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Project Overview

The Huron-Clinton Metroparks would like to extend and develop the Shelden Trail system to create a premiere multi-use natural surface trail system in southeast Michigan. The improvements and developments were identified as a priority from public input during a ten-year master planning process for Stony Creek Metropark.

The Shelden Trails run through the serene, historic western segment of the park. All users of these trails would like to see dedicated trails expanded and protected from conflicted areas. In addition, the Shelden Trails are located in a designated biodiversity area, necessitating sensitivity when considering land use changes.

An effective design will include a review of how the trails are being used, how the use is impacting the environment, how to minimize user conflicts, how to increase overall user safety, and how to express the cultural history of the area. Throughout the Shelden Trail development project planning stages, user groups and residents will be invited to participate in public meetings to voice ideas and input for the new design.

Project Goals

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

  1. Create a defined single-track loop within the multi-use trail system, while respecting the natural habitat of the area
  2. Improve user safety and avoid incompatible uses
  3. Increase navigability through improved signs
  4. Maintain and protect the natural biodiversity of the landscape
  5. Incorporate cultural history features of the Shelden Estate Greenhill Farm through interpretive signs
  6. Address trail sustainability issues to minimize erosion, maintain a high-quality surface and deflect off-trail exploration
  7. Provide an assessment of interconnectivity between the Shelden and Trolley trail systems
  8. Determine the feasibility of developing a safe, engaging trail for adaptive mountain bikes
  9. Create exceptional year-round amenities that are attractive for regional events
  10. Increase recreation opportunities in the region
  11. Improve trail access and navigability via signage for all trail users

Phase 1 – 2018: Planning & Design (expected June – December)

  1. Existing Conditions Assessment (1 month)
    1. Engage HCMA staff in 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
  2. Community Input (1 month)
    1. Present opportunities and constraints to a stakeholder group comprised of representatives from user groups, obtain feedback
    2. Current Survey:
  3. Conceptual Design (3 months)
    1. Develop preliminary design
    2. Develop cost estimate for implementation
    3. Present to stakeholder group for feedback
    4. Present to HCMA Board of Commissioners for approval
  4. Final Design (1 month)
    1. Refine conceptual design
    2. Develop final implementation budget
    3. Finalize with HCMA staff

Phase 2 – 2019: Development (Expected Spring / early summer)

Implementation and build out of Final Approved Design

Phase 3 – 2019: Sustainability/Maintenance

In partnership with Clinton River Area Mountain Biking Association (CRAMBA), volunteers will help support the Metroparks staff in the maintenance of the trail system. Natural Resources staff will monitor the area for sustainability of the area.

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