Grand Traverse County

Boardman Lake Loop Trail

Project Description

Grand Traverse County had a 1.5-mile-long gap in the trail loop around Boardman Lake and wanted to close the final stretch. This section begins at 14th Street and meanders south to Medalie Park. The trail links users to community assets, including the library, a food market, Northwestern Michigan College University Center, densely populated neighborhoods in Traverse City and Garfield Township, and several commercial areas surrounding the lake.

In conjunction with TART Trails, Garfield Township, and the city of Traverse City, Grand Traverse County hired Prein&Newhof to provide preliminary and geotechnical design, topographic surveying and mapping, assist in public meetings, and create design development drawings.

Details of the project included trail design and routing, boardwalk design over a shallow part of Boardman Lake, water access amenities including stairs and a fishing deck, and two bridges over the Boardman River to connect to the trail on the east side.

Working with Grand Traverse County’s team, meeting with the public many times, gathering input, and presenting the proposed design, everyone was enthusiastic about moving forward with the trail’s final leg.

Construction is underway for the next leg of the trail between Medalie Park and Northwestern Michigan College, with construction to be completed by Fall 2021. This phase includes the big boardwalk, two bridges, and the overlooks.

Funding for the project included grants from the Coastal Management Program, MDOT’s TAP program, MDNR Passport program, and MDEQ/EGLE Brownfield funding. Garfield Township and Traverse City funded the remainder of the project.


Scott Post, PE
Project Manager


The County won a $75,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Coastal Zone Management Program to fund the trail’s preliminary design. Tax increment financing and Brownfield money also funded the preliminary design.