Re: The Iron Belle Trail - Clarification

The Iron Belle Trail will run from Belle Isle in Detroit to Ironwood in the western Upper Peninsula. Mackinaw Straits crossing will be via ferry from Mackinaw City to Mackinaw Island and then continue by ferry to St. Ignace. It is composed of two separate trails, one for hiking the other for biking. The 1,273-mile hiking route (69% complete) incorporates a large portion of the existing North Country National Scenic Trail. It traverses the west side of the Lower Peninsula and borders Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula. The 791-mile bicycle route (64% complete) utilizes existing multi-use trails and follows US-2, a designated national bicycling route in the Upper Peninsula.

The current plan, as it passes through the Flint area will run two blocks from my home. We look froward to accessing this trail as it connects several existing trails in the Flint area.

Website Link,4570,7-153-10365_16839_71459---,00.html


  • I can hardly wait, but it needs a few years and good camping spots
  • Great project. I bike in Detroit and looking at the Iron Belle Trail Map they plan on using streets for about 20 miles of the trail through the city. Belle Isle is a beautiful park and just getting better all the time, home of the Detroit Grand Prix. Last year I had the opportunity to bike on the Grand Prix track a day before the race, quite a thrill for me.
  • This will be a good addition to the trail network within Michigan.
  • I think it pretty much uses the existing trail network for the majority of it, but I noticed 2 years ago that as they were doing work on I-75 in northern counties, they were building a nice 10 ft wide bike trail off in the woods along the highway. Far enough away to be still in the trees for most of it, but it won't be a quiet idyllic part of the ride for sure.

    But it does show that bike paths are now being included as part of the design and construction of all road work in the designated path areas.
  • The in the works trail from Traverse City to Charlevioux is in a similar situation. There is only so much right of way available to allow room for a trail. Farmers are not interested in having a bike trail on their property. So the trail developers are stuck with trails alongside highways. Where they have the opportunity to run a trail through state or national forest the cost to clear the woods and prepare the base is prohibitive.

    TART in Traverse City will begin the final leg of the trail the goes around Boardman Lake in town. The remaining segment will cost close to $4million dollars to complete and is less than three miles long but will be on a boardwalk over water/wetland and along the shoreline.

    MUP trails are expensive, expecially when they are constructed within a existing infrastructure and/or when private land has to be purchased and it is scenic.
  • My wife was excited that she could bike from the Turtle Casino, past both bays, and up to Sutton's Bay and back. Personally I'd love to see that peninsula ride extended to Northpoint. I found that little town to be prettier and nicer than Sutton's Bay, but we could only get to it by car.

    Are you saying they are extending eastward past the casino area?
  • The cross town trail is being extended to Meijer on 72. Long range plan is to connect T.C. , elk rapids, charlevioux
  • Nice! Still love to be able to trike to Northpoint, though!
  • October last year I planned to do a 75 mile ride from T.C. to Northport state park and back. Hwy 22 north of Sutton Bay is fairly safe by then except for the occasional leaf peeper. The weather just wouldn't cooperate, wind or rain keep it from happening.

    We tried to buy a house in Sutton Bay, my wife loved it, I knew it would become a money pit and thankfully they didn't take our offer. The town is also a tourist trap on the weekends in the summer and rolls up the sidewalks in the winter. We ended up buying in T.C.
  • I would buy in Northport vice Sutton Bay anytime. Of course I assume winter would mean total hibernation.
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