The 3.3-mile stretch from Fruitport Road to 130th Avenue officially opened with a ceremony in the Orchard Market parking lot Monday evening. The event included music by the Spring Lake High School marching band and speeches by local leaders.
Many attendees biked or walked to the festivities, including 82-year-old Spring Lake Township resident Leona Baumgart, who pedaled her recumbant trike to the ribbon cutting.
Lloyd’s Bayou resident Dom Lungaro said he’s previewed the path on his mobility scooter and looks forward to frequent jaunts on the asphalt trail that winds through the former Grand Trunk railroad bed from Spring Lake Township to Crockery Township.
“All the views are just great,” said Lungaro, 75. “I’ve been on it three days in a row."
The nearly $900,000 first phase stretch was constructed with a $390,000 Michigan Department of Transportation grant, a $231,000 Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund grant, local and regional contributions, and community and business donations.
The second phase of the North Bank Trail is expected to be completed within five years. It will stretch 4.5 miles from 130th Avenue to Polkton Township. After that, the trail will link with the Musketawa and other regional trails, stretching east to Grand Rapids.
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To see more photos from the event, click here.