Put on your snowshoes: Washtenaw County increases trail mileage

With the completion of a trail segment connecting Warrior Creek Park in downtown Dexter up to the Hudson Mills Metropark just in time for December snows to drift in, the 35-mile Border to Border (B2B) Trail spanning Washtenaw County will be about halfway done.

The asphalt and concrete path and the bridge spanning Mill Creek have been installed and a boardwalk connecting the bridge to the West Ridge subdivision and up to the Hudson Mills Metropark is set to be laid by year-end, says Coy Vaughn, superintendent of park planning for Washtenaw County. In turn, the Huron Clinton Metropolitan Authority is finalizing its plans to start construction next spring on a 2.5-mile stretch that picks up where the B2B Trail leaves off. That segment will run up to the park's existing trail system.

"When that's all completed, there'll be about eight miles of trail that is accessible from downtown Dexter going north that will be in place and then eventually there'll be more than that as we finish the Border to Border Trail," says Vaughn.

And on the southeast side of Dexter, the plans for another bridge crossing on the Huron River and 1.4 miles of new trail through Dexter Huron Metropark have been drawn up and just went out to bid, Vaughn says. "Eventually the plan is to connect up to Ann Arbor as we continue to build the Border to Border Trail in that direction."

Also, a separate non-motorized trail network funded by Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission via its Connecting Communities mini-grant program, is spreading. Of the projects funded in 2009, a trail in Northfield Township connecting Whitmore Lake Elementary School to other residential neighborhoods along Barker Road was finished earlier this fall. New in Pittsfield Township is a 2.4-mile trail along Lohr and Textile Roads linking Ann Arbor and Saline.

And in Chelsea, a 1,000-foot, mainly boardwalk, trail along old U.S. 12 that will connect Pierce Lake Golf Course to neighborhoods, schools, and the commercial district has been designed, Vaughn says. A construction contract will be awarded shortly, with work to commence this spring.

Source: Coy Vaughn, superintendent of park planning for Washtenaw County
Writer: Tanya Muzumdar
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