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Roscommon County - Iron Belle Trail

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

The Roscommon County Economic Development Corporation received a $30,000 "Round 3" Iron Belle Trail grant.  This grant is funding a preliminary engineering study of the Iron Belle Trail route the County, which includes an evaluation of route feasibility, land acquisition/permission needs and cost estimates.

Roscommon County is working with OHM Advisors.  A community meeting related to the study was held at the Roscommon County Building on Tuesday, June 26th. The public provided some valuable input on the route along and near the north side of Higgins Lake. An optional route along Dort Road was proposed and is currently being discussed with local officials. An extension of work is being requested to allow for further consideration of this and the rest of the proposed route through Roscommon County. 


The most recent meeting of the Roscommon Iron Belle Trail effort was held on December 17th, 2018. The purpose was for the team leaders to discuss the current feasibility study with Amy Matisoff of MDOT and Lindsay Ross of the DNR. The meeting was hosted via videoconference by OHM Advisors to present the draft trail alignment, phasing, and budget with the primary grant funding agencies. The purpose was to get the feedback of MDOT and DNR as to how the project aligns with their TAP and MNRTF grant programs. It is expected that these would most likely be significant financial resources for the project.

Suggestions for improvement include adding details about how each end point was chosen and make sure that there is a logical destination at each end point of each phase. The importance of this is to ensure that a trail is funded with each phase being as close to a standalone trail as possible. This, according to both MDOT and DNR, is to ensure that if not all phases get funded, each individual phase is still a viable trail and the grant funds are well spent.

It was apparent at the meeting that there still were some details to work out and add to the map regarding the end points of each phase. Also, OHM were asked to provide these details and to provide more detail about the cost estimates. More details were also needed on the two options of travel near North Higgins Lake Drive vs. Dort Road. Needed are the costs of improving each to meet AASHTO standards and to improve the 2-track along S Oak Rd as well as the details of an acceptable crossing from the existing bike path coming from the west. OHM were asked to put both routes on the map with details of the costs and needed improvements for both also.

Traffic counts were discussed. Brad Dahlstrom of the Road Commission has those for some of the area roads and will send them to OHM. Those will be added to the maps.

Another follow up meeting would be scheduled once all information was gathered and ready, preferably very early in 2019.

Contact Brenda Bachelder for more information:  bbachelder@michworks4u.org  or call her at 989-366-8660. 

View a map of the proposed route through Roscommon County.