Public input sought on trail improvements

CHASSELL – Officials from both Portage and Chassell Townships along with personnel from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources have scheduled a public meeting for 6 p.m. Wednesday in the pavilion at Centennial Park in Chassell. The purpose of the meeting is to gather community input concerning improvements to the former rail grade recreation trail running through both townships.

Ronald Yesney, DNR recreation specialist, will discuss plans to maintain and improve the trail that runs alongside U.S. 41 on the lake side of the highway. The trail is non-motorized for three seasons but open to snowmobiling during the winter months.

According to a press release from the townships, the DNR is funding $50,000 worth of trail improvements including brushing and trail repair. The meeting is to discuss citizen ideas for improvements and whether the townships wish to pursue other grant funds to make additional trail improvements beyond the $50,000.

“The DNR has asked for citizen and township input on this project,” according to a joint statement issued by township supervisors Bruce Peterson of Portage Township and David Mattson of Chassell Township.

Other possible improvement projects could include signage, trail surfacing improvements, buffers and barriers.

“Recreational trails such as this have become important community assets and enhance livability and property values in many communities,” the statement said. “We have an opportunity to enhance our communities and want to hear from citizens.”

An optional bike or walking tour will precede the meeting and maps will be available for citizens to view. For information on the meeting for those who will be unable to attend but still want to offer input, contact Peterson at 482-4310 or email

The supervisors said citizen input is welcome regardless of what township, village or city they’re from.