Lansing is segregated. We don’t really mention it much but in fact there is a huge divide that splits Lansing right in half; north and south and again east and west. This divide is a river. It’s not even one river. There is the Grand River that races in from the west side of the city to the southern middle of Lansing. Here it twists around and meets with the Red Cedar River that flows in from Williamston through Okemos and East Lansing. Combined as the Grand River they flow straight north, creating a gorgeous waterway for downtown Lansing. At Old Town the river begins to slant North West and meanders out to Grand Ledge and beyond. As I make my way through neighborhoods and busy streets I am often in awe when I come to a section by the river. The few bridges stretching across the rivers are my favorite places to walk. Lansing smartly has created one of its biggest assets with The Lansing River Trail. This trail consistently follows the river. However the River Trail does not continue throughout the entire river. The reasons for this are mostly that the property is owned by someone. Many times as I walk with the river in my sights, I find sections of gorgeous homes, nestled together like quaint Northern Michigan cottage homes on the river’s edge. Much like the phrase; “all business in front and a party in the back” these homes have a pristine, though humble, look to the front. But as you walk by and take note of the back yard it becomes evident that those folks enjoy their river front property. I find most own some type of boat. There is often a relaxing place; fire pit, pool, gazebo, something that shouts out fun and relaxation. I find very few “for sale” signs in these neighborhoods as most seem pretty content right where they are. I enjoy walking in these sections, although with the isolation of the locations (mostly dead-ends) I feel a bit intrusive. I think, that’s the way they want it to be.
The view off the bridge on MLK just south of Grand River Ave.
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