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West Michigan blessed with fabulous network of bike paths and trails

West Michigan blessed with fabulous network of bike paths and trails 2020-09-24Leave a comment

electrical bike West Michigan blessed with fabulous community of motorcycle paths and trails

Editor’s be aware: This column is a part of a sequence that includes Lakeshore residents sharing their tales.

Do you have to encounter me on a motorcycle path, you’ll understand it’s me — I appear like a touring circus. Reflectors, flags, lights, bells, and high-visibility jerseys are the calling playing cards of many recumbent trikers. We trip low and — usually — gradual, so we have to stand out, be seen, be sure to discover us. 

Avid bicycle owner Betsy Cech on her recumbent triker along with her canine, Clara, in tow. Whereas a few of us do pedal our odd contraptions on the roads, we’re most frequently discovered on these wonderful ribbons of asphalt often known as bike paths, multi-use paths, or trails. We’re blessed with a wonderful community of trails right here in Ottawa County, and I ought to know, I’ve cycled 4,000 miles on them to date this yr.

I haven’t at all times been an aficionado of motorcycle paths. They have been one thing I “found” when vertigo and stability points made me surrender my highway bike for my first recumbent trike. I’m by no means going to be zippy on my trike, however the trade-off for shedding pace is gaining journey. Taking the time to discover the fabulous native parks, trails, and sights has been an sudden advantage of triking.

Many locals don’t notice that West Michigan is a well-liked vacation spot for biking teams from throughout the nation. Our trails and paths join Saugatuck, Holland, Zeeland, the Tri-Cities, Muskegon, Hart, Kent County … even as much as Cadillac. Inside this community of trails, one can trip for hours simply round Holland and Zeeland or within the Tri-Cities areas with out ever leaving the paths.

Thrilling initiatives

With all these paths, there are presently three Ottawa County initiatives that I discover very thrilling. Ottawa County’s Parks & Recreation Division has the aim to attach Grand Haven to the Kent County Path System by way of 30 miles of multi-use path operating alongside the south aspect of the Grand River. Proponents are making nice progress, with sections accomplished in each Robinson and Georgetown townships. 

Only a brief distance away, The North Financial institution Path out of Spring Lake will finally meet up with the Musketawa Path and the White Pine Connector Path, which ends up in Kent County. 

At the moment underneath development, the second section of the Spoonville Path in the course of the county will join these two paths. Sooner or later, one will be capable to journey on paved trails from Grand Haven to Grand Rapids and again on both aspect of the Grand River with a secure river crossing on the M-231 bridge within the center.

That is all by the wonderful cooperation between Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Fee, cities, townships, and organizations just like the West Michigan Trails & Greenways Coalition. West Michigan Trails & Greenways has an bold plan to sometime join Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, South Haven, Ludington, Cadillac, and again to Grand Rapids with multi-use paths.

Ideas for enchancment

But, even because the path choices proceed to extend — as somebody who usually makes use of biking not solely as train, but in addition as transportation — I see just a few areas that might use enchancment. 

At the moment, the one steady north-south biking paths are within the western a part of Ottawa County, alongside Butternut and Lakeshore drives. It might be fantastic to sometime see a path extending immediately north from the japanese Holland/ Zeeland space to both the Spoonville Path or to Allendale. 

I’d additionally wish to see accessible paved bike and pedestrian crossings at U.S. 31 between Holland and Grand Haven. These Michigan turns are usually not enjoyable on a motorcycle. The choice is to maneuver the weeds and ditches within the median. Each choices are horrifying on a recumbent.

Websites to take pleasure in

Although there are areas that want enchancment, there already are many nice locations to cease, sights to see, and actions to take pleasure in all alongside our West Michigan paths. Whether or not you discover Lake Shore Drive in Ottawa County with its many beachfront parks, or the Grand River with its quiet parks and their diversified wildlife, there may be at all times one thing to see. A motorcycle tour of the Tri-Cities or Holland will supply up quite a few nice locations to sightsee and dine. 

The Grand Rapids space provides every part from city bike lanes — the place one can pedal to eating places, museums, retailers, and extra — to quiet trails in Millennium Park, the place you may see wildlife and luxuriate in nature inside the metropolis. For these extra adventurous, plan a tenting journey by staying at any of our fabulous state parks, lots of that are related by bike paths or the U.S. Bicycle Route System.

Need to be taught extra about our space’s multi-use paths and trails? Discover web sites like that of the West Michigan Trails & Greenways Coalition, decide up a replica of Michigan Trails Journal, or just open Google Maps and click on the biking icon. 

Whether or not you run, stroll, canine stroll, rollerblade, bike, trike, or unicycle, I promise you’ll find a West Michigan path to your liking. And while you see me, don’t overlook to say hiya to the triker gal who appears like a touring circus!

Along with being an avid bicycle owner, Grand Haven resident Betsy Cech enjoys native historical past, family tree, watching wildlife, and discovering bizarre treasures at storage gross sales.

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