Avid hiker proposes plan to restore Riverside Park trails. 

April 27, 2021

Avid hiker proposes plan to restore Riverside Park trails. 

SCOTTVILLE — Joan Young of Amber Township presented a plan to the Scottville City Commission during its regular meeting last week to restore the hiking trail at Riverside Park. Several years ago, former mayor Bruce Krieger, designed and created the trail that runs on the outer edge of the east side of the park. Unfortunately those trails have been neglected over time. 

During the commission meeting, Young discussed the trail and the restoration work. The trail begins near the camp store and travels in a southwesterly direction into a marsh area. There are a couple bridges in that area that are in decent shape, Young said, but some parts that will need some cleaning up. The trail then heads east along the southern boundary of the Western Michigan Old Engine Club grounds, which are part of the Riverside Park property. This area is open but there is no signage marking the trail which re-enters the woods on the eastern edge of the club grounds.

This area includes a bridge that is in need of repair. The trail moves northeasterly and then runs north along the eastern boundary of the park and private property. Young said brush and fallen trees will need to be cleared in that area. An alternative is to walk along the disc golf course, but that would mean hikers would be interfering with the disc golfers. 

The trail then enters a wetland area and travels west alongside the Pere Marquette River. This area needs a lot of work, including bridges, clearing of trees and brush, trail markers, and weed control. This route loops along the river bank and then comes back into the camping area of the park. 

City commissioners told Young that they would support her efforts and that she should consider scheduling some clean-up days.

“This is a great idea and we fully support Joan’s efforts,” Mayor Marcy Spencer said. “We will certainly be happy to help and to round up volunteers.” 

Young is an avid hiker who has hiked the entire North Country Trail, 1 4,600 national trail that begins in central Vermont and ends in North Dakota. The trail travels through the eastern portion of Mason County. 

Anyone wishing to volunteer to help clean up the trails are encouraged to contact Scottville City Hall at 231-757-4729 or email citymanager@cityofscottville.org. 

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