On September 1, the first phase of the new Boyne City to Charlevoix Trail opened to the public. The non-motorized trail project has been in the works for more than 10 years.

“The most rewarding part of the project is to see people enjoying the trail so much,” says Kiersten Stark, planning coordinator for the Charlevoix County Planning Department. “Someone flying down a hill on their bicycle with their arms in the air yelling ‘Yahoo!’ or a family of five with three small children riding their bicycles on the trail at Young State Park. I’ve seen so many people walking, jogging, riding bicycles and pushing strollers. If it weren’t for the trail, these folks would not be doing these activities there, certainly not along the shoulder of Boyne City Road.”

Phase 1 of the trail runs 3.2 miles from the intersection of W. Michigan Avenue and Boyne City Road through Young State Park to N. Springwater Beach Road. Eventually, the finished trail will stretch about 14 miles connecting Boyne City with Charlevoix and the Little Traverse Wheelway. This will also give users access to Petoskey and Harbor Springs.

The trail will be completed in five phases. Construction of Phase 2 will begin in spring/summer 2017. Trail users can walk, bike, skate or ski depending on the season. However, snowmobiles and horses are not allowed.

Boyne City to Charlevoix Trail Plans:

  • Phase 1 – Completed
  • Phase 2 – Little Traverse Wheelway to Quarterline Road (2.97 miles)
  • Phase 3 – N. Springwater Beach Road to Pincherry Road (2.9 miles)
  • Phase 4 – Quarterline Road to Hayes Township Park (2.8 miles)
  • Phase 5 – Hayes Township Park to Pincherry Road (2.7 miles)

The trail has been a community project; the North Country Bicycle Club and Top of Michigan Trails Council have held fundraising events with the help of local business including Red Mesa Grill and The Villager Pub, and several individuals and organizations have donated permanent land easements for the trail including Char Prop Inc. (AmericInn), Charlevoix Club Park, LLC (Rik Lobenherz), Steven Ager Trust (Steve Ager/Argonne Supper Club) and the Little Traverse Conservancy.

“So many people have invested in this trail by generously providing funding, donating land easements and dedicating their time, energy and enthusiasm to planning efforts,” Kiersten says. “And in return, this trail will give back to our community.”

For more information about the Boyne City to Charlevoix Trail, visit the Charlevoix County Parks Department website

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Photo(s) by Charlevoix County Planning Department