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Walk the Lansing River Trail

April 30th, 2014 by Corey A. Edwards

The Lansing River Trail at Potter Park

The Lansing River Trail at Potter Park

Discover the natural beauty of the Lansing River Trail in the urban setting of downtown Lansing, MI.

The Lansing River Trail is a multi-use trail that runs along the winding river banks of both the Grand and the Red Cedar Rivers between Michigan State University and Dietrich Park in northern Lansing. The trail is nearly 13 miles long and intended for non-motorized use, so it’s a quiet and safe way to enjoy a truly scenic part of the city.

Though the Lansing River Trail winds its way through urban neighborhoods, you can be excused for mistaking your location for somewhere more remote. The paved course of the Lansing River Trail path allows you to experience wetlands and woodlands and many of said habitat’s more colorful denizens, such butterflies, ducks, and squirrels. Portions of the Lansing River Trail take you beneath, rather than over, highways and there are wooden boardwalks that are built out over the water, taking you away from the mechanized and closer to nature.

The Lansing River Trail meets up with the beautifully landscaped Potter Park, home of Potter Park Zoo, and is a great place to relax, have a picnic, or just to watch the ducks and passerby. Another attraction along the Lansing River Trail is Pennsylvania Avenue where the wooden pedestrian bridge parallels an active railroad bridge. Should you be crossing when a train is going by, it can be very exciting!

Beyond the benefits of the trail itself, the Lansing River Trail passes numerous points of interest, such as the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum, the Impression 5 Science Center, the Burchard Dam, the River Walk Theater, the magnificent Turner-Dodge House, and the Lansing City Market, in operation since 1909. This latter makes a wonderful rest stop with fresh local produce and the adjacent shaded benches and tables of Adado Riverfront Park.

For a downloadable map of the Lansing River Trail and more information, please visit the Michigan Trails website.

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