Kalamazoo River Valley Trail enters new phase of construction

Work has begun on the eagerly anticipated three-mile section of trail from Mayor’s Riverfront Park near downtown Kalamazoo to River St. in Comstock.

"We’re making good progress," says David Rachowicz, Kalamazoo County Parks and Recreation Director. Work is expected to be completed in October of 2012. (For pictures of the work in progress, check here.)

Right now, the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail features 14 miles of paved trail constructed and will stretch to 17 when the new piece of trail is completed. Ultimately, another 13 miles of trails are planned.

It is used more than 100,000 times a year, reports the Parks Foundation of Kalamazoo County.

The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail links the Kal-Haven Trail to downtown Kalamazoo from the west, and D Avenue and the Kalamazoo Nature Center to downtown from the north. Once completed, the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail will connect to Battle Creek’s Linear Park, linking more than 140 miles of regional trail in the region.

Plans for links to the city of Portage’s 55 miles of bikeway system are now in the design phase, Rachowicz says. So far, there is no timeframe for when construction might get under way.

The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail and the Portage trails will be linked near Kilgore Road, at the Blanche Hull Nature Preserve. It will be built in phases in the same fashion as other sections of the trail have, Rachowicz says.

The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail also is also part of a state-wide effort to link Lake Michigan to Lake Huron -- a trail system known as The Great Lake to Lake Trail.

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave
Source: David Rachowicz, Kalamazoo County Parks and Recreation