The Grand River runs through downtown Grand Rapids and the city is developing a system of pedestrian bridges and paths along it. Earlier this week, I took advantage of a sunny afternoon to explore Grand Rapids' riverside trails.
The downtown pathways are attractive, running along the shore past the Grand Rapids Public Museum and the Gerald R. Ford Museum. Unfortunately, the trail on the west bank dead-ends a few blocks north of the museum complex. On the eastern shore, the trail continues a few blocks farther north until it also ends. I was pretty disappointed coming from Kalamazoo for such a short ride.
Rather than give up, I took city streets through a warehouse/light industrial district for a few blocks. A sign near the Ann Street bridge pointed to another bike route that continued along the river through Riverside Park. That trail then linked to the White Pine Trail which runs 100 miles to Cadillac.
While I didn't ride all the way to Cadillac, I did enjoy over two hours of solid biking, including a short side-trip on single-track dirt on the Rogue River Trail.
Map of Kent County Parks & Trails
The city's planning department has maps of the Grand Rapids trail system.
West Michigan Trails & Greenways Coalition
Biking Grand Rapids: See the city up close from mLive.