Bike Trail Connecting Southwest Michigan To Chicago Could Be A Reality Soon
With winter breathing down our necks in Michigan, it's hard to imagine taking a long bike ride right now. But, it's something we'll be able to do again once it warms up.
And soon, you might be able to bike all the way to Chicago from southwest Michigan on a new bike trail.
In the 1990s, Chicago Mayor Richard M Daley joked about being able to bike from Chicago to Michigan. Obviously, there's a huge Lake in the way, and a TON of highly-traveled highway along Lake Michigan's coast, so that idea wasn't really taken seriously... until about 10 years ago.
The Marquette Greenway Trail has been in the works for the better part of a decade, and it's being headed by Mitch Barloga, who is the transportation Manager for the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission.
"This is going to be a massive regional shot in the arm when it's completed, and benefit us all for many, many generations to come." - Mitch Barloga
He has been working with Transportation personnel from Illinois and Michigan to make this trail a reality, and already, a large portion of the trail has already been finished - about 22 miles - with another 32 miles being fully funded, but not yet done. The only remaining piece is the 4-mile stretch from the Michigan/Indiana State Line to its ultimate finish point in New Buffalo at Bentwood Tavern.
The project just recently got approval from Amtrak to use property they own in Southwest Michigan to continue the trail. Now that the path has been approved, it comes down to funding., which will require about $300,000, which you can help with a donation.
So in the end, the Marquette Greenway Trail will connect three states, and 58 miles of Lake Michigan Coast, allowing for a unique experience only available here, and should be ready to fully travel by 2026.
But once this trail is finished, it's apparently not the end of the project, at least according to Gary Wood, who is the President of the Friends of Berrian County Trails.
"(We'll) hopefully hit Mackinac (Bridge) someday." - Gary Wood