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Old 09-18-07, 08:29 AM   #1
DougG
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Pere Marquette Trail

My wife and I rode a couple of sections of this trail last weekend, and I was reminded again of what a great biking route it is. It's located in the center of Michigan's "mitten", and runs 30 miles between Midland and Clare. Even for a rail-trail, it's exceptionally well finished, being smooth asphalt that's 12 or 14 feet wide. The trailheads along the way have clean and well-maintained restrooms, and a couple of the small towns that you pass by have trailside restaurants that welcome and cater to riders.

Another nice feature is that there are basically no major road crossings for the entire distance, so you can easily do a 60-mile round-trip ride and hardly ever have to slow down, let alone stop. And with the typically very light traffic, you can safely go as fast as you like. You regularly see pace lines of roadies burning it up through the farmland.

If there is a downside, it's that the scenery is a bit boring unless you like long stretches of midwestern farmlands and not much else. So far, my only rides along it have been casual rides with my wife on our comfort bikes, but sometime next year I'd like to make a day of it by loading up my road bike, driving up to the "tridge" [sic] in Midland, and doing a 60-mile ride to Clare and back. Now I just have to decide where to stop for lunch along the way, and...
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Old 09-20-07, 12:43 PM   #2
John Wilke
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That sounds awesome !
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Old 09-20-07, 12:55 PM   #3
Denny Koll
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I live close to the PM trail and do this ride a lot. Not your typical MUP for sure. Very lightly traveled once you get a couple of miles out of Midland. But the rest of the ride is through fairly remote farm country and you rarely pass anyone. You can go as fast as you want to. The annual trail ride in early August is worth travelling to. There is a nice hotel with a parking lot adjoining the trailhead.



http://www.lmb.org/pmrt/
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Old 09-21-07, 02:34 PM   #4
octaneTom
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Wow, thanks for the heads up - I've never heard of this. Definitely going to head up there one of these weekends. The thought of 60 smooth miles with little stopping sounds awesome.
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Old 09-24-07, 08:38 AM   #5
DougG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny Koll View Post
The annual trail ride in early August is worth travelling to. There is a nice hotel with a parking lot adjoining the trailhead.
I'd like to do that ride, maybe next year. We usually stay at the Hampton Inn a couple of miles from the trailhead. They're nice about letting us bring our bikes into our room instead of leaving them outside on the bike rack.
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Old 09-26-07, 06:38 PM   #6
Bob_in_Midland
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Ah, the PMRT!

We moved here to Midland in July. I absolutely love this rail-trail! I used to ride the Kal-Haven trail when we lived north of Kalamazoo. The PMRT is a HUGE improvement.

I want to let you know about an addition to the trail that some people don't know about. There is a four mile trail which runs from the Tridge to the Chippewa Nature Center. And it is similar in width to the PMRT. However, this four miles has a few more road crossings, but the roads are not very busy at all.

I love riding this trail! It has really brought cycling back into my life. Ride it! You'll like it.
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