Lansing River Trail- A Fall Ride through the Leaves

The fall is a great time in Michigan to get out and explore our bike and nature trails. In this Pure Michigan Connect article, guest blogger Hannah Ettema brings us for a ride along the Lansing River Trail!

On Sunday, October 10 it would have been a crime to stay inside all day due to the warm weather, so I took a break from my homework and went on a bike ride with my friend Victoria on the Lansing River Trail

Since my time at Michigan State, I knew of the trail’s existence but only this year explored it. From my apartment just off of Michigan Ave. in East Lansing, we rode south towards the Red Cedar River and the bike trail.

We soon found ourselves underneath the canopy of bright yellows and oranges of the changing leaves. The late afternoon sun pushed through and washed the colors in warmth. Both of us were surprised at how much nature was surrounding us right in Lansing. At one point Victoria reminisced of home and said, “This feels like Traverse City.”

Due to the nice weather we were not alone on the trail. Families, couples, runners, and dogs were all around us; I felt part of the community or the group that knew about one of Lansing’s best secrets: the River Trail.

On the trail we were never far from water and often had to cross it on bridges. We passed fishers along the river and saw either a crane or egret in a marsh as well as ducks and geese. That afternoon also seemed to be the coming out day for fuzzy caterpillars which we tried as best we could to swerve away from.

The warm breeze meant leaves were continuously cascading down over and among us. Parts of the trail were so covered with leaves that we almost couldn’t see the pavement. Our wheels crunched over the leaves like old newspaper and reminded us why we love fall. And when we descended towards the river or into the woods we were blessed with cool air.

If we wouldn’t have had homework waiting for us, we would have been content to ride into the sunset.

Hannah Ettema is a senior at Michigan State where she studies arts and humanities and professional writing. She has a fierce love for Michigan, reading, and summer thunderstorms.