Carl T. Johnson center to host White Pine Trail meeting | News

Carl T. Johnson center to host White Pine Trail meeting | News

With the calendar flipped to May, many people are eager to get out and enjoy the many outdoor opportunities the Cadillac area boasts.

While there are many different trails to walk, run, hike, and bike, the Cadillac is home to part of the famed White Pine Trail.

The 92-mile trail, which also is a state park on Michigan’s west side, is already well-known for its length and beautiful, diverse landscapes. An effort to also infuse the trail with the history of the land and the people who have called it home for millennia gets is about to begin. Before that happens, however, three meetings, including one in Cadillac are scheduled to happen this month.

The Michigan History Center, the DNR Parks and Recreation Division, and the Friends of the White Pine Trail will kick off the planning for this heritage project on Tuesday, May 9, in Cadillac at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center. The meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and will last roughly 90 minutes.

On May 10 and May 11, similar meetings have been scheduled in Kent County and Mecosta County, respectively.

During the meetings, attendees will learn more about plans, including interpretive signage, and how the project can benefit their communities, as well as get the chance to share their own stories and recollections about the history of the communities and landscapes along the White Pine Trail.

This linear park stretches from Comstock Park, just north of Grand Rapids, to Cadillac on an abandoned railroad corridor trail. Users encounter mature forests, meadows, wetlands, and wildlife as they pass through communities that were founded more than 150 years ago when the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad cut the trail’s path through Michigan’s dense forests.

When work is complete in 2024, the White Pine will span Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Osceola, and Wexford counties and be one of the longest fully paved rail trails in the country.

Anyone who can’t attend a meeting, but wants to offer ideas or be involved in the project is invited to contact Dan Spegel at [email protected].


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