After 17 years, Heartland trail completed

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 10:18 am on Monday, October 17, 2011

Daily News/Cory Smith A ribbon-cutting in Edmore officially celebrated the completion of the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail. From left, Lon Leonard, Russell Hansen, Rep. Rick Outman, Franz Mogdis, John Heron, Karl Kluwe, Bonnie Ashbaugh and Bonnie Gary-Davis gathered to cut the ribbon at Saturday’s event.

EDMORE — For Edmore Village President Lon Leonard, the completion of the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail through his town is a dream come true.
“We have a main highway that runs through our town,” said Leonard. “Now we’ve got a main bikeway.”
The 41-mile trail now runs from Alma to just north of Greenville, passing through Elwell, Riverdale, Vestaburg, Cedar Lake and Edmore in the process.
About 30 people attended the ribbon cutting ceremony in Edmore on Saturday to celebrate the completion of the trail.
“This trail has opened the back door to Edmore,” Leonard said. “This brings in another route to bring people into the community. Before they paved it, it was just an unused railroad. The traffic on the trail has already been great.”
Chairman of the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail Franz Mogdis sees the trail as a great way to increase economic impact in the various towns the trail passes through.
“It’s definitely going to promote tourism,” Mogdis said. “They are already working on a four-seasons market here in Edmore right next to the trail and the town has built a pavilion next to the parking lot. This is just a great trail for so many people to use for years to come. We are very proud and thankful of the Meijer Foundation and everyone who has helped in the past 17 years to make this a reality.”
The next step in additions to the trail will be the completion of a 37.5 mile section connecting Greenville to Lowell, with hopes to one day connect Lowell to Owosso, creating the fifth-longest paved bike trail in the United States.

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