June 11, 2019
This article originally appeared here.
The Island Lake Trail Connector opened Saturday.
The connector is one of the final pieces connecting the Great Lake-to-Lake Trail stretching from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron, officials said.
Along with walking and stroller use, all kinds of bicycles can ride on the connector, which was constructed using a limestone base with a superfine compressed limestone surface, said Jim Fackert, president of the Friends of Lakelands Trail group. Friends of Lakeland and Friends of Island Lake Recreation Area sponsored the project.
The $300,000 project was made possible by a donation from Pinckney’s Michael Levine, a long-time supporter of the Lakeland Trail and prime mover for the completion of the Great Lake-to-Lake Trail.
Levine, an inventor and philanthropist, pledged $5 million in 2016 for a variety of Michigan trail projects, including design, development and construction of the Lakelands Trail and the Great Lake-to-Lake Trail. The Mike Levine Lakelands Trail State Park starts at Hall Road in Livingston County and extends to Hawkins Road in Henrietta Township in Jackson County.
Bike rider Willem Denboer came to enjoy the fanfare and test out the trail connector after the ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday, June 8, 2019. (Photo: Richard Lim Photography)
“It’s got tremendous benefit to help us with the lake-to-lake trail,” Mark St. Charles, Green Oak Township supervisor, said.
At seven-tenths of a mile, the connector begins near a kiosk by JCPenney in Green Oak Village Place and concludes at Park Road inside Island Lake Recreation Area which connects to Kensington Metropark, Fackert said.
Preparation for the connector began in January and construction began in April, he said.
A ribbon cutting to open the trail is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Green Oak Village Place in Brighton.
After the ribbon cutting, a bike riding tour will also take place. The ride will have three different lengths from 1 to 15 miles.
There are plans to expand the Island Lake Trail further west to connect to the Lakelands Trail in Hamburg Township. The expansion west is planned to be 5 to 7 miles long, Fackert said.
The Island Lake Trail and the Lakelands trail would connect at Hall Road approximately a half mile south of M-36, Fackert said.
Construction on this expansion is planned to start as soon as possible, Fackert said.
Contact Livingston Daily reporter Sean Bradley at 517-552-2860 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SbradleyLD.