GRAND RAPIDS – The Genesee County Parks & Recreation Commission celebrated the completion of a 1.4 mile section of new trail last Thursday on the new pedestrian bridge at Stepping Stone Falls.
A brief ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the Stepping Stone Falls County Park. About two dozen Parks & Rec officials and cycling enthusiasts and members of the public were on hand for the special event, which included cider and donuts.
“This project is a true collaboration of the Genesee County Parks and Genesee County Planning Commission,” said Amy McMillan, the parks director who was among 10 dignitaries cutting a piece of the red ribbon stretching the 14-foot width of the pedestrian bridge. “It took a lot of folks to put this together and this section of trail has been planned for years.
“Thanks to all who made this possible.”
Genesee County and Parks & Recreation Commission members were among the 10 ribbon cutters.
“It’s a great day to be a biker in Genesee County,” said Mike Keeler, an avid cyclist and Parks & Rec Commissioner who rode off with fellow cyclists at the ribbon-cutting. “At the board meeting this morning, I said that three years ago, we were looking at a trail that people weren’t even using in the woods around Mott Lake because it was so bad and the trail to the boat ramp was in disrepair.
“And in three years, we were able to find the money and get all this done. And now our system is completely updated. It’s a great trail.”
Fleis & VandenBrink (F&V) completed the master planning, preliminary engineering and construction engineering for this 1.4 mile section of shared use path from Stepping Stone Falls to the Bluegill Boat Launch in Genesee Township. The path is part of the local Flint River Trail network and Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail, a nearly 800 mile, statewide route extending from Belle Isle to Ironwood. The Michigan Department of Transportation bid the trail as part of its Transportation Alternative Program (TAP). The Genesee County Road Commission administered the construction of the trail by Warren Contractors & Development Inc., of Shelby Township, MI.
“F&V did a great job on this project,” said Joe Krapohl, president of the Parks & Rec Commission. “I was really impressed with the whole aspect of it.
“We just took a ride on the trail and it’s just beautiful.”
“The trail is just beautiful, especially with all the colors,” said Michael Lynch, Genesee County Commissioner and Parks & Rec Commissioner. “You feel you are in the middle of nowhere and you are really close to the city.
“It’s like going on a little retreat but you don’t have to go so far.”