The 23 mile long Capital Connector Trail has been established as a high priority of the Ingham County Parks & Recreation Commission. The trail will connect several major capital area parks including Ingham County’s Lake Lansing Park, Hawk Island Park, Burchfield Park, Potter Park and Zoological Gardens, and the Hope Soccer Complex. It would also pass through the City of Lansing’s Scott Woods Parks, Meridian Township’s Central Park and Nancy Moore Park, and Delhi Township’s Valhalla Park. It is anticipated that The Capital Connector Trail would serve as a spine for further trail development throughout the county and region. Ingham County’s master plan calls for a more extensive system to eventually be established to the east along the Red Cedar River to Webberville and south to Leslie.
The advantages of focusing on the Capital Connector Trail are that it is closest to the population center of the county, and connects all of the major parks in the area. Cooperative efforts will be essential to the success of the project. Meridian Township, Delhi Township, and the City of Lansing all have included the segments of the trail within their boundaries in their Pathway or Park and Recreation Master Plans. Meridian Township has completed a segment of the trail through its Central Park and is working cooperatively with Ingham County Parks to develop the Lake Lansing Trail segment of the Capital Connector. The City of Lansing, in partnership with Ingham County Parks, is currently developing two segments of the River Trail South segment of the Capital Connector. The trail segments under construction this year will complete the connection south from the Lansing River Trail at Potter Park Zoological Gardens to the intersection of Jolly and Aurelius Roads, passing through Scott Woods, Hawk Island, and Maguire Parks. Delhi Township, in partnership with Ingham County Parks, is actively planning trail connections to the River Trail South trail segment.
Given the parameters noted above, it is projected that $10.9 million will be needed to finance construction of the Capital Connector Trail. Half of that amount ($5.45 million) is projected to be provided by the county, and the remainder from grants and other local units of government. It is estimated that it will realistically take 10 years to construct all of the phases, given the extended grant processes, the right of way acquisition process, and construction time involved.