Newsletter October 2022

October 2022

Howard’s Friend Ride
We offer thanks to the 35 sponsors and over 200 riders for their participation and support of this year’s ride. The total contribution to the Friends of the Pere Marquette Rail Trail from the ride was $9,500- all of which will go into the ongoing support of the Friends’ mission of supporting the ongoing use and improvement of the trail. Since its inception 10 years ago; the ride has contributed almost $50,000 to the Friends’ organization! Our gratitude and thanks go to fellow board member Shelley Schoenherr- and her husband Al, for their ongoing commitment and leadership to this fantastic ride that continues to honor her late father Howard Schoenherr’s legacy and love of the trail!

Midland County Update
The long-awaited Sanford trail repair was completed and fully open for a great summer season. A huge thank you and debt of gratitude goes to our friends at Midland County Parks and Recreation for their perseverance and leadership of this complicated project

Crack sealing and seal coating for 2022 has been completed. The trail refurbishment project from Dublin Avenue to Pioneer Trail will occur spring/summer 2023- with an exact date yet to be determined

Clare Gap Status
The Friends of Clare County Parks and Recreation shared that planning continues in anticipation for the completion of the Clare Gap (City of Clare to Clare Moose Lodge). Bids from contractors are due by 12/01/22- with the winning bid awarded in February 2023. Construction tentatively to begin Spring 2023

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
We regularly receive questions about various elements of the trail and related items. In response, we have created a new FAQ section on our FPMRT website which can be accessed through this link-  If there are other questions you have that would benefit others; please submit them via Facebook Messenger or through the Contact Us section of our website

FPMRT Annual Meeting
Thank you to all members and guests who were able to attend. We appreciate everyone’s interest and ongoing support of the rail trail and our ongoing mission. Meeting minutes are now available on the Friends’ website

Partnership with Midland Senior Services Center
The FPMRT recently donated two 3-wheeled bikes to the Center as part of a new accessibility and mobility program they “rolled out” early this fall. Additionally, the Center received grants from the Strosacker Foundation and Great Lakes Bay Invitational that were utilized to construct a bike shelter for the new bikes; as well as a fully accessible Gazebo/Picnic area for users and guests of the Center

We need your help!
As an all-volunteer organization, we rely on the involvement of individuals who feel called to support our amazing trail. There are opportunities for Board participation; Marketing and Communication; Membership Engagement; and other volunteer opportunities- please email Mark Maxwell at to express your interest and schedule a follow-up call

Virtual Suggestion Box
Have ideas for trail improvements, needs, etc.? As you may aware, the Friends of the Pere Marquette Rail Trail is a non-profit organization with a mission of bringing visibility and awareness to the trail; as well as providing additional support to the local municipalities who own and maintain the trail (City of Midland; and Midland, Clare, and Isabella Counties). We’d love to receive your input and ideas on areas for trail improvements or amenities that would be valuable to you as a user of the trail. Please contact Mark Maxwell- FPMRT President- at with your input 

Trail Safety/Etiquette
The FPMRT receives regular input and concerns about trail safety from users of the trail about how other users don’t seem to understand some of the basics of trail etiquette; designed to keep all users safe from harm. As a reminder, the basics of trail etiquette include:Have Fun! Be considerate! Think safety! Share the trail with other non-motorized usersAlways travel at a safe speedAll pets must be on leash and under control of adultStay right of the center of the trail, except to pass. Use bell or voice when passing others- e.g. “passing on your left, please” Don’t block the trail. If you need to stop; move off to the sideYield to oncoming and slower traffic in front of youWatch for traffic. Observe all signsYield or stop at all crossingsPlease help keep the trail clean- utilize waste receptacles at trail crossings/trailheadsStay on the trail. Respect property owners’ right to privacy and quiet

 Become a member of the Friends of the Pere Marquette Rail Trail or make a donation at any time! Details can be found on our website by clicking here.