Historical Background of the
Pere Marquette Rail Trail
The first part of the Rail Trail was opened to the public in mid-June of 1993, and was formally dedicated on July 17, 1993. The City of Midland owns the original three-mile portion of the trail, since it's located within the city limits. This section was developed by the Midland Area Community Foundation. In June of 1994, this section linked with the first 5.5 mile section of the County-owned portion of the trail at Dublin Avenue. This section continued the trail northwest through Averill to the Village of Sanford. In 1995 Sanford was linked with the City of Coleman, making the Pere Marquette approximately 22 miles in length.
In early 1998, the County of Midland transferred ownership of the 8.25 mile undeveloped portion of the trail in Isabella County to Isabella County. This transfer opened the door for development of the trail from Coleman to the City of Clare. This section of the trail opened in the summer of 2001.
By late summer, 2001, the Pere Marquette Rail Trail stretched from downtown Midland to the outskirts of Clare, a distance of 30 miles; and provides many barrier-free, non-motorized recreation and transportation opportunities.