This is a perfect trail if you like an easy, paved ride in sunny, open country, flowers and butterflies, with no traffic and few users. I would have given this trail a five star rating, except that there are no restroom facilities anywhere along the trail, which makes it extremely uncomfortable travel for ladies...Please install at least a portapot...thanks!
THis is a hidden gem of a rail trail. There are no trail heads to park at the Saginaw end of the trail (At least as of November 2013). I rode it once in October it is very quiet- no traffic on the trail at all. View lots of farmland. There is hardly any shade from trees along the trail so be prepared to get alot of sun. This is one of those trails where one would feel very comfortable doing a solo ride. Its 10 miles 1 way so if your up for a 20 mile ride- hit this rail trail.
Flat, strait and smooth. Awesome trail for biking, walking or rollerblading
The Richville parking is regularly snow plowed and kept opened for parking. It's a surprisingly picturesque trail and person can bird watch plus see many different animals tracks along the trail. I've seen rabbits, squirrels, and I've seen fox tracks along the swales that border the trail. There are people ILLEGALLY snowmobiling so be careful and don't get run over by an idiot breaking the law. IF possible, try to get the registration number on the side of the snowmobile and call 911 to report the law breaker. The trail needs to be posted with NO snowmobiles signs too not just NO motor vehicles signs. Richville a small pretty town is about a half mile east and has a number of places where a person can stop in to warm up at plus enjoy a meal or a snack.
Kudos to MDOT, Michigan Department of Transportation, for the M-15 bridge and shoulder repair east of the Richville parking lot. There is a new smooth 3 feet wide paved shoulder along M-15 to Richville which makes an excellent bike path to Richville. Richville is a scenic small community about a 1/2 mile east of the rail trail, which has various businesses that a person can buy drinks or snacks at. The bowling alley and Fritz's restaurant both serve meals and adult beverages, there is also Joe's bar. The Richville gas station offers hand dipped ice cream cones and other snacks, there are outside benches where a person can rest. Norm's Market sells outstanding beef jerky, sausages, and cheeses. There are many paved roads which cross the Harger Line trail so a person can venture off the trail to explore the countryside and ride to other small towns and hamlets. Reese is a few short miles north of the trail, Frankentrost about a mile south depending the route you take, and Vassar further to the east on M-15.
10 mile long paved trail that runs East to West located between Towerline Road and M-15. It is surprisingly peaceful, quiet, beautiful, and not to many people use it. The people that I saw with dogs on the trail either have their dogs on leashes if walking or stop their bikes and have control over their dogs when a person ride by. People are courteous and there is no litter, trash or cigarette butts on the trail. Benches offer a nice rest stop to enjoy long views of land and wildlife. Yes, there is an abundance of wildlife here you just have to stop look and listen. I have seen red fox, turkeys, white deer, and many different species of song birds. I have been told that people have seen coyotes too. I was surprised at the numbers of dragon flies, dobson flies, and other types of insects. There are no restrooms, no drinking water source, or trash barrels on the trail. There is a party store and Pride & Country has a small restaurant plus ice cream shop a 1/2 South on Portsmouth Road. I think this would be an excellent trail to cross country ski on too.
There is illegal snowmobiling on the trail being done by people that live close to the trail and parts of the trail are being damaged by studded tracks where people are drag racing, the worse damage on the trail is in the vicinity of North Beyer Road. Some of the trail signs have been stolen and need to be replaced. People need to keep an eye on the trail and report law breakers to the proper authorities to stop the trail from being ruined. I rather doubt snowmobilers will help pay to repair the damage that is occurring.
Have ridden this trail twice now and enjoyed it immensely. Saw deer both times and the birds along the trail are marvelous.
This newer trail is an excellent run just east of Saginaw. A great view of farm land and farm operations.
If your up to it, you go the full ten miles in one evening and back. A very quit and relaxing ride all the way. Benches offer a nice rest stop to enjoy long views of land and wildlife. Yes, there is an abundance of wildlife here you just have to stop look and listen.
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