Bike path expected in central Michigan by next fall

A new bike trail is expected to debut next fall in central Michigan.

Officials say the proposed path would extend from Clare to Alma and connect two existing trails: the Pere Marquette and Fred Meijer Heartland trails.

The path is proposed to run more than 40 miles through Clare, Isabella and Gratiot Counties. It would largely run parallel to US-127.

Steve Davidson is the chair and president of Mid Michigan Community Pathways.

“Biking is a sport that has grown it is big here in Michigan with our DALMAC and Le Tour de Mount Pleasant and things like that that have started to grow even more,” Davidson said, “The concept of the first portion of the trail is to tie the Fred Meijer to the Pere Marquette.”

Davidson said the trail has been in the works for years and now Mid Michigan Community Pathways is finalizing funding.

He said residents have been supportive of the bike path but they have had questions.

“I haven’t ran into really any resistance per se. A lot of questions as far as “what’s going to happen to the trees in my yard? Or what about the ditch, or what about my frontage but for the most part everybody has been receptive,” Davidson said.

He said MMCP plans to leave as many live trees as possible, and will remove dead elms and ash that he said are a hazard.

The first segment is expected to be complete by fall of 2015 then the MMCP plans to continue construction of the remaining segments.

Mid Michigan Community Pathways map