Grant will fund engineering for Belle Isle loop trail
Washington — Engineering is moving ahead on a new six-mile loop trail around Belle Isle Park in Detroit with a $400,000 federal grant, officials said.
The engineering work should be complete by September, and construction on the first phase of the multi-use trail around the perimeter of the island could begin next spring, said Amanda Treadwell, urban area planner for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
The agency is also finalizing the construction drawings for the trail head, which will be built this summer near the Livingstone Memorial Lighthouse and serve as the southern terminus for the Iron Belle Trail, a state trail that runs from Detroit to Ironwood in Upper Peninsula.
The trail head will improve parking accommodations and add restrooms, bicycle racks and a water fountain, Treadwell said.
The $400,000 grant for the loop trail engineering, courtesy of the Recreational Trail Fund, also includes an archaeological survey and way-finding signs, she said.
The loop trail project received a $750,000 grant last year from the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund State & Local Assistance Program, which provides matching grants for local and state park projects.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will match that funding with another $750,000, Treadwell said.
“Belle Isle is a crown jewel in the City of Detroit.” Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, said in a statement. “It’s exciting to see how this and other investments are making Belle Isle an even better destination for families in the city and across the region.”
“Thanks to this funding, the jewel of Detroit – Belle Isle – can continue to make upgrades to existing facilities, giving area families a vibrant state park and boosting the economy by attracting new visitors from around the country,” Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, said.