Together, Top of Michigan Mountain Bike Association and the Walloon Lake Trust and Conservancy (WLCT) are planning a trail building project on property adjacent to the Boyne City School Forest Trail. The purchase of the property will be finalized in early December and will become a new Conservancy preserve on the Erickson Road/Boyne School Forest corridor. The property is situated directly between the Boyne School Forest land and an 80-acre parcel owned by the City of Boyne City. This new WLCT parcel not only plays a vital role in the protection of habitat and forested land in the Walloon Lake Watershed, it also presents an opportunity to build trails that will connect the existing Boyne School Forest Trail to the City of Boyne City property (see the map below).
On November 27, 2018, #Giving Tuesday, marked the beginning of the fundraising campaign to assist the Conservancy with the purchase of this 40-acre parcel and the trail building project. Plans were also made to create many other fundraising events and opportunities to support this project. The trails will be volunteer built using TOMMBA’s expertise, equipment and members along with support from WLCT. The goal for the campaign was $150,000. TOMMBA and WLCT have agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding that details the working relationship between the Conservancy and TOMMBA. WLTC has agreed to be the fiscal agent for the project.
Funds to purchased were met, and by May of 2019, plans for the first new trail of the expansion project were completed. TOMMBA volunteers began construction of a connector trail that would join Loop 1 with Loop 2 of the existing trails. The completion of this new trail was achieved by September 2019.
The partnership also envisioned a larger plan that will create a trail network of nearly 20 miles of multi-use sustainable trails that can eventually connect the Mackinaw State Forest to City property at Old Horton Bay Road.
Plans for better trailhead parking, additional diverse trails, along with increased signage are all possible through the the purchase of this one property. This was TOMMBA's first of what is hoped to be many collaborative projects with WLTC.
Please consider supporting the continuation of this project through donations to TOMMBA or WLTC. Visit www.tommba.org, or go to www.walloon.org and make a donation today. Please indicate the Boyne School Forest Expansion Project as the recipient of your donation.
(Map represents conceptual trail designs for Boyne City and WLTC parcels)