Trail Committee members: Gene Hodulik – Chair, Margie Reh (Top O’ Michigan Trails Council), Mac Richardson, Dennis Dombrowski, Paul Janness, Gary Street, Katie Parker, Bert Ebbers, Brett Lindgren (Mullett Township), Mike Goerke (Mullett Township), Don Tracey (Munro Township) and David Jacalone (Mullett Township).
Burt Lake Trail Update May 2022October 13, 2021, Phase III of the Burt Lake Trail was completed which “filled the gap” to provide 11.4 miles of continuous non-motorized trail for walkers, bikers, and joggers to enjoy. This section is 1.5 miles of beautiful winding trail through the UM Biological Station forest, from the Riggsville Road/East Burt Lake Road intersection (where Phase II ends), to the intersection of Birchwood and East Burt Lake Road. The majority of this section was created by a generous easement from the UM Biological Station as well as a few private property owners. Two grants were received to pay for the construction of Phase III from MDOT/TAP ($355,000), and Recreational Trails Program ($152,000). Donations were received from BLPA ($10,000), MEDC ($30,000), DALMAC ($5,000), and many individuals which paid the engineering costs.
We were fortunate to receive “back-to-back” grants from MDOT and the DNR Trust Fund/Recreational Fund to complete Phase II and Phase III through the UM Biological Station property.
The committee is grateful for the support of Karie Slavik, UM Assistant Director at the Biological Station, for all her work with UM Real Estate Division to obtain the easements for the 3.3 miles of trail of Phase II and III. Following the Trail plan developed back in September 2008, there are still two sections remaining to “complete the loop”. They are Topinabee Mail Route going east to the North Central State Trail at Topinabee and Brutus Road west to the Northwest State Trail at Brutus.
In addition, each year identified segments of Phase I have been “blacktopped” and this improvement plan will continue as finances are available. This summer two segments will be blacktopped: from the Trailhead at Brutus Road/Mundt Rd going west to the woods and east to the woods; and the second segment from Hardwood Road south to join the paved trail at the Jontz Hill.
Working with the Cheboygan County Road Commission, Phases IV and V, East Burt Lake Road (2020), and Mullet-Burt Road (2017), each 1.5 miles long, have been reconstructed and widened with 5 foot paved shoulders for walkers, joggers, and bikers to enjoy safely.
We have been fortunate to receive great support from organizations, individuals, the Cheboygan County Road Commission, as well as multiple large grants from MDOT (3), DNR Trust Fund (2), and DNR Recreational Trails Program (1) to complete these #ve phases of the Burt Lake Trail. You are all invited to enjoy the use the trail this summer and fall, whether it be walking, jogging, or biking. Besides Burt Lake, it is another valuable asset to enjoying Burt Township.
Great News! The Burt Lake Trail Phase II section was completed the end of May 2020. This section of trail , 1.8 miles long, is a paved , separated trail from where Phase I ends on West Burt Lake Road near Hogsback Road and weaves through University of Michigan Biological Station property just south and parallel to Riggsville Road, including the “Gorge” and ending on East Burt Lake Road. This section was paid for by the 2 grants from MDOT and Trust Fund, with a match of over $50,000 raised through private donations. Working with Karie Slavik, Assistant Director of the UM Biological Station, a gifted easement from UM was obtained. There was no township tax money used to build this section of trail.
It has been a long journey to this point, as Phase I (5.1 miles) was completed in August 2013. The Trail Committee has endured many obstacles and of course learned what is out of our control and what we can manage. This experience has helped us with phase III of the trail which continues through the UM Biological Center, which is already under way. With the experienced assistance of OHM ADVISORS engineering firm in Petoskey, grants were submitted to MDOT/TAP and the DNR Trust Fund and we have been awarded the grants for scheduled construction in 2021. Currently, Huron Engineering of Alpena has been hired to complete all pre-engineering. This phase III is the “gap” to connect all of East Burt Lake Road from Riggsville Road to Hoppies.
Phase IV, 1.5 miles of East Burt Lake Road from Birchwood Rd. to Hoppies Restaurant has just been reconstructed, completed in August, with extended 5 foot shoulders. This 1.5 mile stretch has over 50 homes with many walkers, joggers, bikers from May to October. In addition, people from Greenman’s Point, Feather Lane, and White Goose also use this section of trail shoulders.
Both Phase IV and Phase V (Mullett-Burt Road, 1.5 miles, with extended 5 foot shoulders completed in 2017), have been completed with wonderful cooperation working with Brent Shank, Cheboygan County Road Commission Manager/Engineer.
So our emphasis is on Phase III, which will complete the trail from Maple Bay on the west side to the intersection of Mullett-Burt Road (Phase V), and Topinabee Mail Route Road on the east side.
We have had great co-operation with the Cheboygan County Road Commission, not only with the new sections of trail, but also with the continued maintenance of the Phase I of the trail. The volunteer maintenance group does a wonderful job keeping the trail in top shape. There is in place a 5 year plan to blacktop certain areas of the trail which have problems usually caused by washouts. This year the trail from Maple Bay Road to the already paved hill heading east approximately 425 feet in length was paved. This will provide a paved stretch of trail from Maple Bay all the way to the intersection of Mundt Rd/West Burt Lake Rd intersection, except where it is way off-road through the woods.
We continue to have vehicles parking on the trail along West Burt Lake Road especially lawn service providers and construction vehicles. Please have you lawn service and other contractors park on the other side of the road or in your long driveways.
The committee is always looking for new energetic members to help make the trail a reality. The big push now is to get matching money and complete Phase III next summer. If interested, please contact Gene Hodulik at 238-8824 or GeneHodulik@gmail.com , or any committee member. Donations are welcome. Send to Top of Michigan Trails Council, Burt Lake Trail (be sure to designate Burt Lake Trail on your check), 1687 M-119, Petoskey Mi, 49770