The Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park, the longest linear state park in Michigan, is often called "the spine" of West Michigan's trail system. "The Great White Pine," dedicated in 1995, stretches 93 miles from Comstock Park near Grand Rapids and journeys northward along the former Michigan Northern section of the Penn Central Railroad to Cadillac through 31 cities, villages and townships.
The dream of a fully developed 93-mile corridor is inching closer to reality. The Friends of the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail are working to secure funding to finish the two unpaved sections from Sand Lake to Big Rapids and from Reed City to LeRoy. If successful, construction could begin next year.
If you've ever journeyed north of Grand Rapids on US-131, you notice a remarkable change of scenery. You're suddenly "up north." When you head north on the White Pine Trail, you'll discover a quiet, scenic corridor that takes you through several trailside parks, quaint villages, sprawling farms and wide expanses of unspoiled nature. Tunnels of trees, exquisite views of rivers and abundant wildlife and wildflowers offer a peaceful respite from city life. Of course there are plenty of places to stop for food, a cool drink or ice cream in small towns along the way.
The entire length of the White Pine Trail runs parallelto US-131, offering easy access to several staging areas along the course of the trail. And because the trail was built on an abandoned railroad bed, the grade is never steep and well suited for people of all ages and athletic abilities. Each section of the trail has its own natural features and unique personality, and in the following pages we will introduce you to each section of this magnificent trail.