Cyclists and hikers had plenty to celebrate on National Trails Day, June 6, this year. U.S. Senator Carl Levin cut the ribbon on a new hiking and mountain bike trail that connects Traverse City to Kalkaska.
The new trail was built by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club, connecting the VASA Trail to pathways in Sand Lakes Quiet Area and the KART Trail in Kalkaska. The trail will make for a much-improved mountain bike route through the forests to and from Kalkaska.
In May, cyclists also celebrated the opening of a new cycle/pedestrian bridge across the Boardman River in Traverse City.
The bridge is a key link in extending a new bike trail entirely around Boardman Lake, said Bob Otwell, executive director of TART (Traverse Area Recreation and Trails, Inc.).
TART constructed a two-mile trail in the east side of Boardman Lake in 2007. Now that the bridge has been built, we can start working on completing the remaining two-and-a-half miles of trail on the east side of the lake, Otwell said.
The lake trail is expected to be completed over the course of the next year or two, along with the paving of another stretch of the Leelanau Trail, which runs from Traverse City to Suttons Bay.
Not all of the Leelanau Trail will be paved, however; a long rural stretch will be surfaced with crushed limestone, as is the case with similar trails outside Gaylord and Beulah. -- Robert Downes