First Concept for New B2B Trailhead in Dexter on the Horizon


The gravel parking lot at the end of Grand St. is not technically a parking lot but an extension of Grand St. The site has been earmarked for a possible B2B Trailhead.

The pending construction of the Dexter-Chelsea B2B connector is sparking public interest and commentary about the need for a dedicated trailhead in Dexter. Michelle Aniol, the Dexter Community Development Manager, reported on the matter to the Dexter City Council at its meeting on August 28th.

Aniol revealed that the initial city trailhead concept could begin where Grand Street dead-ends at Mill Creek Park.

"The area between 3045 Broad Street and the Cemetery, and between Broad Street and Mill Creek Park, is Grand Street. It just hasn't been improved in the same manner as the rest of Grand Street," Aniol outlined in her report. The trailhead could possibly be constructed at that location to complement the redevelopment of the 3045 Broad Street site, a high-density mixed-use development that has been a top priority for the Dexter Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and the City.

The open lot at 3045 Broad St. is the site for a proposed mixed-use development by Common Sail Investment Group.

Aniol’s report highlighted several key documents outlining the expected features of a trailhead, including public parking (both on-street and public off-street), sidewalks, street trees, lighting, and other streetscape elements.

Documents stating the city’s commitment to outdoor recreation:

  • 2021-2026 Parks and Recreation Master Plan: Page 68 outlines the City's enthusiasm to embark on phase 3 of the Mill Creek Park project, which includes a possible trailhead at Grand St.
  • Mill Creek Park Recreation Master Plan: Pages 22, 24, 42, and 43 identify the project's boundary, access points, non-motorized shared-use path, and trailhead parking locations. The plan ranked trailhead parking as the third priority regarding design features.
  • 2019 City of Dexter Master Plan: Focuses on meeting current and future community needs for parks, greenways, trails, and recreation.
  • Capital Improvements Plan 2023-2028: Includes a high-priority redevelopment project at 3045 Broad Street, along with enhancements to Mill Creek Park, including trailhead facilities.
  • 3045 Broad St. Redevelopment RFP (Request for Proposal): Issued in 2021, the RFP emphasized the importance of designing pedestrian and bicycle linkages to Mill Creek Park.

Washtenaw County Parks, in conjunction with the Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative, has proposed installing a kiosk at the end of Grand Street in Mill Creek Park, serving as a significant trailhead feature.

Specific planning and design of the trailhead are expected to evolve as plans for the Dexter-Chelsea B2B Trail connector crystalize.

Photos by Doug Marrin

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