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Iosco County - Iron Belle Trail

View the proposed route through Iosco County using this Interactive Trail Map

View PDF maps of the IBT route through Iosco County

 Recent NEWS about the Iron Belle Trail development in Iosco County:

The Sunrise Side Pathway portion of the Iron Belle Trail bicycling route generally runs parallel to US-23 and the Lake Huron Shoreline in eastern Iosco County.  To-date, over 13 miles of this pathway have been completed (consisting primarily of an asphalt paved trail and sidewalks).  The trail passes through the following communities:  Alabaster Township, Tawas Township, the City of Tawas, the City of East Tawas, Baldwin Township and AuSable Township.  About 11 miles of trail have yet to be completed in parts of East Tawas, Baldwin Twp. and AuSable Twp.  

The Iosco Exploration Trail is the other portion of the Iron Belle Trail bicycling route through Iosco County.  This proposed 34+ mile pathway will connect the communities of Hale (Plainfield Twp.), Oscoda Township, AuSable Township, and a small portion of Wilber Township, primarily along the River Road National Scenic Byway. The trail is proposed for development in a series of seven phases, which will provide a non-motorized transportation connection between communities, schools, and many local and regional recreation destinations.  The Iosco Exploration Trail, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization formed by local trail advocates and stakeholders to help plan, fund, and develop and maintain this trail.  

Background on Iosco Exploration Trail and Sunrise Side Pathway

Map of IET Development Phases and Destinations
Status of all IBT segments in Iosco County (May 2017)
IET Concept Presentation (2014)
Proposed IET Route (2014)
Sunrise Side Pathway Feasibility Study (2001)

IET Phases: Progress

Phase I - Feb 2017 Route Map and Estimated Costs
The first phase of the IET is a proposed 2.8 miles of paved trail in AuSable Township. The trail is proposed to start at Mill St. and US-23, near Finish Line Park, and follow Mill St. W/NW, connect to the south side of River Road and end at the Oscoda Schools Complex.  Tentative plans are to have design, survey and engineering work for the trail route completed in 2017 and trail construction to begin in 2018.  The majority of funding for this trail project, which will cost an estimated $2,089,500, is from grants awarded to Iosco County from the DNR Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and to the Iosco County Road Commission from the Federal Lands Access Program and MDOT Transportation Alternatives Program. 

Phase II - Jan 2017 Route Study and Maps
The second phase of the IET consists of several proposed segments of non-motorized infrastructure in Plainfield Twp. and the community of Hale. A preliminary route study, funded by a MDNR Iron Belle Trail grant awarded to Plainfield Township, was completed for Phase II in January 2017. The segment of Phase II that is currently funded for development is a 1.16 mile segment of paved trail in the Loon Lake Park area.  The trail segment will begin at Wild Cherry Lane/M-65 and end at Kokosing Road.  Plainfield Township was awarded a MNRTF Grant to help contribute to the $518,000 cost of developing this trail through Loon Lake Park.  Engineering survey and deign is planned for 2017, and construction is planned for 2018 for this trail segment. 

Phase III - Jan 2017 Preliminary Route Study and maps

This segment of the IET consists of 6.2 miles of paved trail in Oscoda Twp. and a small portion of Wilber Twp., connecting Oscoda Schools to west boundary of Old Orchard Park.  A preliminary engineering study for this route was completed in Jan. 2017 with funding from a DNR Iron Belle Trail Grant awarded to Oscoda Township.  The estimated cost of constructing this trail segment is $2,062,000.  

Sunrise Side Pathway: Progress

Alabaster Township received a $7,200 DNR Iron Belle Trail Grant in 2016 to fund the development and installation of signage along the Sunrise Side Pathway in their Township.  Signage included a Trail Welcome Information sign at the Dyer Rd. trailhead, a Trail Dedication Sign, Informational Native Tree Arboretum Signs, Informational Iron Belle Trail sign, "No Motor Vehicles" signs, "No Horseback Riding" signs, and mile marker/trail signs with the IBT logo.

Alabaster Trail sign 3

Alabaster Trail sign 2

Alabaster Trail sign 1