One of the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission’s (WCPARC) main initiatives is connectivity, with the emphasis on the Border-to-Border Trail (B2B). All trail users, bicyclists, walkers, runners, joggers, rollerbladers, and stroller pushers are welcome throughout autumn on this non-motorized, multi-use trail through the scenic Huron River valley.
The B2B is the result of WCPARC leading a multi-agency to link the open spaces of the Huron River Greenway. The B2B Trail generally follows the river from the border of Livingston County to Wayne County. In January 2015, the B2B was incorporated into the Iron Belle Trail, a statewide trail network that extends from Belle Isle (Detroit) to Ironwood (on the Wisconsin border of the Upper Peninsula).
Private partner Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative recently conceived the idea of the “Huron Waterloo Loop,” through conversations with WCPARC and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The Loop is a 44-mile route that traverses from the centers of Dexter to Chelsea and on to Stockbridge where it joins with the existing Lakelands Trail, which has a planned connection to the B2B east of Pinckney. The trail will then connect back through Hudson Mills Metropark to Dexter. The Loop has officially been incorporated into the B2B network, bringing the total distance from 35 to 70 miles with approximately 40 miles of trail existing today.
That 40 miles of existing trail leads users to some of the thriving natural and cultural features of Washtenaw County. Just east on the trail from Hudson Mills Metropark and downtown Dexter’s unique businesses and institutions is Dexter-Huron Metropark. In Ann Arbor, the B2B hugs the river through several parks and nature areas, as well as both Argo and Gallup canoe liveries. East from Gallup Park, trail users can access Washtenaw Community College and Eastern Michigan University before arriving in the Depot Town area of Ypsilanti. Through festival-abundant Riverside Park and past Water Street, the trail is then highlighted by Ypsilanti Township parks showcasing historic water and dam features.
Hard copies of maps are available from the City of Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Department, the WCPARC Administrative Offices, and many local bike shops. An online version of the map is accessible from WCPARC’s website.