Open all year round, the Musketawa Trail is a paved, multi-use recreation trail stretching 25 miles between Marne and Muskegon in west Michigan. It follows the route of the abandoned Muskegon, Grand Rapids, and Indiana Railroad, taking hikers, bikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts through small towns and rural backdrops.
Begin your adventure at the Marne trailhead, which is about 10 miles from downtown Grand Rapids. As you and your pup leave the parking area, you'll set off in a northwest direction towards the villages of Conklin and Ravenna. Enjoy walking under the shade provided by forested canopies on the eastern side of the trail. In Ravenna, which is generally considered the trail's midpoint, you and Fido will encounter a reconstructed railroad water tower and the Crockery Creek trestle, the longest of seven on the trail. From Ravenna, the trail passes through open fields of blueberries, corn, hay, and cucumbers as it continues on to Muskegon.
Along the way, you and your furry pal will come across benches for resting, observation decks for checking out the local wildlife, and signage that provide useful information about the area. Unfurtunately, there are no drinking fountains on the trail, so bring enough water to keep both you and your pup hydrated.
Aside from Marne, trailheads and parking areas can be found in Conklin, Ravenna, and Muskegon. Portable toilets are only available in the parking areas, so plan accordingly! While your four-legged companion has more liberty when it comes to bathroom breaks, you will still need to clean up after them, so make sure you're equipped with doggie waste bags before setting off.
Since the Musketawa Trail is pretty pawpular, expect to share it with other hikers, as well as bikers, horseback riders, in-line skaters, and wheelchair travelers. Always keep your doggo leashed and under control as you take on this furrific trail!
The Musketawa Trail welcomes visitors throughout the year, but note that the parking areas are not plowed during the winter. If you and Fido will be hiking the western portion of the trail, bring sunscreen as this part has less shade.