Thursday, November 16, 2023

Iron Belle Trail section opened in Van Buren

Van Buren Township and state officials, along with members of the community,
celebrate the opening of the Iron Belle Trail section in the township.
The non-motorized recreational pathway connects 48 Michigan counties.
A section of the Iron Belle Trail, which is expected to travel from Belle Isle to Ironwood in the Upper Peninsula officially opened in Van Buren Township last month. The Van Buren Township non-motorized pathway project will close a 7.0 mile gap in the Iron Belle State trail. The path will connect the B2B Trail system (55 miles) in Washtenaw County with the HCMA trail system (30+ miles) that begins in the Lower Huron Metropark and extends southeast to Lake Erie.  More than 80 percent of the completed distance will follow the Huron River Greenway while the overall trail will connect dozens of existing parks, schools, central business districts and neighborhoods, according to state officials.

The recreational trail will travel through hundreds of municipalities and cross into 48 different Michigan counties. A portion of the trail runs through Van Buren Township from the Lower Huron Metro Park Trail to the B2B Trail near Grove Street. Section B of the Van Buren Township segment of the Iron Belle Trail runs from Rawsonville Road along I-94 Service Drive and through Van Buren Park.

“The township has gained momentum on constructing the Iron Belle Trail within our community over the past few years, and we are proud that our gap is steadily, but consistently growing smaller. This project would not have been possible without the generous donations from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and DTE Foundation, in addition to the invaluable partnerships with the Michigan Trails Fund and Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative,” stated Director of Community Services Elizabeth Renaud at the grand opening of the Van Buren segment.

“The DTE Foundation believes that a healthy environment is an essential ingredient for thriving communities. Michigan offers a variety of trails and greenspaces that connect us to the natural beauty around us, and the Iron Belle Trail is a perfect example of this local luxury,” said Rodney Cole, DTE Foundation president.

“We're committed to preserving, protecting and improving Michigan's treasured natural habitats andspecies, and this support builds on the 100+ year partnership between DTE and Van Buren Township, which has created countless, invaluable recreational opportunities for local residents and visitors.”