Boardman Lake Loop Project

Boardman Lake Loop Match Challenge!

Thanks to the generosity of our friends at Chemical Bank, your gift to help complete the Loop around Boardman Lake can now be doubled. Through Labor Day, every gift towards the Boardman Lake Loop campaign will be matched 1:1 up to $10,000. So, if you haven’t yet done so, please consider giving to the Loop to maximize your impact and be a part of this special community trail project. 



Thank you for your support of this project!

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. The future loop around the lake will provide connection to NMC’s University Center and ultimately head along the Boardman River south of South Airport Road providing connections to the Boardman River 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. For trail maps & details visit the Boardman Lake Trail Page.

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. TART Trails is working with landowners along the route as the preferred route is outside of existing easements.

FAQs for Boardman Lake Loop

What are the major changes between the preliminary design and the current drawings?

Formal trail connection between NMC and BATA’s Cass Rd transfer station, with a proposed separate path along Dendrinos Drive and the west side of Cass Street to South Airport Road.

The trail will be an off-road trail providing direct connections to the Cass Rd Transfer Station and NMC’s University Center campus and the Loop. Public comment and feedback from businesses along the corridor consistently mentioned the need for reliable, connected, non-motorized transportation options. The alignment of 

the trail on the west side of Cass provides access to the numerous commercial properties and provides a direct link to the transfer station at the intersection of South Airport and Cass.

A second bridge connecting Medalie Park to the east sideof the existing Boardman Lake Trail.

Throughout the preliminary design process there was consistent public feedback that the existing boardwalk along S. Airport Rd does not provide the appropriate connection to the trail. It’s narrow, not usable in the winter, isn’t accessible and the sharp curves present significant hazards. The proposed bridge connecting to the existing trail on the east side with Medalie Park would resolve these issues. Property owners on the east side have indicated an interest in making this connection possible.

Proposed switch of the trail from the east side of the rail to the west side of the rail between 16th Street and NMC.

The proposed relocation of the trail to the west side of the rail line between 16th St and NMC’s University Center was the result of a site visit with MDOT Rail. They were open to the possibility and agreed the construction and long term maintenance costs of the trail would be significantly reduced.

How will the Loop be maintained?

As part of the funding and development plan, funding is being set aside to ensure there is a long-term source of funds for the maintenance of the entire Loop. This includes snow removal around the entire Loop. The City, County, Township and TART Trails are working together to develop 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?

The final fundraising campaign is currently underway to close the remaining funding gap. If you haven’t already, please support the loop! (link to wufoo form) Gifts of $10,000 and above will be recognized at the Open Space and on the Loop trail. Gifts of $2,500 and above will be receive an exclusive Glenn Wolff Boardman Lake print. Contact Casey Ressl, Development Director, for details.

Trail engineering is expected to be completed in the summer of 2018. A maintenance and funding agreement will be finalized between the partners this summer. The project is anticipated to be out for bid by the end of the year with the goal of doing the bulk of the construction in spring/summer of 2019.

What is the budget?

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 further refined as engineering documents are finalized and the project is out to bid.

How will the Loop be paid for?

Funding for the project is a combination of public and private dollars and every dollar counts! If you haven’t already, please support the loop!

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 has earmarked $800,000 for loop maintenance.

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)

The Oleson Foundation
Traverse City Track Club
Julie Falconer

Pathfinder ($10,000 – $24,999)

The Les & Anne Biederman Foundation
George and Patricia Bearup
Chuck & Susan Cady
Daniel & Linda Cline
John & Gina Erb
The Filling Station, Klepper Family
Frey Foundation
Tim and Sally Hanley
Richard Hutchinson & Rebecca Davis-Hutchinson
Oryana Community Cooperative
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

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

2018 Update

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.

2017 Update

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 Update

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

July 2016 Update

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

May 2016 Update

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 Update

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 Update

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 Update

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

November 2015 Update

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 Update

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.

We are continuing to work with the City, County and Garfield Township to help complete the loop around the lake. Want to see it finished? Don’t be shy, let your officials know.


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.