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The Pere Marquette Rail-Trail (PMRT) is a rail trail in Michigan occupying an 28-mile (45 km) 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 to Flint, transporting supplies to the timber industry and lumber/timber to southern Michigan’s mills. It is a Michigan Rails to Trails Conservancy Hall of Fame trail.
The trail is paved with asphalt for hiking and bicycling and is up to 14 feet (4.3 m) wide. The PMRT should not be confused with the Pere Marquette State Trail.
The trail is named after the Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad, named after Jacques Marquette, a French Jesuit missionary who founded Michigan’s first European settlement at Sault Ste. Marie. Père is the French word for father; ergo, Father Marquette.
The first portion of the trail opened in June 1993. This portion was almost wholly contained in the city of Midland, Michigan and started at The Tridge.
The original plans for the rail trail called for extending it west to Ludington, Michigan where ferry service would provide access to Wisconsin.
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