By Mike Kruzman /

A grant award will help fund improvements to a popular Hamburg Township trail.

The Mike Levine Lakelands Trail is a 34-mile long trail between Livingston and Ingham counties that takes outdoor enthusiasts through woods, pastures, wetlands and near the Huron River. At a recent meeting, the Hamburg Township Board of Trustees approved a memorandum of understanding with the Michigan Department of Transportation for grant money to be used for making improvements to a section of the trail in Hamburg. The township is being rewarded $75,000 for asphalt repair, crack sealing, and retaining wall installation.

Hamburg Supervisor Pat Hohl explained the challenges they are facing on the Trail, which is now roughly 16 to 17 years old. He said there were requirements that it had to have 10 feet for asphalt and then the state required 8 feet for equestrians. That shoved the trail to the south end of the rail bed. Hohl said 100-percent of the problems they are having are on that south end where there is an almost zero-offset between the edge of the trail and a 1:1 slope going down 40 feet to wetlands. The Supervisor noted, β€œIt’s not a good situation.”

Hohl said his idea was to grind up a couple feet of the trail, reducing its width in the troubled part, but the DNR was against it. Still, he said he greatly appreciates DNR Southern Michigan Trails Specialist Nikki Van Bloem for pulling this grant together that the Supervisor said was something they pointed right at them.

Now the Township needs to find a contractor to take, which has been an issue in the past. Hohl said he has been promised by a local asphalt company that would provide a bid.

No local match is required for the grant, which the Board approved accepting by a 4-0 vote.