Non-motorized transportation facilities serve an important role in the community and the quality of life of its residents. The opportunity to walk down a street for recreation, or to a local business changes the way people interact with their environment and allows the public to see and experience things that you don’t notice while driving.
The Sister Lakes community is a unique blend of full time residents and tourist cottages. The CR 690 corridor and M-152 intersection are the main commercial district of the area. During the summer months this area is a bustling to the point where finding parking at your favorite restaurant or shop can be difficult. Families walking or riding bicycles are a common occurrence, even with the limited non-motorized facilities currently. The community has been interested in expanding these non-motorized facilities to help facilitate walking and cycling in a safe manner for a number of years.
The Sister Lakes Corridor Improvement Authority (CIA) was formed in 2009 and a key component of their Development Plan was the creation of a network of nonmotorized facilities in the region. Keeler Township’s 5-year Recreation Plan in 2009 also included the desire to have trails. In response to that interest the Sister Lakes CIA hired Wightman and Associates to develop this feasibility study.
The key components of the trail network are as follows.
A safe route for visitors and residents alike to access downtown business area of Sister Lakes, located between Round Lake & Little Crooked Lake.
A small in-town multi-modal trail circuit.
A large multi-modal trail circuit that connects to the existing regional trail system via the Van Buren Trail State Park Trail and onto the Kal-Haven Trail and the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail.