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The Thomas Township Trail provides a 3-mile paved, north-south route through this Michigan community. Running along a power line corridor, the route offers a mix of wooded patches, open farm fields, and residential neighborhoods.
The trail begins at a connection with the popular Saginaw Valley Rail Trail, which heads southwest to St. Charles and east towards Saginaw. From that juncture, the Thomas Township Trail heads north, past Swan Valley High School, and crosses busy Gratiot Road, which is bordered by stores and restaurants.
The trail continues north and crosses Shields Drive, where it has a pavilion with picnic tables, a seasonal water fountain, and restrooms. Within two blocks east of here are a number of important buildings, including the police and fire departments, public library, and municipal offices. Following the power line right-of-way for another three-quarters of a mile, the trail comes to an end at North Miller Road.
Parking is available midway along the trail in a parking lot at 8215 Shields Dr. The lot, which shares the area with the Thomas Township Fire Department, is accessible from both Shields Drive and from Miller Court.
I have started this trail at Swan Creek High School parking (when school is out), at Shields Road by the Township Police Dept, and also from the Saginaw Valley Rail Trail.
All paved, wide, well-maintained, easy going, nice variety of scenery along the way.
Turning onto this from Saginaw Valley Rail Trail is a nice addition to that experience.
And a 1-mile ride down Ohern Road gets you to Roberts Community Park, another pleasant location.
Lots of open riding with only a little shade, can get hot in the summer sun.
You may get a chance to see a snapping turtle along the ditch in Kluck Nursery property.
Crossing M-46 at Meijer's in Shields can be a little nerve-wracking!
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