How Albion’s Labor Day Walk the Trail started.
Albion Downtown Development director Nidia Wolf started the walk in 2008, one year after the trail was dedicated. Later she became the director for the Albion Health Care Alliance that still is the leader of this fun outdoor gathering. The hike is the lower peninsula’s answer for the traditional “Walking the Bridge” on Labor Day for Michigan. This event grows each year. It includes crossing over four bridges and walking through seven of Albion’s 17 parks. The Albion River Trail walk recurs every Labor Day. It begins with a meeting near the River Trail sign for a group photo near the bandshell in Victory Park at 10:00 a.m. From there people walk northeast to Harris Field.
Details of the 2018 Walk
Labor Day Albion Trail Walk is handicap friendly, pet-friendly, and kid-friendly. Mowrer Agency at Albion Train Depot opened up its waiting room so the public could use the restrooms there. The City of Albion opened the public restrooms at either end of the hike also. The round trip walk is about 3.5 miles. Some people opted for shorter walks by parking at one end or midway and carpooling. There is also an option to walk south to the cemetery.
Walking through Albion’s History
One of the best parts of the Albion River Trail is the chance to see history and admire nature all in one fairly short hike.
New History Segment added in Holland Park
For the 2018 walk, an interactive history lesson was added in Holland Park. Albion College professor Dr. Wesley Dick gave a talk about Albion’s history. His talk mentioned the foundries, the great migration of black people to come work, and as a result, the need for educational facilities. The education at West Ward School was first accepted gratefully, but then later the disparities became more evident and because some of the parents brought this to the attention of the school board and the state laws, Albion’s schools were integrated in 1953.
Watch an excerpt of the talk by clicking the image below.
The Albion River Trail is now part of the North Country National Scenic Trail. See the map about this part of the trail on this link:
See a brochure with information about the Albion River Trail on this link:
Motorized vehicles are not permitted.
See the official Albion Health Care Alliance event page here