It is a paved, non-motorized recreational trail of 10.5-mile (16.9 km) in length that extends from the west side of Traverse City, Michigan to Acme, Michigan. Most, but not all, of the trail follows the 19th-century roadbed of the former Chicago and West Michigan Railway.
The trail intersects other non-motorized trails in greater Traverse City, including the Boardman Lake Trail that skirts the eastern side of Boardman Lake, the Leelanau Trail with a connection to Suttons Bay, Michigan, and the Vasa Pathway, a system of loop trails constructed for cross-country skiing and other non-motorized recreational use in the Pere Marquette State Forest east of Traverse City.
The original TART Trail was constructed in 1991-1995. It was enlarged and extended several times in 1995-2005.
Points of interest along the trail include:
- The shoreline of Grand Traverse Bay
- Clinch Park along the Traverse City lakeshore
- Downtown Traverse City
- Traverse City State Park
The trail's acronym "TART" pays tribute to one of the best-known agricultural products of the Traverse City area, the tart cherry or pie cherry. For similar reasons, the local airport is called Cherry Capital Airport.