Great Lake to Lake Trail, Route 1 – South Haven to Port Huron
Plan: Completing the last gap in the trail between Richmond and Port Huron in St.Clair County.
We are just finishing the route determination in Calhoun County, one of the largest gaps, through a grant from Consumers Energy Foundation. Meanwhile, another gap, is being closed with the acquisition of the Wixom, Walled Lake and Commerce Township abandoned rail (a project many years in the making). The last big gap is in St. Clair County from the east end of the Macomb Orchard Trail to the Bridge to Bay Trail on Lake St. Clair. Closing this gap would mean a continuous trail of over 250 miles! The work is to do an optimal location review of a variety of alternatives, pursue community approval, and line up the critical path towards making it happen. Michigan Trails and Greenways has just received a $5,000 DALMAC grant from the Tri-County Bicycle Association to allow this route analysis and community engagement to happen. .
Need: Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is actively seeking individual donations to continue to develop the Great Lake to Lake Trail.
Plan: Bring crews from AmeriCorp for labor intensive trail projects.
Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is seeking a partnership with the AmeriCorp national program to set up several crews to work on nonmotorized trails, from multi-use to hiking, mountain biking, water, or cross-country ski trails. Several locations in northern Michigan have been identified by the DNR as potential project sites; Jordan River Pathway, Wildwood Pathway, Rockport State Park (trail building), and the Chippewa Pathway. These projects are labor intensive and incredibly time consuming. The AmeriCorps national program provides crews for just such projects with crews of 8-12 young people (ages 18 to 24), who are dispatched from headquarters to site locations to reside in the area and work on specific projects on public lands for a 6-8 week period. While transportation and supervision costs (and even food is covered with a small stipend) there is still the necessity of finding basic lodging with kitchen facilities for these crews. While we can, on rare occasions, find free lodging, it is not usually the case. We have a few leads for basic lodging as well, but it will require $10,000 to accommodate each crew over a 7 week period this fall. We are trying to line up 1 or 2 crews this year through AmeriCorp to do the work that is beyond the scope of the volunteers.
Need: Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is actively seeking $20,000 in public/private donations and or grant assistance ($10,000 per crew) to make it possible for us to get this important work done.
The Iron Belle Trail
Plan: Complete seamless hiking trail connections in Ingham, Jackson, and Calhoun counties and continuous biking trail connections in Genesee county as part of this cross-state trail network from Belle Isle Park in Detroit to Ironwood at the Michigan/Wisconsin border.
Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is working together with other partners, at the statewide, regional, and local levels to complete this 2,000+ mile trail. Both the hiking trail up the west side of the state and the biking trail along the east side of the state are more than 60 percent complete. The routes both start at Belle Isle Park in Detroit and end in Ironwood at the Michigan/Wisconsin border. In between the trail will experience the gamut of Michigan scenery and attractions, through urban and rural landscapes, forests, meadows and cityscapes, over and under interstate highways, across rivers and around lakes. Visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Iron Belle Trail page for more information on this spectacular project.
Need: The Iron Belle Trail will need $162 million in private dollars to complete the trail in conjunction with public grant funding from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and the federal Transportation Alternatives Program. The Iron Belle Trail team is on the lookout for any potential donors that would like to participate in the fundraising campaign! Email Kristen Bennett, Iron Belle Trail Coordinator at BennettK@michigan.gov to explore this opportunity!