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Eastern Michigan's 7-mile Saginaw County to Bay County Connector is lined with trees and traverses picturesque farmland. The paved rail-trail follows the former Detroit and Mackinac Railway, which hauled both timber and passengers during its heyday in the early half of the 20th century.
True to its name, the trail links to the Zilwaukee Pathway on its southern end and will link to the Bay County Riverwalk on its northern end. For now, the Riverwalk is only 2 miles away and that gap is actively being worked on. In this way, the Saginaw County to Bay County Connector is helping to close a crucial gap in the larger Great Lakes Bay Regional Trail. Once fully constructed, this regional trail will consist of nearly 100 miles of trail connecting Midland, Bay, and Saginaw counties, and the many destinations along the route. More than 60 miles of the system are currently open.
The Saginaw County to Bay County Connector is also part of an even bigger trail network across the entire state: the Iron Belle Trail. This project will stretch more than 1,200 contiguous miles from Detroit to the Michigan/Wisconsin border.
Parking is available at the Bay-Zil Trailhead, located at the north end of the trail, at the intersection of Hotchkiss Road and Brooks Street in Bay City.
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