The Looyenga Family Trail

Visitors of all ages and abilities can learn about and experience our local environment’s diverse, critical habitats while traversing the universally accessible Looyenga Family Trail. This nearly three-quarter-mile path, made possible by Roger and Ann Looyenga in honor of their children and grandchildren, includes sensitively-designed boardwalk sections to protect fragile habitats and offers several opportunities for viewing nature.

From the trailhead and parking area, the trail passes through a mix of wetlands, meadows, and forest restoration areas with the opportunity to explore Glen’s Grove. This dense stand of white cedar is situated on a groundwater seep and is named in honor of the Conservancy’s long-time executive director, Glen Chown. To the east of the Conservation Center’s campus, a mixed boardwalk and aggregate path meanders through open areas before crossing a stream and looping through a riparian forest. This section of the trail includes a spur leading to an elevated platform that offers scenic views of the surrounding landscape.

For more information and a complete list of rules and regulations, visit the Mitchell Creek Meadows: The Don and Jerry Oleson Nature Preserve page.

Safe Routes to School

Connecting the existing Three Mile Trail to the cluster of school campuses near Hammond Road has been a long-standing community goal. Currently, the trail runs roughly a mile along Three Mile Road, starting at Traverse City State Park on US 31, connecting to the regional TART Trail at Parsons and Three Mile Roads, and dead-ending into South Airport Road.

The Conservancy is collaborating with TART, Norte, East Bay Township, and surrounding schools and neighborhoods to extend the TART Trail. The expansion will connect the existing Three Mile Trail through the preserve to numerous schools in the area, establishing a safe and scenic route for students, residents, and visitors commuting along the busy Three Mile Road corridor. The soon-to-be-built trail will also link the east and west sections of the Looyenga Family Trail, which will be a mowed path in the interim.