The entire 28-mile section of the Pere Marquette State Trail from Evart to Clare is paved with a smooth asphalt surface. The trail takes you on a scenic tour of changing topography and long expanses of natural beauty, traveling through two distinctly different landscapes.
The restored train station in Evart offers an excellent staging area with close proximity to stores, restaurants and Riverside Park. From the Muskegon River bridge, the trail gradually climbs a ridge and reaches its highest elevation as it crosses M-66. It then begins a descent into a complex oflakes that surround the aptly named village of Lake Station. There are no stores, restrooms or drinking water between Evart and Lake Station, so plan accordingly.
The old red train station in Lake Station serves as a public staging area with a general store and diner across the street. Here you will see a towering concrete "Coal Dock," a silent reminder of the steam locomotives that once powered down this historic rail line. The 6-mile section of trail from Lake Station to Farwell has few crossroads and is very peaceful, remote, and a favorite among many trail riders. As the trail travels through downtown Farwell, you'll find plenty of stores and restaurants and easy access to the trail at the staging area on Corning Street and the City Park on Main Street. The trail ends (or begins) at a public parking area in front of the Moose Lodge on M-115 just west of Clare.
The DNR is currently working with the railroad to establish a right-of-way to build a trail through Clare that will connect the western portion of the Pere Marquette State Trail with the eastern portion of the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail that travels from Clare to Midland. If you would like to continue east on the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail, you will need to travel three miles along the shoulder on M-115 to where the eastern trail begins south of downtown Clare off McEwan Street.