Trail Updates

2021-2022 Updates

Significant progress continues on the Idema Explorers Trail with a flurry of activity planned for next year. Fourteen miles of the 36.5-mile route have been completed, and we anticipate that an additional 4.6 miles will be under construction across three locations in 2022. Bids were received for two sections of trail in Georgetown Township this fall, and construction is expected to begin soon (details below). Bids could be received in early 2022 for an additional section of the trail in Robinson Township. Stay tuned for updates!

To see a map of all of the entire Grand River Greenway and Idema Explorers Trail, as well as the projected schedule for each segment, please click here.

Jenison Mill Segment – Construction 2022

Planned features

  • Connection to trails in Kent County
  • Access to Millennium Park & downtown Grand Rapids
  • “Gateway Arch and Plaza” at County border
  • Bridge and boardwalk over Rush Creek and floodplain
  • Scenic riverside views and wooded wetlands
This one-mile segment of trail will be located along the riverfront and crosses Rush Creek. It will complete a three-mile stretch of trail from the Bend Area to the Kent County border, which will connect to a larger regional trail network. This segment will feature the Grand Connection arch honoring Peter Secchia, a co-chair of the Greenway Campaign who dreamed of connecting Millennium Park to Lake Michigan. The arch will mark the border between Ottawa and Kent counties. This section is funded by the Ottawa County Parks Millage, the Ottawa County Park Foundation’s Grand River Greenway Fund, Georgetown Township, and the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.

Bill Idema Moraine Nature Segment – Construction 2022

Planned features

  • Scenic riverside/waterfront views
  • Ascent/descent from top of ravines to river level
  • Connects Grand River Park to Grand Ravines
  • New trailhead access planned at Grand River Park
  • Access to modern restroom facilities on both sides of the trail
  • Access to hiking trail systems at Grand River Park and Grand Ravines (nearly 9 miles of trails)
This 1.3-mile segment of trail will connect Grand Ravines and Grand River Park. It will feature parking access, modern restroom accommodations on the west and east sides, scenic riverfront views, and a crossing of Willow Creek. The connection between the two parks creates a seamless experience, allowing visitors to explore nine miles of paved and natural surface trails across the combined 364-acres of park.This section is funded by the Ottawa County Parks Millage, the Ottawa County Park Foundation’s Grand River Greenway Fund, and Georgetown Township.

Bayou Segment – Construction 2022

Planned features

  • Scenic riverside/waterfront views, including a series of Grand River bayous
  • Expanded bridge over Stearns Bayou
  • Connects Grand Haven area to Greenway parks
  • Connects Grand Haven area to M-231 Grand River Bridge
  • Part of possible “Grand Crossings” loop

Completed segments

Georgetown Segment

  • Connects expanding Bend Area Open Space property to Kent County
  • Connects business districts in Jenison to Georgetown Township neighborhoods
  • Grass/Gravel trailhead on 12th Avenue with wayfinding
  • Connections to Bend Area hiking trail system, which includes 4+miles of natural surface trails with waterfront views and riverfront loop

Versluis GVSU Campus Segment

  • Safe connection from GVSU Allendale Campus/Student Housing to Grand Ravines
  • Connections to campus pedestrian/bike system
  • Access to campus amenities such as campus store, restaurants, and coffee ships
  • Connections to M-45 Business District
  • Access to amenities as food and lodging
  • Access to The Rapid transit system

Odawa Segment

  • Connects Connor Bayou to Riverside Park, with wooded route through Connor Bayou
  • Connects to M-231 Grand River River Bridge and trail network on north side of Grand River
  • Bridge trail features scenic views of river as well as Connor Bayou and Bruce Bayou
  • Part of possible “Grand Crossings” loop
  • Trailhead access at M-231 Bridge
  • Access to MDNR 120th Avenue Boat Launch
  • West terminus of possible 9 mile stretch off road and in park land