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Road Trippin': Hastings and the Riverwalk Trail
Hastings is a small town of about 7,000 but a long list of things to do -- from kayaking on the river to shopping and dining, or just taking a stroll on the Riverwalk Trail.
A 2.4-mile path butts up to the Thornapple River in Hastings, offering both nature and city in one package.
“We have the best of both worlds,” said Sandy Ponsetto, the Hastings Community Development Coordinator. “We have our downtown shopping district just a block away. You can enjoy shopping and dining. Pick up a concert here at the Thornapple Plaza, which is right next to the Riverwalk Trail. You can take your kids down to play in the Spray Plaza. It’s just so nice to have this much nature right here in the city limits. This river is used for kayaking, canoeing, tubing; it’s really popular.”
The Riverwalk Trail extend from Bliss over on the east side of town. And there, kayakers will find a launch spot.
“There’s also a place where you can put in at Tiden Park,” Ponsetto said. “That’s a great place to stop if you’re on the river for the day, and go in to maybe get some lunch or if you brought your own picnic. It’s beautiful and shady.”
Or set up along the river for a bit of fishing.
“There’s pike, small mouth bass, some carp,” Ponsetto said.
The trail also is popular for hiking and biking.
“And rollerblade,” Ponsetto said. “Because of the levelness of the trail, there’s a few hills here and there, but it’s suitable for people of all ages and skill levels to ride their bikes. We have senior citizens, children with training wheels, tricycles. It’s great for everybody.”
If you don’t like the heat, another option is the Hastings Public Library, which not only has a great selection of reading material, but special events and clubs and even some crafting classes.