The Musketawa Trail runs 25 miles from the outskirts of Muskegon to Marne, just west of Grand Rapids. It's a little over an hour's drive from Kalamazoo. Its surface is asphalt smooth enough to Rollerblade, with the occasional wooden bridge.
I biked the western section from Muskegon to Ravenna (about 12 miles each way) earlier this week. Like many rail trails, the Musketawa was fairly straight and level. Most of the ride was through open farmland. At the Ravenna trailhead, a railroad water tower and other RR artifacts celebrated the trail's heritage. Just east of Ravenna, the high trestle bridge, over Crockery Creek, was the most scenic part of my ride.
Muskegon trailhead (approximate address)
2800 E Broadway Ave
Muskegon, MI 49444 (US-31 take exit 112 to Sherman Rd (County Rd B72). Go east on Sherman for 1 mile following the curve south to Broadway. Turn left on Broadway at the light. Continue east on Broadway for one mile. Trail parking is on the left.) Ravenna trailhead (approximate address)
3716 Blackmer Rd
Ravenna, MI 49451 (The trailhead is in the southwest corner of the village
I teach economics at Kalamazoo College. My wife is also an economist. We were on sabbatical in Europe for the 2014-15 academic year. (Salamanca, Spain, followed by Oxford, UK.) We were in Uruguay for the 2006-7 academic year.