Flint purchases land to connect Grand Traverse Greenway, Iron Belle Trail

FLINT — The City of Flint is finalizing plans to connect its existing Grand Traverse Greenway trail system to the Iron Belle Trail.

Two weeks ago, Flint purchased property from CSX Railroad to complete a new three-mile paved recreation trail that will run from Pengelly and Hemphill roads to Kearsley and Grand Traverse streets. The new trail will link the 18-mile Grand Traverse Greenway to the Iron Belle Trail, a 2,000-mile biking and walking trail which stretches from Belle Isle in Detroit to Ironwood in the western Upper Peninsula.

The Grand Traverse Greenway runs along the Flint River and connects to the Genesee Valley Trail in Flint Township. The greenway also connects to several key recreational destinations and/or landmarks in Flint, including the Chevy Commons, downtown Flint, the Flint Cultural Center, Genesee Valley Center mall, Stepping Stones Falls, Bluebell Beach and other attractions near the Flint River.

Funding for the $3 million addition of new trail has been provided by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the federal Choice Neighborhoods Initiative and other fundraising efforts. Construction on the trail is expected to begin next year and finish in 2023. — B.G.