DNR seeks input for Belle Isle Park trail master plan

Public invited to attend Aug. 24 meeting at the Flynn Pavilion..
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Statewide DNR News

Aug. 11, 2016

Contact: Amanda Hertl, 313-396-6872

DNR seeks input for Belle Isle trail master plan

bicyclists riding on Belle Isle streetThe Michigan Department of Natural Resources will host a public meeting this month to gather input for the development of a master plan for the trail system at Belle Isle Park.

The public meeting will run 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, at the Flynn Pavilion (near the intersection of Picnic Way and Loiter Way) in Belle Isle Park, Detroit. Members of the public are welcome to attend and participate in the planning process.

Belle Isle Park, a 985-acre island Michigan state park located in the Detroit River near downtown Detroit, is rich with natural beauty and historical and cultural resources. The park is home to the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, the Belle Isle Aquarium, trails, a golf course, the James Scott Memorial Fountain and many more cultural and natural attractions popular with all ages and interests. The park also includes bicycle lanes located on the park’s main perimeter road and two miles of hiking trails located in natural areas of the park.

The plan is to develop and expand the trail system to include a 6-mile, multi-use paved trail loop around the perimeter of Belle Isle to better connect existing park facilities and provide safe, nonmotorized recreation opportunities to visitors. The master plan will:

  • Help develop a trail system throughout the 200-acre, wet-mesic flatwoods on the east end of the island.
  • Develop standards for trail signage.
  • Identify gaps in Belle Isle’s existing trail system.
  • Locate a trailhead for the southern terminus of Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail. 

The Iron Belle Trail, the longest designated state trail in the nation, incorporates 1,273 miles of hiking and 791 miles of bicycling trails that run from Belle Isle Park in Detroit to Ironwood in the western Upper Peninsula.

"This master plan is critical in developing Belle Isle Park as a regional trail hub, connecting the park to the region’s trail system," said Amanda Hertl, landscape architect for the DNR. "When combined with the additional amenities on the island, the proposed looped trail around the island with views of the Detroit River and Canada will be a one-of-a-kind experience not found anywhere else in the city of Detroit or surrounding region."

Learn more about Belle Isle Park at www.belleislepark.org and the Iron Belle Trail, including an interactive, statewide map, at www.michigan.gov/ironbelle.

For more information about the Aug. 24 meeting or the planning process, contact Amanda Hertl at hertla@michigan.gov or 313-396-6872.

Inside Michigan’s Great Outdoors subscribers are always the first to know about reservation opportunities, state park events and other outdoor happenings. Visit www.michigan.gov/dnr to subscribe now.

A Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry to Belle Isle Park. Learn more about how the Recreation Passport gains you access to Michigan state parks and more at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.

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