1-mile extension bridges gap between Genesee Valley, Flint River trails

FLINT, Michigan — The 1 mile trail connects the Genesee Valley Trail to the Flint River Trail through Chevy Commons — providing open views of Flint’s skyline while traveling through newly revived open spaces.

Stretching from Chevrolet Avenue to Factory One, the paved trail and is part of a framework of interconnected trails throughout Genesee County and beyond. The Flint River Trail connects into the Iron Belle Trail. 

“So now you can ride from Genesee Valley all the way up through the city of Flint and all the way out to the current end of the Iron Bell Trail on Vassar Road,” said Barry June, director of Genesee County Parks. “A biker can take the 2 mile ride from the outskirts of the city to see scenic views of the river, stop off for a craft beer at Tenacity Brewing, and ride along the river to Stepping Stone falls.” 

The trail was constructed in conjunction with the Genesee County Road Commission, Metropolitan Planning Commission, City of Flint, and Kettering University — which donated the property. The $300,000 project was funded through a grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund.

“It’s a regional connector — so that we have non-motorized connectivity around the Genesee County metropolitan area,” said June, who noted that additional trails are the top requested service in Genesee Parks Commission surveys. 

The process to get the trail built along Chevy Commons was a four to five year process — first applying for the grant, then engineering and coordinating through multiple partners, said Lindsey Ross, grant coordinator with the Department of Natural Resources. “It was no small undertaking,” said Ross, who especially appreciates the access the new trail gives to the Flint River. 

“It’s a wonderful natural resource that's available to the city but not a lot of people have access to it, but here you can really view and — with kayak — access points, too,” Ross said.

The Iron Belle Trail runs from Detroit to Ironwood in the Upper Peninsula. “Having a trail like this will bring more people into Flint to see the revitalization happening — not just along the riverfront but throughout the city,” Ross said.  
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