The Pere Marquette Rail-Trail
(PMRT) is a rail trail
occupying an abandoned CSX
railroad corridor in Midland County
and Isabella County
that was once part of the Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad
. In 1874, the tracks stretched from Ludington
, transporting supplies to the thriving timber industry and lumber/timber to southern Michigan's mills.
The trail is paved with asphalt
for hiking and bicycling and in places may be up to wide. The PMRT should not be confused with another trail with a similar name, the Pere Marquette State Trail
, also in central Michigan; the two may be connected one day.
The trail is named for the railroad, which was named for Jacques Marquette
, a French Jesuit missionary
who founded Michigan's first European settlement at Sault Ste. Marie
is the French word for father; ergo, Father Marquette.
The first portion of the trail was opened in June, 1993 and dedicated on July 17 of the same year. This portion was almost wholly contained in the city of Midland, Michigan
and started at The Tridge
. , The Tridge is still the current starting point of the official part of the trail. Mileage markers are located every half mile (0.8 km).
As construction has progressed through the years, the trail has expanded to include segments extending to the following locations, with dates of service included in parenthesees:
- Averill (Midland County) (1994)
- Sanford (1994)
- North Bradley (Midland......