The Flint River Trail is a network of approximately 24 miles of paved non-motorized pedestrian paths beginning at the University of Michigan - Flint Campus and passing along the north and south edges of the Flint River with two spurs that connect with Mott Community College and Kettering University.
This growing network of trails was built in several phases, with the first phase completed in the early 1980s from downtown Flint to Carpenter Road. You will notice the different ages of the trail surface as you travel from the city's urban area north along the river through several parks and natural areas to the village of Genesee at the north side of Mott Lake. Stepping Stone Falls, a concrete water sculpture and part of a dam that created Mott Lake, is one of the highlights of this riverside tour. The newest section of the trail was completed in fall 2015 from Stepping Stone Falls north through Genesee Recreation Area. The Flint River Trail and the proposed Grand Traverse Greenway Trail are part of the Iron Belle Trail that will eventually travel across Michigan from Belle Isle State Park near Detroit to Ironwood on the Wisconsin border in the Upper Peninsula.
Development of this trail network gained momentum in the early 1990s when a group of cyclists began hosting Sunday afternoon bike rides, organizing trail cleanups, and advocating for the expansion of the trail. Eventually this group became the Friends of the Flint River Trail. Today, the "Friends" continue to host Sunday afiemoon group bike rides. Join them any Sunday at 2 pm, May through October, at the old Farmers Market on East Boulevard Drive.
Genesee Valley Trail
Built on an abandoned railway that once served the epicenter of the automotive industry, the new 4.5-mile Genesee Valley Trail runs from Genesee Valley Center on Linden Road to Chevy Commons near downtown Flint. Chevy Commons is a new city park being developed on the site of the original Chevrolet assembly plant which was demolished several years ago. Completed August 2015, this paved rail trail was built in two phases over five years in collaboration with the city of Flint, the Charter Township of Flint, and the Michigan Department of Transportation. It was thoughtfully designed with HAWK (high-intensity activated crosswalk) signals to provide safe passage across busy city streets. Connected to the Flint River Trail network, it's a great way to add more scenic miles to your ride. This prime connection between a major shopping mall and downtown Flint passes by several good places to stop for ice cream or a bite to eat. For a great day ride, start at Genesee Valley Center and travel north to the village of Genesee and back for a scenic 32-mile round trip ride.