The city of Troy cut the ribbon on the third phase of the Troy Trail Network July 27 at the trail’s starting point at Jaycee Park.

The city of Troy cut the ribbon on the third phase of the Troy Trail Network July 27 at the trail’s starting point at Jaycee Park.

Photo by Brendan Losinski

Phase three of Troy Trail system opens

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published August 11, 2022


TROY — Troy residents and city officials gathered at Jaycee Park July 27 to cut the ribbon on the third phase of the city’s Troy Trail project.

The project includes adding paved trails for walking, running or biking throughout the city. Phase three begins at Jaycee Park, on Long Lake Road, and heads back into the neighborhoods to the north of the park.

“This is phase three of the Troy Trail. It is our effort to highlight the natural beauty of the city of Troy through a paved pathway so anybody, regardless of their abilities, can enjoy nature,” explained Public Works Director Kurt Bovensiep. “This phase is three-quarters of a mile if you begin back at Long Lake Road at the front of the park.”

Bovensiep said the site was chosen for the third phase of the trail system during the pandemic when city officials saw the potential the Jaycee Park area had for a new trail.

“During the pandemic, we were having staff meetings in the park so we could meet while still social distancing and be outside. I am always early to a meeting, and I took the time to walk back here and I saw this opportunity,” he said. “With the new subdivisions going on to the north, we wanted to connect them to (Jaycee) Park. So we had a good opportunity to put it here and a good reason to put it here.”

Phase three cost just under $1 million, according to Boevensiep, and the project was funded through the city of Troy’s capital fund. The other two trail phases were added in the last seven years.

“The first phase of trails goes behind the dog park and behind Motor City Church, and that was a partnership with Walsh College, the Water Resources Commission and what was at the time Zion Christian Church. That trail goes from the dog park on Livernois Road all the way up to Wattles Road,” explained Bovensiep. “The second phase is at Sylvan Glen Lake Park. That goes from Rochester Road back into the neighborhood to the west of the road and the park.”

Troy Mayor Ethan Baker said that adding the third phase felt like a big step for the city.

“I think there’s a big difference from having the two trails to adding this third one,” he remarked. “It suddenly starts to feel like a real trail network, and I think more in the community can really see our focus on the Troy trails and improving the recreation areas. The other aspect is demonstrated from when we just did the ribbon-cutting and most of the people present are people who live nearby and walked here. They can come into this trail from their houses. My hope is additional people will learn about and check out these trails even if they don’t live nearby.”

Bovensiep said the new trail also helps link those living north of Jaycee Park to the south side of the neighborhood.

“What makes the trail unique is the pedestrian bridge over the county drain,” he said. “Without that, we couldn’t connect the north and south of Jaycee Park, and the residents on the north side don’t have to go all around the whole square mile to get into the park, so it provides really good pedestrian access.”

A fourth phase for the trail network is currently being planned.

“We’re always planning ahead. We don’t have the blessing of having an abandoned railway path that is easy to convert running through Troy, but we are working with developers to make sure trails can go through that property,” said Bovensiep. “Our goal in the upcoming phase four portion of the trails project is to connect phase one, run it behind the Department of Public Works office and out to Long Lake Road, where it can be connected to phase two.”

“Eventually, we would like to connect all of our trails and all of our schools,” added Baker. “This would, hopefully, mean you could start at one end of town and could work your way down the whole length of the city by foot.”

Many local residents from the area were on hand for the ribbon cutting and expressed their happiness at seeing the trail open.

“I live on the Jaycee Park side of the creek, and now that the path has been open for a week, it’s nice to see people walking through from subdivisions on the north side,” said Tom Matichuk, who lives on Westmoreland Street. “Making the park more accessible and used will encourage more people to get outside and get active. I think everyone is so used to being cooped up and inside during the pandemic that this will make it easier to get back outside again.

“I think this trail opening is going to be good for opening up some of the friendships the kids have at the schools and let them cross through to the northern end to the southern end of this square mile,” added Edward Kempen, who lives on Prentice Drive. “Those who live around here might not even need buses or rides to get to friends’ houses or to schools like Troy Union Elementary School, where my son Calvin goes.”

Kempen added that it’s encouraging as a resident to see these plans city officials have been talking about for so long finally take shape.

“It gives more opportunity for exercise too, of course,” he said. “I’ve followed the Troy Trails development for almost 15 years, and it’s exciting to see every little segment open up.”