The crisp air and falling leaves make autumn a great time to ride a bicycle. West Michigan offers some premier riding opportunities, few better than the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail. The White Pine is a former railroad line that has been converted into a linear state park. The park is 15 feet wide and 92 miles long. It runs from the north side of Grand Rapids near Fifth Third Ballpark all the way to Cadillac. Several portions of the trail are paved and suitable for road bikes. The unpaved sections are traveled best on a mountain bike.
The 23 miles section from Grand Rapids to Sand Lake is paved as are smaller pieces in Big Rapids, Reed City and Cadillac. Eventually the entire 92 mile link will be paved. The trail runs through several small communities that each have a unique Midwest flavor. Rockford sits along the Rouge River and is known for its shopping and Saturday morning farmer’s market. Cedar Springs is the home of the annual Red Flannel Festival. In Reed City the White Pine intersects with another former railway, the Pere Marquette Trail. Cadillac is known as the gateway to northern Michigan with not one but two large all sports lakes.
The Friends of the White Pine Trail hold an annual two day ride of the entire length of the trail each fall. Whether you ride the whole trail or just the four miles between Belmont and Rockford you’ll have an enjoyable autumn experience.