Interactive map to help take public pulse on Iron Belle Trail

A new technology will be put to use to garner public opinion on the proposed improvements to the Iron Belle Trail Route. Officials from Macomb County and the cities of Sterling Heights, Warren and Center Line have launched an interactive crowdsourcing map that outlines proposals and allows the public to comment and offer suggestions.

The map, which will accept community feedback through April 12, is part of a larger trail routing and feasibility study that examines potential alignments for the Iron Belle Trail from Center Line’s southern border up through Freedom Hill County Park. The study will inventory current conditions, provide suggested routes and treatments and provide a final safety audit containing recommendations for future planning, engineering and trail development.
“For many years, local municipal governments and the county have worked collaboratively to develop a route for the Iron Belle Trail from 8 Mile Road north to 24 Mile Road and Dequindre,” says Amanda Minaudo, senior planner, Macomb County Planning and Economic Development.

“This is one of Michigan’s premier trails, so we are thrilled to be taking a step towards finalizing a route plan by reaching out to the community and asking for their input with our new interactive map.”
The Iron Belle Trail touches hundreds of municipalities and crosses through 48 different Michigan counties. Using existing trails, networks and new connections, the trail extends more than 2,000 miles from the far western tip of the Upper Peninsula to Belle Isle in Detroit, with a route for bicycling and a route for hiking.

SEMCOG recently awarded Macomb County, along with the cities of Sterling Heights, Warren and Center Line, a SEMCOG Community Assistance Grant to close the gap in the statewide network. The county has engaged the Greenway Collaborative and Bergmann Associates to consult on the project and assist in reaching consensus on the bike route and associated improvements to the trail.
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Kate Roff is an award-winning freelance writer and journalism educator, currently based out of Detroit. She is the managing editor of Metromode and Model D. Contact her at