A pedaler’s and pedestrian’s paradise

Saturday morning of the 4th of July holiday weekend found a co-worker and I riding our bikes along a new multi-mile segment of the Lansing River Trail. This new Sycamore Creek branch of the trail meanders approximately 2.5 miles from Maguire Park at Jolly and Aurelius roads on the south through Hawk Island County Park and Scott Woods Park to Potter Park Zoo  and the main east-west line of the River Trail on the north.

What a lovely route to behold — it crosses scenic and pristine Sycamore Creek several times as well as numerous wetlands on a series of bridges and elevated boardwalks. It also passes through a number of city and county parks along the making for a very enjoyable ride. Wildflowers dot the landscape including lilies, morning glory, Queen Anne’s lace, and black-eyed Susans. A large variety of birds were seen or heard, as well, including Eastern phoebe, gray catbird, Northern cardinal, American robin, blue jay, American goldfinch, yellow warbler, song sparrow, chipping sparrow, downy woodpecker, belted kingfisher, great blue heron, and mourning dove.

Given that it was near 90 degrees, the largely shaded route was quite comfortable. Tall sycamores line the new route — I can understand how the creek got its name. One could almost imagine oneself in Indiana, there were so many.

Once on the mainline trail, we made a beeline for downtown Lansing and the City Market. My the air conditioning felt good. Tasty lunch at Aggie Mae’s Bakery and Sweet Shoppe and we were back on our return trip to the parking lot approximately six miles away.

There are few urban off-road bike trails that match the Lansing River Trail system for beauty, enjoyment, and reflective solitude. The trail system can be very busy and is well used by bike commuters on weekdays (fyi: I purposely took pictures without people in them — the trail was fairly busy that morning with a 5K). Aside from the nearly continuous strand of parks you pass through, the trail sweeps across and along the edge of the Red Cedar and Grand Rivers on a series of bridges and/or viaducts. It is quite a special linear urban oasis of green.

Fine urban bike trails exist around the country, including the Monon Trail in Indianapolis; the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail in Northeast Ohio; the Erie Canal Towpath Trail in Rochester and Syracuse, New York; or the Fox River Trail in Kane County, Illinois.

Each urban bike trail has its own special features and is a paradise for pedalers like me or for pedestrians, rollerbladers, and joggers. They provide recreation, health and fitness opportunities, as well as a terrific bike riding or commuting option. Give one a try near you — I know you will like it!

This entry was posted in Biking, Cities, entertainment, Environment, fun, Health care, land use, sports, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A pedaler’s and pedestrian’s paradise

  1. Jane McClure says:

    Sounds & looks like a really neat trail to ride. We have them here, but don’t think they have all the neat features that you described. (& yes, it’s been a long time since I’ve ridden a bike trail).


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