By Kelsey Block
Construction is nearly complete on Holt’s Sycamore Trail. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. at 4184 Willoughby Road.
The trail, which starts at the intersection of Jolly and Aurelius roads and ends on Willoughby Road, connects the existing Valhalla Trail with the Lansing River Trail. No motorized traffic is allowed, but Sycamore Trail welcomes pedestrians, bikers and pets.
Tracy Miller, director of community development for Delhi Township, says the project has been planned for more than ten years and cost approximately $3 million. The project was paid for with grants from the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Delhi Township.
“It took that long to figure out all the moving pieces,” Miller said. “The goal was to create regional connectivity. People love trails and having one that connects to a regional trail system is really important to the quality of life here in Delhi Township.”
The trail will also include technology components, complete with codes visitors can scan with their smartphones. Miller said the goal is to help drive economic development and create a positive impact for local businesses.
“It’s basically an app that provides real-time mapping of the trail system and where you are in relation to it,” Miller said, adding that the mapping component is expected to be completed later this year. “If you’re on the trail, it will show your location and things that are nearby, like coffee shops.”
Marcy Bishop Kates, a member of the Downtown Development Authority board of directors, says there is a lot in store for the Holt trail system. Kates said several community organizations are coming together to plan an event in early November. Participants will line up along the new Sycamore Trail and pass a pumpkin along as fast as possible, ending at Trailhead Park on Holt Road, Kates said.
“We really want it to be inclusive. We want to show the trail is for everybody,” she said. “I just want to see this community more connected.”
Steve Anderson, who is part of Friends of the Delhi Trails, says he frequently runs on the trails.
“People on the trails are people out there getting exercise. And you see other people doing it, and it’s kind of friendly,” Anderson said.
Mark Jenks, director of Delhi Charter Township Parks and Recreation, says the trails will be maintained throughout the year and the Department of Parks and Recreation will be responsible for snow removal in the winter.
Jenks said the community is curious about the trails.
“We get a call every day, that’s how much interest there is,” Jenks said, adding that there are plans to expand the trail system to the west, toward Holt Schools. “We’re not very far away from having the greater Lansing area connected by trails.”