Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where is the Pere Marquette Rail Trail Located?

A: The Pere Marquette Rail Trail is 30 miles long beginning at the “Tridge” in downtown Midland and running continuously to the City of Clare. There are trailheads with vehicle parking located in Midland; Averill; Sanford; North Bradley; Coleman; Loomis; and Clare. There are either permanent or portable restrooms at all trailhead locations; and water refill stations at the Tridge, Sanford, and Coleman. Additionally the cities of Midland, Sanford, Coleman, and Clare have many restaurant and convenience store options to purchase food and drinks along the way.


Q: What is the Friends of the Pere Marquette Rail Trail (FPMRT) organization?


A: The FPMRT is a 501c3 non-profit organization with a mission to support the use and enjoyment of the rail trail


Q: How is the FPMRT administered?

A: The FPMRT has a Board of Directors (see FPMRT website for a current list of board members and officers) who are responsible for delivering the organization’s purpose


Q: Does the FPMRT have primary responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the rail trail?

A: No, the trail is the primary responsibility for the municipalities through which the trail passes- specifically the City of Midland; and Midland, Clare, and Isabella Counties. However, the FPMRT provides supplemental support by way of special projects and donations to the responsible organizations


Q: Is the trail paved?

A: Yes, the entire 30 miles is paved asphalt


Q: Are there shuttle services available on either end of the trail if users only want to ride from one end to the other?

A: No; unfortunately, this is not available at this time


Q: Is there overnight parking in downtown Midland if users would like to leave their vehicle for an overnight trip?

A: The city of Midland does not allow on-street parking from 3-6 a.m. on any city street; including city parking lots downtown- and the lots adjacent to the Tridge. However, there is a “park-and-ride” lot located across from City Hall (next to the BP gas station) on Jerome Street/M-20 that is available and can accommodate overnight parking.


Q: Is there overnight parking in the City of Clare if users would like to leave their vehicle for an overnight trip?

A: Yes, there are several city parking lots that are in the vicinity of the trail. There is the 5th Street parking lot which is where the Pere Marquette District Library is; then there is a parking lot on the east and south side of Clare City Park (which is across from where the trail will pass through once it goes through the City of Clare). There is also a city parking lot next to the post office and one also at Clare City Hall.

Please note, these are not lots that people are allowed to camp in, however, just for parking. If there would be a situation where you need to park and sleep in a van, camper, etc… then you would need to camp at Pettit Park (open May 1 – November 1) – 1525 N. McEwan St., Clare.


Q: Are e-bikes (or other motorized vehicles) allowed on the rail trail?

A: Yes, but class-one e-bikes only; class-two and class-three e-bikes are not allowed. Additionally, no other motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail- e.g. electric scooters; motorcycles; mopeds; motorized skateboards; hoverboards; etc. As a general rule- anything with a throttle is not allowed. 

Wondering what the differences are? Please see the article in the attached link that provides a nice overview of the different types of e-bikes.


Q: Am I able to contribute financially to the FPMRT in support of your mission and purpose?

A: Yes, there are number of options available to provide financial support including becoming a member of the Friends’ organization or providing a direct monetary donation. Please go to the Membership and Donation section of our website for additional details-

Additionally- there are donation stations with cash boxes and QR codes at different locations along the trail for those wishing to provide same-day donations in appreciation of their time on the trail. Lastly, many choose to name the Friends of the Pere Marquette Rail Trail as a memorial donation recipient in memory of their loved ones


Q: Are dogs allowed on the rail trail?

A: Yes, our furry friends are always welcome on the trail; but must be on a leash and under the control of their adult owners at all times. Ideally they should be on the right-hand side of the trail; and when possible, in the grassy area for the greatest safety of all users and pets


Q: Are horses allowed on the trail?

A: Unfortunately, no. Because the trail is paved asphalt, horses are not allowed on the trail. However, there is an equestrian trail that runs adjacent to the rail trail; beginning at the trail head at North Bradley and running to the City of Coleman


Q: Is the trail plowed in the winter?

A: Yes!
City of Midland-

  • Tridge to Dublin Ave- 3 miles

Midland County-

  • Dublin Ave. to 8 Mile Rd. – 6.76 miles
  • Barden Rd. to Alamando Rd. – 2.21 miles
  • Lewis Rd. to North Co. Line Rd. – 2.36 miles


Q: Is there a plan to close the gap between the end of the Pere Marquette Rail Trail in the city of Clare and the Pere Marquette State Trail that begins at the Clare Moose Lodge- a distance of approximately 2.5 miles to the west?

A: Yes- after years of discussion and planning, funding is now in place to make this happen.  Construction tentatively to begin Spring 2024. You can find out more about the “Clare Gap” by clicking here.


Q: How can I stay updated on activities occurring on the trail or contact the FPMRT?

A: The best option would be to Like and Follow us on our Facebook page; which is updated regularly-

You can also send us a note via Facebook Messenger with questions, comments, concerns, interests, etc.  We monitor the page frequently and typically respond within a few days. You also can bookmark our Friends’ website- – and use the “Contact Us” section to send us a note