Important Information

The Boardman Lake Trail around Boardman Lake, in the heart of Traverse City, is a shared-use path owned by the City of Traverse City, in partnership with Grand Traverse County and Garfield Township. Decades in the making, this project is the final connection to close the loop around the lake, completing the West Boardman Lake Trail.

This West Boardman Lake Trail project was split into two sections:

  • Phase I starts at the end of the trail at 14th Street. It then follows the railroad right-of-way to the  parking lot on the north side of Northwestern Michigan College (NMC). Construction for this section began during the summer of 2020 and was completed earlier this summer (2021).
  • Phase II starts where Phase I stopped: It begins at NMC and extends over the Cove area on Boardman Lake, through Logan’s Landing, across a new bridge to Medalie Park and across another new bridge, to close the loop at the existing trail. This second phase is under construction now.


The entire loop is anticipated to be complete in the summer of 2022.


Prein&Newhof will have personnel in the field on behalf of the City.

Bob Ouwinga
Construction Observer (On-Site)
(231) 878–2536

Scott Post, PE
Project Manager
(616) 485–0281


Contractor: Elmer’s Crane & Dozer, Inc.

Al MacDonald
(231) 943–3443


City of Traverse City

Penny Hill
Assistant City Manager
(231) 922–4440

City of Traverse City – West Boardman Lake Trail Loop Phase II

This Week

Elmer’s completed the wall in front of NMC with the exception of the top finish blocks, which will likely arrive later next month. In addition, they placed the gravel base for the trail here and started restoration of the area, placing topsoil and preparing to seed. Snow fence was placed on the edge of the wall, but please note this is an active construction site and closed to public use.

In addition, pile installation for the boardwalk heading north from Logan’s Landing was resumed this week. The piles are driven to a stable depth for now. After many are in place, Elmer’s will change the equipment on their driver and go back and “proof” each one, driving to the design bearing capacity.


Next Week

Elmer’s anticipates they will seed and place fabric along the trail in front of NMC. They also plan to begin work on the other two retaining walls near NMC, the first near the south parking lot and the second around the north side of the building. They anticipate these walls will go up quickly.

Pile crews will continue to place piles in the cove area, working their way across to NMC.

This Week

Elmer’s worked on clearing for the lake overlook at 16th Street and north of NMC, and the fishing/kayak deck at the City park property. Crews also worked on spreading topsoil and working on general restoration a the City Park property.

They also continue to work on the retaining walls just east of NMC.

Specialized equipment arrived this week to set the boardwalk piles next week.


Next Week

They will continue to work on the three walls near NMC

Piles should arrive this week and they will move forward setting them for the boardwalk across the cove area on Boardman Lake.

This Week

The Elmer’s crews worked hard on the north side of the project—working on setting most of the sidewalk in the City Park area near 16th Street and Lake Ridge Drive. On the south end, they started to clear the area for the trail along the east side of Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) and have begun construction on one of the retaining walls on the hill.

Next Week

Work will continue near the City Park area, as Elmer’s prepares the area for construction of the fishing and kayak access platform and the overlook at 16th Street. Work will also continue on the retaining walls near NMC. Due to Hurricane Ida, piles for the boardwalk are delayed in delivery, but Elmer’s plans to set the remaining piles they have for the boardwalk.

This Week

Team Elmer’s has been spreading topsoil along both sides of the trail from NMC down to the cove. They hope to complete restoration with the special native slope protection grass seed and mulch blanket to protect the slopes yet this week as well. The aggregate base has been placed and compacted for this section of trail.

At the City Park site on Lake Ridge between 14th Street and 16th Street, they also have cleared brush, grubbed out topsoil, and are spreading sand subbase in preparation for sidewalk.


Next Week

They plan to pour the concrete sidewalk in the City Park. They may also begin clearing on the north side of NMC for the pathway here. Depending on the availability/delivery time of the blocks for the retaining walls, they may also begin prepping these areas as well.


Coming Weeks

Elmer’s anticipates their next load of timber piles will be delivered sometime next week, and they plan to start setting these pile the week of Labor Day. Per recent discussions their carpenter crews, they intend to begin work on the fishing dock in this same time frame.

Progress Report

The project started a week ago with setting piles at Logan’s Landing to start the process of constructing the boardwalk over the cove area. The contractor successfully placed several dozen piles, and they are now waiting on additional piles from the supplier to continue this work.

This week crews started grading the trail into the hill, south of NMC to the north end of the cove.


Next Steps

Team Elmer’s intends to continue grading the trail by NMC, placing the gravel base, and spreading topsoil and seed to protect the slopes over the next week. In addition,  they plan to begin working on the new sidewalk near 16th Street and Lake Ridge Drive. In the next few weeks, work will resume setting piles for the boardwalk, and construction of the retaining walls where the trail goes around NMC will begin.

Check back for updates on progress as it occurs!