West Michigan has (in my biased opinion) some of the best running trails, all of which are at their prime this time of year. If you’re unfamiliar or simply looking to mix things up when you head out for your next run/walk/bike, here are a couple of my recommendations!
We’ll start here! The loop around Reeds Lake will clock you in a good 4 miles and is one of my favorites. Though you will encounter a few hills along the way, the route is primarily flat and the ambiance is unmatched. Safe, highly trafficked, dog friendly and easily marked to make sure you stay on path. Plus, you are a hop and a skip away from both a Starbucks and Clean Juice.
Home to some of our most beloved (and highly missed races) Gazelle Girl, Riverbank and so many more. Alongside the Grand Rapids River, this trail down and back will clock you in at 4.6 miles. Another safe, well-taken care of route that is always filled with people playing in the park or walking their pups and if you’re lucky, you’ll find yourself a local food truck to reward yourself with!
With portions of the park in Grandville, Walker, Wyoming and Grand Rapids, this park is the perfect in-between location. Millennium park offers over 7 trails ranging from .6 to 4.1 in distance, both paved and unpaved, you can truly customize this experience in anyway you choose. If you’re looking for the perfect “color tour” this Fall, check this place out!
White Pine Trail
Extending from northern Grand Rapids to Cadillac, the White Pine Trail is perfect for any distance you’re looking for. One of the best taken care-of, well-lit and trafficked routes in the area. In the past, we have biked from Shots (in Comstock Park) to Rockford which accumulated approx. 8 miles there and 8 miles back. PLUS! There is an ice-cream shop right along the route which is perfect for a mid-ride treat!
Saugatuck Dunes State Park
Though potentially not the easiest route to follow… Saugatuck Dunes Stake Park is most definitely one of the most beautiful trails to get lost within. Pack your hiking boots or sand-welcoming shoes and hit the trails! Trails range from 2.5 to 5.5 miles and will all, at some point, leave you breath-taken by either the water-front view or the nearly 200 ft. tall dunes.
Sanctuary Woods Preserve
One of my newly founded favorites! The Sanctuary Woods Preserve was my go-to spot for hiking during quarantine. Climb to the top with over 200 steps and enjoy a mildly trafficked .9 route that’ll be sure to get your heart racing.
Tackling the 302 steps to the top of summit is well worth it for the views of Saugatuck, Lake Michigan and Douglas. The route itself is a one mile loop and is filled with pure Michigan beauty.