Efforts being made to connect crossroads in Reed City

Efforts are being made to connect the White Pine and Pere Marquette Trails, as well as the Hersey River, to help promote the Crossroads City and outdoor recreation available in the area. (Pioneer file photo)

REED CITY — The Hersey River is a point of pride for many in Reed City, and a recognizable community asset.

Work among Reed City officials, students from Michigan State University and the Michigan Department of Natural Resource is being made to connect the river, as well as the two trail crossings and covered railroad bridge into a focal point for tourism and economic development.

The completion of paving the White Pine Trail from Tustin to LeRoy presents an opportunity to connect Reed City’s assets, City Manager Ron Howell said.

“The city and the people here realize this is the Crossroads Community,” he said. “Connecting the two trails, the Hersey River and including work on the covered bridge would be something we’re all very proud of.”

MSU students recently met and coordinated with the Michigan DNR to look at how the linear park trail in Reed City, which run under the highway, can be connected by a ramp or walkway so the White Pine Trail and Pere Marquette Trails can be connected, Howell said.

“We also believe the DNR is on the path to rebuild the covered bridge, so there is a new one there,” he said.

Work on the bridge will include removing the 20 old cement pilings that are in the water that are used to support it.

“They will take all those out and it will be a free-span bridge from one shore to the other,” he said. “It will help the fish habitat and promote kayaking.

“These students have also taken a good look at that, and the Pure Michigan program has a waterways component to it, too.”

Along with work on the bridge, Howell said Pure Michigan has a Trail Town certification, which would include maps and signage to promote the trails.

“It’s something the city council has decided to go after and the planning commission is going through the process of trying to promote that,” he said, noting the importance of incorporating all of the assets together to benefit Reed City.

Included in that, recent drone footage has been taken and will be added to the city’s website.

“We did it at the right time, when all the fall colors were out,” he said. “It’s some real nice footage and the improvement to the website is aimed at attracting folks to the area to ride the trails and visit the campground. There will be some economic development in that.”

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Posted by Brandon Fountain

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