a portion of the
Heartland Trail map
from an article in the Central Michigan Morning Sun, and other sources
"A Safe Haven for Families Away from Traffic" is the slogan emblazoned on the trail flyer.
At the Alma College Campus on Saturday, the Alma to Riverdale leg of the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail was officially opened. These eight miles are but a portion of the 41-mile route that is planned from Alma to Greenville. But the route has been in use for a number of months.
Already folks are using the trail to bike to soccer games, and Alma College has noted an increased number of students biking on campus. Even Alma’s president says that she uses the trail regularly.
Multi-use trails do not come cheaply. These eight miles cost $2 million. The bulk of this money was donated by Fred Meijer, retailing legend. However, thousands of dollars were donated by others. Major participants include the Michigan Trails and Greenways Coalition, the city of Alma, Pine River Township, and Seville Township.
The Heartland Trail is partially on the former line of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, purchased in 1994 by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
The trail is open to non-motorized uses, year round, sunrise to sunset. Portions of the trail are paved, and some have a natural surface.
The remaining miles are scheduled to be completed in 2009. A member of the Heartland Trail support group expressed hope that the trail can be extended to Ionia.
See "Heartland Trail is a Hit", Morning Sun, October 12, 2008
See Fred Meijer Heartland Trail
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