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The Butterworth Trail connects several neighborhoods in Grand Rapids on both sides of the Grand River. The majority of the paved trail loops through a large swath of land formerly home to the Butterworth Landfill and now reclaimed as open space. The city continues to improve the area, with proposals ranging from the reopening of a dormant boat ramp to the installation of a large-scale solar array.
At the large site’s northwestern edge, the Butterworth Trail connects to the extensive Kent Trails system, providing access to the John Ball Park and Zoo, Millennium Park and the communities of Wyoming, Grandville, Jenison and Byron Center.
Heading south from the loop route, the Butterworth Trail crosses a converted railroad trestle over the Grand River, offering dramatic vistas of the Grand Rapids skyline in the distance and water below. The trail follows the railroad grade on bridges over active tracks and Chestnut Street to its southern endpoint on Oxford Street, just a block away from Roberto Clemente Park.
Parking for the Butterworth Trail can be found at the Kent Trails North Trailhead at Butterworth Street and O’Brien Road. Follow the Kent Trails system east under Interstate 196 to reach the Butterworth Trail.
I have not lived in Michigan in a lot of years but I will be relocating soon. I lived in Colorado Springs for the last ten years and have survived without a car and mostly relied on safe and shortcut trails. The trail system is great and whenever I see trash or graffiti I always try to do my part in at least picking up the trash and dispose of it. After all it's up to every individual to do their part if we want a beautiful earth. Just sayin...
Trail!? Not exactly. This is just a sidewalk going from a ghetto part of Grand Rapids through an industrial area, with a constant view of major power lines. And graffiti everywhere. And some trash here and there. If you're looking for a nice natural setting, keep looking. You won't find it here.
I live in the area. This trail will get you close to the zoo. It will also get you to cross the grand river. You could stop and fish On the center of the bridge of you want. Overall a good trail
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