Boardman Lake Loop Project

For nearly 30 years the community has supported the vision of a trail circling Boardman Lake. The vision for this project is a pathway that circles Boardman Lake, granting easy access to the library, parks, residential developments, commercial areas and local businesses. Since 2002, 3.5 miles have been completed, providing trail users with a special opportunity to enjoy a wooded trail perfect for community walking, running, bicycling and relaxation. For trail maps & details visit the Boardman Lake Trail Page.

In partnership with Garfield Township, Grand Traverse County and the City of Traverse City, engineering for the remaining 1.8 miles is nearly complete. This leg of the Loop will connect NMC’s University center, Logan’s Landing, and Medalie Park with the existing trail.

On Friday, July 12, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) opened bids for the section of trail from 14th St. to the NMC University Center. A bid opening is when we find out what price construction contractors have offered for their services on a project.
The bids came in above the project’s estimate and therefore a contract will not be awarded at this time. There are a number of factors that affect the bidding process including the cost of materials, labor, timing, etc. TART Trails and partners are working to re-tool our project and go out to bid again within six months. Partners will continue to advance the bidding process for the section of trail from the NMC University Center to Medalie Park this season. We are still hoping to break ground this year!

We’ll be sure to share as we get closer to completing the Loop. TART is so grateful to have such a supportive and positive trail community and we look forward to celebrating the exciting connections on the horizon.

Partners are looking forward to building not just a trail but a linear park that reflects the community’s values. The public input process for the design of the project involved extensive community outreach with hundreds of individuals weighing with their views and values. Universal access to the water and view-sheds, preservation of the natural character and opportunities for the trail to serve as a recreation and commuting corridor were consistently identified as important values for the trail.

The map below shows the preferred conceptual route. The design was informed by extensive public input comprised of interviews, focus groups, public open houses and on-line public comment.

Thank you to our Boardman Lake Loop Donors

Founder ($50,000 or more)

In Memory of Gordon & JoAnne Grapes
Mutual Gas
Rotary Charities of Traverse City
Tom’s Food Markets

Voyager ($25,000 – $49,999)

Consumers Energy Foundation
Julie Falconer
Brian and Jennifer Jaffe
The Oleson Foundation
Traverse City Track Club

Pathfinder ($10,000 – $24,999)

The Les & Anne Biederman Foundation
George and Patricia Bearup
Chuck & Susan Cady
Chemical Bank
Cherry Capital Cycling Club
Daniel & Linda Cline
John & Gina Erb
The Filling Station, Klepper Family
Frey Foundation
Tim and Sally Hanley
Richard Hutchinson & Rebecca Davis-Hutchinson
Frank Noverr and Toni Tonda
Olds Family
Oryana Community Cooperative
The Art and Mary Schmuckal Family
Tim Werner & Petra von Kulajta

In cooperation with

Brownfield Redevelopment Authority
City of Traverse City
Garfield Township
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians
Grand Traverse County
Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund
Land and Water Conservation Fund
Transportation Alternatives Program Grant

FAQs for Boardman Lake Loop

Who owns the trail?

The Boardman Lake Trail is owned by the City of Traverse City in partnership with Grand Traverse County and Garfield Township. TART Trails works with the City, County and Township to support the development and maintenance of the Boardman Lake Trail.

How will the Loop be maintained?

As part of the funding and development plan, an $800,000 maintenance endowment was created to ensure there is a long-term source of funds for the maintenance of the entire Loop including snow removal. The City, County, Township and TART Trails developed a maintenance agreement to ensure the entire Loop is well cared for and preventative care is taken to extend the life of the trail.

What are the next steps to complete the loop?

Trail engineering is nearly complete. The project is anticipated to be out for bid in 2019.

The public phase of the fundraising campaign to complete the loop wrapped up at the end of September 2018. To learn more about the fundraising campaign, please contact Casey Ressl, Development Director, for details.

What is the budget for the final leg of the trail?

The estimated cost for engineering, construction and maintenance is $5.52 million. This figure includes $800,000 for a maintenance endowment and 10% contingency. This cost estimate will be updated once a construction contract is finalized.

In cooperation with the City of Traverse City, Garfield Township and Grand Traverse County, partners have raised 90% of the funding to date. Public funds include $3.2 million from the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and Garfield Township provided $800,000 for loop maintenance.

Are there plans to extend the trail further south?

While plans for the Loop proceed, plans for a spur along Cass to South Airport are on hold. Fortunately, this minor setback will not impact plans to complete the loop and the project team is looking at alternatives for a connector trail to the south. Michigan DOT approved a grant extension to ensure funding options remain open as we reconsider the location of a connection further south.

#CompleteTheLoop #BoardmanLakeTrail #BoardmanLakeLoop
#SpeakUp #ShowUp #GetInvolved

Plans for the section of trail along Dendrinos Dr. and Cass to South Aiport can be viewed here.
Plans for the section of trail between 14th St. and Medalie Park can be viewed here.

In September 2017, Northwestern Michigan College Board members helped the Boardman Lake Loop take an important step forward last night as they voted unanimously to support the proposed alignment of the trail on the University Center Campus. With this vote, all of the landowners along the west side of the lake to Logan’s Landing have approved the conceptual design and committed to provide the land needed to complete the Loop.

In April 2017, the Traverse City Commission unanimously approved funding for trail engineering, authorizing staff to hire Prein & Newhof (the same firm that created the preliminary design drawings) to complete the construction drawings for the project.

In January 2017, City Commissioners identified the completion of the Boardman Lake Loop as their top priority in the Boardman Lake District. The response from the City Commission for trail development was overwhelmingly positive. Commissioners subsequently voted unanimously in support of completion of the loop around Boardman Lake.

September 2016
Packet of materials included in the presentation to the Traverse City Commission and Garfield Township Board of Trustees

July 2016
West Boardman Lake Trail Study Session Notes 6/6/2016

May 2016
TART Trails Press Release 5/26/2016 –West Boardman Lake Trail Preferred Option Available for Public Viewing
Wordle Graphic of the most commonly used words and phrases to describe what folks liked best.
Video of Prein & Newhof Presentation — 5/19/2016
Preferred Route Maps — Prein & Newhof
TART Trails Press Release 5/17/2016 — West Boardman Lake Trail Public Input Session

March 2016
Wordle Graphic of Ideas, Needs, Wants and Challenges to Trail
Public Input Shared at Public Open House 3/9/2016
Stakeholder Input Shared at Focus Group Meetings
Boardman Lake Region Non-Motorized Trails Map 3/9/2016

February 2016
Boardman Lake Trail Advisory Group Meeting Notes 2/12/2016
TART Trails Press Release 2/24/2016 — Boardman Lake Trail Public Open House
Boardman Lake Trail Open House Flyer

January 2016
TART Trails Press Release 1/27/2016 — Boardman Lake Trail Completion Kickoff

November 2015
On Wednesday, November 25th the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the award for preliminary design services for the trail from 14th St. to South Airport Road. The engineering firm, Prein & Newhof, was given the contract for design services, and we’ll be working closely with them to keep this trail development rolling.

Fall 2015
The County successfully applied for a Coastal Zone Management grant to help fund the conceptual design of the west side of the trail between 14th Street and Logan’s Landing. With additional funding support from the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority work should get underway this fall. TART Trails is excited to partner with Garfield Township, the County and the City of Traverse City to help complete the trail.

GT County logo  City of TC logo Garfield Township logo  NOAA logo MI Office of Great Lakes logo DEQ logo

Financial assistance for the project was provided, in part, by the Michigan Coastal Zone Management Program, Office of the Great Lakes, Department of Environmental Quality, under the National Coastal Zone Management Program, through a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.