A public meeting is planned Tuesday regarding a regional trail connection in the Island Lake State Recreation Area that will connect two local communities.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is hosting the meeting to gather input on the proposed project, which will provide a non-motorized regional trail connection between Green Oak and Lyon Townships. The trail is designed to provide increased safety for bicyclists who utilize Island Lake, reduce vehicle congestion within the recreation area, provide an official trail entrance along Lee Road and enhance current trial crossings.

Unit Manager Andrew Haapala tells WHMI Island Lake is a highly used recreation area that’s also home to several natural, cultural and historic features, and they want to make it even more accessible to residents throughout the region. Haapala says engineering of the proposed regional trail connection provided some real challenges, due to the protection of the eastern massasauga rattlesnake and other natural area. He noted the engineering firm was well aware of those challenges and worked closely with the department to provide strategies to overcome these during the design phase. Once complete, the regional trail connection in Island Lake will be part of the Great Lake-to-Lake Trail, which will eventually traverse from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron.

DNR staff will discuss the proposed regional trail connection and answer questions during the public meeting, which will take place from 7 to 8:30pm at the Green Oak Township Hall on Silver Lake Road. (JM)