The first step toward making the new entrance a reality is to conduct the engineering study that will establish a route, conduct core samples, and generate design/engineering drawings. This study is expected to cost about $18,000.
There are currently two drive-in entrances to the park - the entrance to the horse-riding stables on Beck Road and the main entrance on Eight Mile Road.A convenient, accessible bicycle/pedestrian entrance was developed in 2015 at the northeast corner of the park that connects to the regional trail. That project, which involved making road improvements and new crossings, was funded by the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wayne County, local communities, Friends of Maybury and others.
The proposed new entrance would especially benefit nearby residents, who could walk or ride bikes to the park, supporters of the plan said.
"The mountain-bike trail is in the southern quadrant of the park and it's a huge draw. Many people who live on the south side of the park don't want to put their bike on a rack and drive around to the Eight Mile entrance," said Park Supervisor Traci Sincock. "The bike path inside the park aligns with the paved trail so it would be easy to get to from the Seven Mile entrance."
Members of The Friends of Maybury, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization, consider the southern entrance project important enough to raise money from the community. Wayne County, Northville Township and other stakeholders are on board with creating a new non-motorized entrance. While the new entrance would not connect to the Link bike trail initially, it could become part of a future bike path along Seven Mile and Ridge Road, according to the Northville Township Pathways System plan.
"Through surveys and hearings, the new entrance at the southern border was the number one amenity that people wanted. There's not a lot of money for capital improvements at this time, said Sincock. "The Friends of Maybury, knowing that, decided that they would tackle this project to keep it moving forward."
The Friends of Maybury is two-thirds of the way toward the $18,000 goal, according President Chuck Murdock. Fundraising efforts have been supported through grants and by contributions from businesses and individuals. Three grants have been made: $2,500 from FACT (Federation of American Consumers & Travelers) and $1,000 each from the Northville Rotary Club and Community Financial Credit Union. The effort began last October.
The nonprofit organization, which celebrates 25 years in 2021, provides approximately $10,000 annually for materials, projects and financial support to the park. It also supports educational, environmental and cultural programs.
Maybury State Park serves Wayne County, Lyon Township, Oakland County and other communities farther out. An estimated 400,000 people live within a 10-mile range of the park and many come for the trails - bicyclists, horseback riders, walkers and runners, according to the park website.
In 2019, there were 500,000 visits; in 2020, during COVID-19, attendance spiked to nearly 1.2 million visits.
Paths in Maybury wind through a mature forest that served as a health care center and respite for adults and children with tuberculosis from 1921-1969. There were approximately 40 buildings at the Maybury Sanatorium - many housed patients and some staff, others were used to prepare food and store supplies. There was also a summer camp for kids with tuberculosis.
With the discovery of penicillin, TB was cured and the sanatorium closed, according to the website.
After most of the buildings were demolished, the City of Detroit sold the property to the State in 1971 to develop it into a park. Maybury State Park opened in 1975 as the first state park in Wayne County. Plaques set along the trails tell the park history. The distinctive wrought-iron arch for Maybury Sanatorium that crowned a trailhead has been relocated to the front of the new park headquarters, close to the Eight Mile entrance.
Donations for the engineering study of the new entrance can be mailed to: Friends of Maybury, 49601 Eight Mile Road, Northville, MI, 48167 or make a donation online at MightyCause.
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