St. Clair County Trails Planning

Posted on August 27, 2019

Trails, greenways, bikeways, and other non-motorized transportation facilities are becoming a critical part of a community’s mobility infrastructure. Whether helping to connect people to recreation opportunities and nature, tourists and visitors to local economies, or residents to their schools and jobs - such facilities play heavily into the quality of life of a community.

In St. Clair County, a number of signature regional trails connect to and through portions of the county, including: the Macomb-Orchard Trail, the Wadhams to Avoca Trail, and over 26-miles of the Bridge to Bay Trail system. These existing trails are already defining elements of the communities through which they pass and greatly valued by residents and visitors alike. But the potential for a county-wide system is not yet fully-realized, as there are significant gaps between existing trail segments. Additionally, there are many destinations, important from an economic and recreational standpoint, that are not yet accessible by trails or other non-motorized facilities.

The purpose of the St. Clair County Trails Plan is to assess the overall county and its major destinations, inventory the existing trail systems, and understand community desires. These activities will support the adoption of an implementation focused plan that clearly identifies opportunities, needs, and priorities for future trail and bikeway projects. Ultimately, the planning process is a chance to step back and take stock of current facilities and position county government, local municipal partners, and other agencies to pursue and implement the next wave of trail projects across St. Clair County.

To this end, the process engaged a broad range of stakeholders, local leaders, technical experts, and members of the public to responds to three key tasks:

  • Identify existing gaps in county-wide trail networks
  • Identify preferred alternatives to eliminate the gaps
  • Prioritize projects to support implementation decisions

The planning effort has been led by the St. Clair County Metropolitan Planning Commission, St. Clair County Parks and the Community Foundation.

Read more about the trails project:
Public Sector Consultants- Executive Summary
Smith Group- Gap Analysis and Action Plan Report
Smith Group Report Appendix
Public Sector Consultants- Economic Impact Analysis


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