Here is a list of my five top outdoor running trails within the Grand Rapids area.
Reeds Lake Trail in East Grand Rapids is not only a beautiful place to run with its views of the lake, there is sectioned off wildlife preserves that you should be sure not to miss. Park over by Hodenpyl Woods and start your 4.2 mile journey around the lake there. Or just do the Woods (0.9 miles) and enjoy the scenic walkouts over the water where I spotted Blue Herons, native ducks and swans mingling by the docks leading out to benches overlooking the whole lake. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a leash and cleaned up after. There are several maps throughout the trail to keep you going on the right direction. http://www.eastgr.org/files/Reeds%20Lake%20trail%20Map.pdf
Paul Henry Thornapple Trail is one you can run on in 3 different counties in West Michigan. Stretching its 42 mile way through Barry, Eaton and Kent counties this old railroad has been conserved beautifully to become a great running trail for those living around it. There are several access points with all sections being paved. You can find out more information here: http://thornapple.mwswebsites.com/
White Pine Trail is our next running trail. This is for all of you north of the metro Grand Rapids area. This trail starts out in Comstock Park and makes its way to Cadillac. There is a loop around the 5/3 rd Ballpark that extends 22 miles to Sand Lake. Keep going for some unpaved rougher terrains where you might see snowmobiles zipping by further up north. http://www.whitepinetrail.com/
Want to run through Downtown but unsure which routes to take. Take a look at member added routes on http://www.walkjogrun.net/running-routes/USA/MI/Grand%20Rapids/ you will be sure to find a few good ones throughout the immediate Grand Rapids area, complete with mileage information, street view maps and time and pace suggestions.
The Plaster Creek Trail goes between Ken-O-Sha Park and the west side of Eastern Avenue in Grand Rapids. The trail is mostly paved and used for walking and jogging. You will see lots of wildlife on this 2.7 mile trail that takes you along this urban stream that is a tributary of the Grand River. The name is derived from the large amount of gypsum found at the streams mouth. Plaster creek is a salmon spawning stream and salmon have been spotted as far upstream as where the trail begins by Ken-O-Sha Park. http://eyeonmichigan.com/trails/plastercreek/