Boyne City to Charlevoix Trail

The Boyne City to Charlevoix Non-motorized Trail is a proposed new linear park, which will run parallel to Boyne City Road and will connect the City of Boyne City with the Little Traverse Wheelway, an existing non-motorized trail that links the City of Charlevoix with the cities of Petoskey and Harbor Springs.  The Boyne City to Charlevoix Trail will be a paved 10-foot wide, approximately 14-mile long trail, mostly detached from Boyne City Road, but within the road right-of-way.  The trail will be constructed in five (5) phases.

This trail is intended for non-motorized recreational activities and non-motorized transportation between Boyne City and Charlevoix.  Trail users may walk, bike, skate or ski (pick your favorite sport for any season) on the trail.  However, snowmobiles and horses are NOT permitted anywhere on the trail.  

Staff Contact Information:
Kiersten Stark, Administrative Director
Charlevoix County Parks & Planning Department
Phone: (231) 547-7234
Email:  planning@charlevoixcounty.org 

Project Location Map  


Trail Plans


Phase 1
Phase 1 begins at the intersection of W. Michigan Avenue and Boyne City Road in Boyne Cityand runs along the Lake Charlevoix side of Boyne City Road, through Young State Park  via an easement, to N. Springwater Beach Road at the Evangeline/Bay Township line for a distance of 3.04 miles.  This phase of the trail was constructed in 2016 is open for use!

Phase 2
Phase 2 begins at the Little Traverse Wheelway in Hayes Township, east of Waller Road, crosses US-31 and follows a series of easements across private property to Boyne City Road east of the Argonne Supper Club, and then runs parallel to, but separate from Boyne City Road within the road right-of-way on the north (Susan Lake) side of the road to Quarterline Road, southeast of Susan Lake, for a distance of 2.97 miles.  At the point where the trail meets Boyne City Road east of the Argonne Supper Club, a trail spur runs west within the right-of-way on the north side of the road to Eastern Avenue to create an access point for Pine Point Subdivision.  Trail users can follow Eastern Avenue to Lake Charlevoix where there is a public access with a picnic area and swimming beach.  

Phase 2 was constructed in 2017, and is almost finished!  The contractor is completing the remaining construction items.  Once this section of the trail is officially open for use, a ribbon-cutting / dedication ceremony will be planned.

Phase 3
Phase 3 will begin at the completed Phase 1 of the trail at N. Springwater Beach Road (the Evangeline/Bay Township line) and continue detached within the right-of-way on the Lake Charlevoix side of Boyne City Road through Bay Township.  Just east of the Village of Horton Bay, in the vicinity of the Horton Bay United Methodist Church, the trail will connect to the (paved) wide shoulder of the road.  Through Horton Bay, the trail will utilize the existing 6-foot wide paved shoulders of the road due to the close proximity of homes to the road.  Crosswalks, pavement markings, and signs will be used to guide trail users through the community.  In Horton Bay, trail users can take Lake Street to a public access beach on Lake Charlevoix where there are benches to relax and enjoy the view.  The famous Horton Bay General Store and Red Fox Inn are also located along the trail route.  On the west side of Horton Bay, Phase 3 of the trail will end just east of the entrance to the Rufus Teesdale Nature Preserve.  A crosswalk and signs will be placed at this location.  Phase 3 will be 2.36 miles long.

As part of Phase 3, the County is also proposing to develop a trailhead at Park of the Pines, a church-owned campground on Lake Charlevoix, located just north of N. Springwater Beach Road.  In 2013, Park of the Pines approached the County about the possibility of developing a trailhead.  Since then, we've been discussing this concept, including the preferred location on the property, design/layout options, and proposed amenities. Proposed amenities include a parking area, vault restroom, drinking fountain, seating benches, and an information kiosk.

We're currently applying for grants and raising funds for Phase 3 of the trail, including the trailhead.  Construction is anticipated in 2020.

Phase 4
Phase 4 will begin at the completed Phase 3 of the trail on the west side of Horton Bay, near the entrance to the Rufus Teesdale Nature Preserve.  At the crosswalk near the driveway to the nature preserve, the trail will become detached from Boyne City Road within the road right-of-way on the Lake Charlevoix side of the road, and continue as a detached trail to Hayes Township Park (Camp Sea-Gull), where a trailhead is planned in the future.  This phase will cover a distance of 3.30 miles.

Phase 5
Phase 5 will begin at the completed Phase 2 of the trail at Quarterline Road in Hayes Township and continue detached within the right-of-way along Boyne City Road to Hayes Township Park (Camp Sea-Gull) on the east/north side of the road (the side opposite Lake Charlevoix).  The trail will cross Boyne City Road in the vicinity of Hayes Township Park, where there are plans to establish a trailhead.  This phase will cover a distance of 2.69 miles. 


Project Status

PHASE 1:
dedication/ribbon-cutting ceremony for Phase 1 of the Trail was held on September 1, 2016 at Young State Park.  Approximately 60 people attended the event, including area residents, trail donors, Charlevoix County officials, the County Road Commission, the City of Boyne City, Evangeline Township, State Representative Triston Cole, a representative from U.S. Representative Dan Benishek's office, officials from the Michign Department of Natural Resources, Northwest Design Group (project Engineers), Team Elmer's (Contractor), and the media.  Thank you to all who joined us to celebrate the official opening of this non-motorized trail connection between Boyne City, Charlevoix, and beyond!  

Photos of Dedication/Ribbon-cutting Ceremony:

Phase 1 Trail Dedication Ceremony 09-01-16
             County Commissioner Joel Evans

Phase 1 Trail Dedication - State Rep Triston Cole
            State Representative Triston Cole

Phase 1 Trail Dedication - Sheriff Don Schneider
                    Sheriff Don Schneider

Phase 1 Trail Ribbon Cutting 09-01-16
           Ribbon cutting for Phase 1 of the Trail

PHASE 1 OF THE TRAIL IS OPEN FOR USE!

What's Going On Now:

  • Construction of Phase 2 (finishing touches)
  • Grant applications/fundraising for Phase 3


What's Next:

  • Finalize plans for trailhead at Park of the Pines (Phase 3)
  • Grant applications/fundraising for trailhead
  • Construction of Phase 3 and trailhead - Planned for 2020

Project Partners
City of Boyne City
Evangeline Township
City of Charlevoix
Hayes Township
Charlevoix Township
Bay Township
Charlevoix County Community Foundation
Frey Foundation
North Country Bicycle Club
Top of Michigan Trails Council
Michigan Department of Transportation
Michigan Department of Natural Resources/Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund
Charlevoix County Road Commission
OHM Advisors

Funding
Funding for this project comes from public and private funds, grants, and individual donations.

Phase 1
City of Boyne City......................................................................................$11,072
Evangeline Township.................................................................................$33,216
Charlevoix County Community Foundation Grant....................................$26,800
North Country Bicycle Club/Top of Michigan Trails Council...................$17,512
Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant........................................$300,000
MDOT/Transportation Enhancement Grant.............................................$768,900
TOTAL..................................................................................................$1,157,500

Phase 2
City of Charlevoix.......................................................................................$12,000
Charlevoix Township...................................................................................$11,000
Hayes Township...........................................................................................$39,000
Charlevoix County Community Foundation Grant....................................$250,000
Frey Foundation Grant.................................................................................$40,000
North Country Bicycle Club/Top of Michigan Trails Council.....................$10,000
Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant..........................................$300,000
MDOT/Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)..................................$500,000
TOTAL....................................................................................................$1,162,000

The North Country Bicycle Club, with assistance from the Top of Michigan Trails Council, has held community fundraising events to help raise funds (private donations) for the trail.  Local businesses, including the Red Mesa Grill in Boyne City, The Villager Pub in Charlevoix, and Bella Vita Restaurant in Evangeline Township, have participated in these fundraising events.

Several landowners have generously donated permanent easements across their property for the Trail (Phase 2). Some of the easements will enable the trail to take a shortcut from the Little Traverse Wheelway to join Boyne City Road to avoid the US-31/Boyne City Road intersection.  Other easements, along Boyne City Road, will enable the trail to be placed further from the road to increase safety for trail users:
Char Prop Inc. (AmericInn)
Charlevoix Club Park, LLC (Rik Lobenherz)
The Steven Ager Trust (Argonne Supper Club)
Little Traverse Conservancy
Clare & Kaye Zitka 

A special thank you to our project partners and donors for your generous support!

History of Trail Planning Efforts
In 2003, Charlevoix County officials held a number of meetings with bicycling enthusiasts from around the county as well as a bicycling club based in Boyne City in order to determine the level of interest and potential need for a non-motorized trail.  This led to the formation of the Boyne City to US-31 Citizens Trail Committee.  The Committee considered a number of potential trail routes, many of which were eventually rejected as being unsuitable for the average rider, especially children and those with disabilities, due to long, steep inclines.  Further meetings led to the decision by the Committee to develop the trail parallel to Boyne City Road to join up with the Little Traverse Wheelway.  County officials, accompanied by Committee members, then met with the Township Planning Commissions and Township Boards of the communities along the route, all of whom subsequently adopted resolutions of support for the development of this non-motorized trail.

In 2010, in order to address public concerns over the proposed trail, the Charlevoix County Parks Committee formed a Non-motorized Trail Steering Committee, composed of residents and local officials along the trail route.  With the assistance of MSU Extension, through a series of public meetings, the Steering Committee identified citizen concerns and then developed recommendations on how to address those concerns.  As a result of the Committee's recommendations, the Top of Michigan Trails Council solicited funds to hire an engineering firm to develop high resolution aerial photography of the trail route and draw in the proposed non-motorized trail, which helped facilitate gathering further public input in planning the trail.  The funds raised by the Top of Michigan Trails Council also allowed for the engineering firm to accompany County Staff in meeting with property owners along the route who had concerns, and develop solutions to those concerns.  

For each phase of the trail, Charlevoix County has funded the engineering costs for conceptual plans, project cost estimates, detailed engineering plans, and assistance with the MDOT/Transportation Alternatives Program grant application process.  

Originally, the trail was proposed to be constructed in two or three phases.  However, due to project cost and funding availability, it was later decided to construct the trail in five (5) phases, which brings us to where we are today.

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