There are a number of trails in the City of Jackson and Jackson County. Trails are a great place to go for a bike ride with friends or take an evening walk with the family. They also can provide another way to get to school, the store, or where you work.
The trails in the area attract local and regional tourist. With its long, flat stretches, accessible trailheads, bike rental and repair stations, the picturesque Falling Waters Trail is a local favorite and featured in many statewide publications. The Martin Luther King Jr. Equality Trail follows an old rail corridor that cuts through residential neighborhoods on the south side of the City, providing a great connection to the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, and to restaurants and shops downtown. The Armory Arts Walk trail runs through the historic Michigan State Prison Yard and continues north along the Grand River.
These trails are on the Iron Belle, Great Lakes to Lakes, and Lakeland trails routes, three trails of state significance. The three different trails follow the same route in Jackson County. The Iron Belle Trail is the will connect Ironwood to Belle Isle by trail. The Great Lakes to Lakes Route 1 trail will connect Port Huron to South Haven, creating a trail that will allow users to go from the shore of Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. The Lakelands Trail is a linear state park that runs along an abandoned railroad corridor. Jackson is one of the few communities in the state to have several significant trails running through the heart of community. When completed, the trail routes will run from the northeast corner to the southwest corner of the County.
There are other trails in the community, too. The trails at Sparks County Park are some of most used in the County. The PAKA Trail runs past two schools, Ella Sharp Park, and through residential neighborhoods on the southwest side of the City. The trail along West Michigan Avenue connects downtown to the western edge of the City, paralleling local bus routes. There are also a growing number of neighborhoods in the County that have trails paralleling roads, like the trails along parts of Spring Arbor Road and Page Avenue. The network of bike lanes and sidewalks provide additional places for people to bike and walk.
Get outside and enjoy the trails of Jackson.
Written by Tanya DeOliveira
Tanya and her family are excited to be back in Michigan after spending several years in Wisconsin and South Carolina. She is the Principal Transportation Planner for the Region 2 Planning Commission.