The William Field Memorial Hart-Montague Trail State Park is a 22-mile-long paved rail-trail that stretches between the cities of Hart and Montague in west Michigan.
The Hart-Montague Trail State Park is a rails-to-trails conversion on the bed of the former Chicago and Michigan Lake Shore Railroad that ran from 1872 to the 1970s.
Fun history fact: The trail is named for William Field, an Oceana County commissioner who wanted the county to buy the abandoned rail line for recreational purposes. When he couldn’t convince his fellow commissioners to make the purchase, he bought the land himself and handed it over to the state to make a linear trail. Michigan’s first official rail-trail, it became a useable trail system in the early 1990s.
The multi-use trail is for biking, running, walking your dog, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling (when there is more than 4 inches of snow.)
The trail winds through woods, farmland, orchards and more. Picnic spots and scenic overlooks are located along the trail. Things you may see include the world’s largest working weathervane, Christmas tree farms, asparagus fields and the Clear Springs Nature Preserve.
A paved parking lot with picnic tables is at the Hart Trailhead off US-131 exit 149. A very handy feature there is the bike fix-it station. Right next to the parking lot is a small grocery store if you need lunch or a snack. The Montague Trailhead is west off of the US-31 Montague exit next to a campground on White Lake.
The Hart-Montague Trail is very near the popular vacation spots of Silver Lake, Pentwater, Ludington, and Muskegon. Don’t forget to bring your walking shoes, bikes, or skis and check it out when you’re in the area.
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