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Project Overview

Stony Creek Metropark is a 4,461 acre regional park that traverses Oakland and Macomb counties in southeast Michigan. Stony Creek Metropark is a one of the largest Metroparks drawing over 1.3 million visitors annually. Its trails are linked to several regional trail systems across Oakland and Macomb counties. The Shelden Trails comprise about fourteen miles of trails on 670 acres containing steep hills, woodlands, grasslands, wetlands, and the historic remnants of the Shelden Estate Greenhill Farm.

Popular with mountain bikers, trail runners, hikers, and cross-country skiers, Huron-Clinton Metroparks would like to extend and develop the trail system to become a premiere natural surface multi-use trail system in southeast Michigan. The improvements and developments are part of the five-year master plan for Stony Creek Metropark.

Throughout the planning stages, user groups and residents will be invited to participate through public meetings to voice ideas and input in the new design.

Project Goals

To build a comprehensive trail design plan for Stony Creek Metropark’s Shelden Trails that will:

  1. Improve user safety and avoid incompatible uses.
  2. Improve signage to increase navigability, safety, and aid trail runners trying to maintain a pace.
  3. Maintain and protect the natural biodiversity of the landscape.
  4. Incorporate cultural history features of Shelden Greenhill Farm through interpretive signage.
  5. Address trail sustainability issues to minimize erosion, maintain a high-quality surface, and deflect off-trail exploration.
  6. Provide for interconnectivity between the Shelden and Trolley trail systems.
  7. Determine if adaptive mountain bikes could safely ride on trails with other users and/or whether a separate trail developed for adaptive mountain bike use would be feasible/desirable.
  8. Create exceptional year-round facilities that are attractive for regional events.
  9. Increase recreation opportunities in the region by providing trails for a variety of skill levels and commitments of time for hikers, runners, skiers, and bicyclists.


  • Existing Conditions Assessment

    The design firm, working together with HCMA staff will conduct a thorough assessment of the existing trail network and surrounding area to identify opportunities for trail expansion and redevelopment with a focus towards land sustainability

  • Community Input

    Present opportunities and constraints to a stakeholder group comprised of representatives from user groups; obtain feedback

  • Conceptual Design

    Develop preliminary design, Develop cost estimate for implementation, Present to stakeholder group for feedback, Present to HCMA Board of Commissioners for approval

  • Development

    Implementation and build out of Final Approved Design (build could be phased depending on funding secured)

  • Sustainability/Maintenance

    In partnership with Clinton River Area Mountain Biking Association (CRAMBA), volunteers will help support HCMA staff in the maintenance of the trail system.)

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