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Alma

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For other places with the same name, see Alma (disambiguation).
Dunning Memorial Chapel at Alma College

Alma is a city in Central Michigan, nicknamed "Scotland, USA," and is the largest population center of Gratiot County, with 9,275 residents.

It's small-town atmosphere is ideal for people who are looking for safe neighborhoods and easy driving, yet its active community organizations still provide a vibrant calendar of events for people who enjoy theater, music, and other forms of entertainment. Alma's historic downtown district is located on Business US-127. Alma is famous for its annual Scottish-themed Alma Highland Festival & Games, held on the campus of Alma College, a prestigious 4-year private liberal arts institution founded in 1886. Both the City of Alma and Alma College have embraced a Scottish heritage. Another historic landmark, Masonic Pathways Senior Living Services has been located in Alma since 1911, and is also home to the Michigan Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons. MidMichigan Health has a large presence in Alma, with its recently expanded Gratiot Medical Center.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Centrally located near the crossroads of US-127 and M-46, the city of Alma is easily accessible from all parts of the state of Michigan by car.

By bus[edit]

Alma is served by both Greyhound and Indian Trails bus lines with connections to the larger metropolitan areas of Lansing, Grand Rapids, Detroit, and Chicago. There is a local bus service known as Dial-A-Ride Transit (DART) that provides service throughout Alma and neighboring St. Louis.

By rail[edit]

The Great Lakes Central Railroad and Mid Michigan Railroad bisect Alma, used predominately for freight service. However, special passenger train tours have recently become a summer tourism attraction, transporting riders from as far south as Owosso, north to Mt. Pleasant or Cadillac and back. Often tours temporarily stop at Alma College, allowing riders to explore the Alma College campus and the downtown shopping district.

Gratiot Community Airport

By air[edit]

The Gratiot Community Airport, located 3 miles southwest of Alma, offers flight services to business, individual, and freight customers. The airport is capable of handling commercial aircraft and small jets. Three Point Aviation manages operations, including flight plans, aircraft maintenance, catering, and self-serve fueling.

Fred Meijer Heartland Trail

By bicycle/foot[edit]

The Fred Meijer Heartland Trail [dead link], a paved converted railroad line, connects Alma to the hamlets of Elwell and Riverdale to the west. It is expected that the trail will soon be completed between Riverdale and Edmore, which will make the trail one of the midwest's longest uninterrupted paved trails, reaching from Alma to Greenville. Area residents frequently utilize the trail for bicycling, jogging, walking, and inline skating.

Get around[edit]

Dial-A-Ride Transit (DART) provides transportation service throughout Alma and neighboring St. Louis. Alma's 2.6-mile Riverwalk follows the Pine River, connecting the northeast and southwest corners of the city, also linking to the extensive Fred Meijer Heartland Trail, making Alma an exceptionally walkable community.

See[edit]

  • Alma College, 614 W. Superior St., toll-free: +1-800-321-ALMA (2562).
  • Pine River.
  • 1 St. Mary Church, 510 N. Prospect Ave. (Immediately south of Wright Park.), +1 989-463-5370. Completed in 1970 by William Wesley Peters of Talesian Architects (Frank Lloyd Wright foundation); the church is a rounded building with sweeping conical towers. Enter off of Prospect Avenue if front doors are locked. Sunday and Daily Mass.

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Go next[edit]

Alma is a good starting point to head to the "mitt" of Michigan - aka Northern Michigan. Here are a few other places that aren't necessarily in Northern Michigan to get you out and away from Alma:

  • Mount Pleasant is 20 minute drive north from Alma. Mt. Pleasant is home to a Saginaw Chippewa Indian community, which throws a big pow-wow each year.
  • Lansing, the state capital, is about an hour away via car. It's a college town, being home to Michigan State University, one off the biggest universities in the country.
  • Holland, Michigan, not the Netherlands! It's about a two hour drive. Go during the spring, to see all of the beautiful tulips and enjoy the town's Dutch heritage.
  • Muskegon is two hours away and has clean lovely beaches with bike trails to visit on Lake Michigan.
  • Detroit is also two hours away, and one of the most famous American cities - home to the car industry, revitalization, soul music, and more.
Routes through Alma
Mackinaw CitySt. Louis  N US 127.svg S  IthacaLansing
Muskegon ← Howard City ←  W M-46.svg E  St. LouisSaginaw



This city travel guide to Alma is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.