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Major upgrade underway for Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park
July 14, 2023
Significant improvements to Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park are underway this summer, temporarily closing a section of the multicounty pathway and marking the final push toward completing what will become 92 miles of paved trail stretching from Comstock Park in Kent County to Cadillac in Wexford County.
The closure is expected to last until November.
“While we understand the inconvenience this temporary closure may cause, we believe that the long-term benefits will far outweigh any short-term disruptions,” said Scott Slavin, northwestern Lower Peninsula trails specialist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. “The construction project will not only enhance the park's amenities, but also contribute to the user’s experience – cyclists, walkers and runners will notice a smoother surface as they explore the trail.”
The project, made possible by a proposed $9.6 million in federal relief funding from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Building Michigan Together Plan, involves paving the trail’s 21-mile section from Howard City north to Big Rapids. Two culverts also will be replaced as part of the project.
A total $250 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds was made available to the DNR to help address a long list of critical needs in state parks and trails and build a new state park in Flint.
With safety in mind, no re-route of the 21-mile section of the trail is available during construction.
“During the closure, we encourage park enthusiasts to explore alternative nearby linear trails, such as the Pere Marquette Trail or Hart Montague Trail,” Slavin said. “These locations offer similar outdoor experiences and can provide a temporary substitute for the activities typically enjoyed on the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park.
“We are confident that the improvements being made will enhance the overall experience of the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park and ensure its continued popularity as a cherished recreation destination.”
The White Pine Trail is the state’s second-longest rail-trail, following the rail bed of the old Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad. The trail travels through 15 towns and cities and areas of rural farmland, and offers many overlooks, picnic areas and other scenic draws. There also are many wildlife viewing opportunities along the route.
Additional closure information
Find the latest details on closures at all DNR facilities and additional information on these enhancement projects at Michigan.gov/DNRClosures.
Follow ARPA-funded projects
To stay up to date on the status of ARPA-funded projects and learn more about funding and decision-making, visit Michigan.gov/StateParksProgress. There you'll find FAQs, a photo gallery and an interactive map identifying proposed project locations, details and status of those projects. Other ARPA-funded projects will continue this year and into 2024.
Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available below for download. Caption information follows.
- Resurfacing underway: The White Pine Trail improvement project includes paving the 21-mile section from Howard City north to Big Rapids.
- ARPA-funded project: The White Pine Trail project is made possible by a proposed $9.6 million in federal relief funding from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Building Michigan Together Plan.