It's done! Experience the joy of riding on 22-miles of smooth new asphalt on the William Field Memorial Hart-Montague Trail.
After years of fundraising and planning, Michigan's first paved rail trail was completely rebuilt during the summer and fall of 2015 - widened to 10 feet, resurfaced with asphalt, and several bridges, crossings and other infrastructure reburbished to meet new federal ADA standards.
The name of the trail was also updated in 2014 to honor the late William Field, a local asparagus and cherry farmer who was the unstoppable force behind the creation of the trail.
Originally part of the Chicago and West Michigan Railroad, the rail corridor was built in 1872 to connect Pentwater to Grand Rapids. In 1982, William Field led an effort to convert the defunct C&O Railroad line into a recreational trail. After facing local opposition, he spent $175,000 of his own money to purchase the 22-mile strip of land between Hart and Montague, and then donated it to the Michigan DNR for use as a linear state park. His determination finally paid off, and in 1989, the first 11 miles of the trail was opened for the enjoyment of all.
This classic American rail trail travels along cherry and apple orchards, picture-postcard farms, woodlands and waterways. Connecting John Gurney Park in Hart to the twin cities of Montague and Whitehall, your journey takes you by clusters of wildflowers, flowing fields of asparagus, historic train depots and inviting ice cream stands. You'll find camping and lodging at both ends of the trail and restaurants and stores in all of the small towns along the way.