Considered as one of the best trails in the state, the William Field Memorial Hart-Montague Trail State Park is not to be missed when you and Fido are in west Michigan. Well-loved and well-used, this paved path stretches 22 miles between the cities of Hart and Montague, passing through the towns of Mears, Shelby, New Era, and Rothbury along the way. Doggos who love long walks will have a tail-wagging good time on this route!
Previously known as the Hart-Montague Trail State Park, the path was renamed in honor of the late William Field, a fruit farmer and Oceana County commissioner whose tireless efforts were instrumental in making the trail a reality. Its inaugural section was Michigan's first paved rail trail, and its success led to the creation of more trails throughout the state and Midwest.
The quintessential west Michigan trail, start the William Field Memorial Hart-Montague Trail State Park in Hart at the intersection of Wood and Water Streets. Along the path, you will see farms, orchards, and forested lands. Easy, wide, and flat, the trail can be accessed at various points—trailheads with parking, restrooms, and visitor information are available in most of the towns. Scenic overlooks, picnic areas, restaurants, and gift shops are also located along the route.
In Montague, be sure to check out the world's largest working weather vane in Ellenwood Park, which sits across the street from the trail. In New Era near the halfway point, you and Fido can stop for ice cream at Country Dairy. If there's time for a side trip, explore the dunes in Silver Lake State Park, about 5 miles west of the trail in Mears. The trail eventually ends in Montague near a campground on White Lake, and the end of Spring Street.
Wherever you go, make sure your pooch stays on a 6-foot leash at all times and that you clean up after them. Carry enough clean-up bags and water, and be prepared to share the trail with other hikers, cyclists, and wheelchair users, and even horseback riders near Rothbury.
Stretch your legs and see what west Michigan has to offer you and your pup at the William Field Memorial Hart-Montague Trail State Park!