Google Earth photo of North Lake Road from Rita Dr. to Grand Blvd. The extension of the Spirit Trail will follow the red path line overlaying this satellite photo.
The Jackson County Commission has approved plans to extend the Clark Lake Spirit Trail on North Lake Road from Rita Drive to Grand Blvd. This will create more space between fast moving vehicular traffic and users of the Spirit Trail around this tight curve, where the speed limit for motorized traffic is 45 mph. With the official go ahead in hand, project chair Tucker Boyers says “we expect construction to begin soon” just in time for summer, the season when the Trail is used most by runners, walkers and cyclists. In addition to thanking the many volunteers and others involved in this project, Tucker praised the work of Phil Duckham, the Jackson County Commissioner for this area (district #4) since December, 2005.
“This is an ongoing effort to continue to improve the Trail and make it more user-friendly,” says Ann Swain, chair of the Spirit Trail committee and treasurer of the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation.
Although the permission of the Jackson County Commission was required and gratefully received for this latest project, it is important to note that the entire Spirit Trail story is about the people of Clark Lake. They conceived of it, planned it, raised the funds to support it, oversaw its construction and continue to maintain it. The funds came entirely from voluntary donations of individuals who strongly believe in Clark Lake.
Among those interested in growing the trail experience in the area, there are discussions of more expansions. A group in Brooklyn is looking into creating a trail that would start with the Clark Lake Spirit Trail at one end and weave a path near Riverside Drive and Goose Creek to end in the area of the Columbia Township Office. A trail near Weatherwax Road in Jackson could eventually reach Jackson College, and connecting with the Spirit Trail would not be too much of a reach. And individuals at Lake Columbia would also like to have a trail that could be part of the network at some point.
Interlakes competing at the 2013 Fall Regatta
If you have never sailed, your missing one of life’s sublime moments. It’s you, your companions, the breeze, and moving along over Clark Lake’s crystal clear water with no motor noise to interfere with your communion with nature. The Clark Lake Yacht Club has put together a program to help you learn to sail. Check it out by clicking here, and get ready for an awesome experience that you’ll cherish forever!
Pre-run photo op at the County Park
Today 23 fifth graders from Columbia Middle School competed in the 5k Junior Soul2Sole Run on the Spirit Trail. The skies were overcast but the mood was sunny as the group assembled at the starting line at the County Park on Ocean Beach Road. At 8:30 am the group took off, and headed south on Ocean Beach, turned west onto Lakeview East and then entered the Magic Forest portion of the Spirit Trail.
Roy Lamberson, Jen Hittle and Jessica White at the registration site
These 5th graders didn’t go into the competition unprepared. Over a six week period, the students and coaches met twice a week to practice track intervals, hill training, and 2-mile road rages from Columbia Middle School to the fire department flagpole in Brooklyn. Organizer Sheri Bush notes that “we received many beeps and smiles of drivers as we ran the sidewalks of Brooklyn. It was hard to determine who was more envious–the kids enjoying ice cream at the Village Creamery or the Junior Soul2Sole runners going through their paces.”
Dan Omo and Sheri Bush confer before the event
And they’re off!
There were ribbons for the three best times–first, second and third places. Each participant received a medal and goodie bag. And the mission of the run is to encourage a lifelong enjoyment of healthy exercise and friendship. And it appeared to accomplish just that.
These events happen only with lots of planning and work. Sheri Bush points out there were plenty of volunteers to thank. Here are the names of some of them–Jessica White, Megan Mickels, Dan Omo, Kristy Allen, Jen Hittle and the “Dude Crew”–Roy Lamberson, Dick Lowe, Kelly Kuytna, Bobby Schnell.
Below are many of the participants in the second annual Junior Soul2Sole 5 K Run.
Nick Molony who was the manager of the Pointe Bar and Grill manager, has left the position. Tari Korbinski has assumed the role.
A favorite place when you need something right now is ACO Hardware in Brooklyn. So when a sign went up that “everything must go”, it triggered the question “are they going out of business?” It turns out that the ACO will turn into ACE Hardware. The current inventory reduction will go on for a while. This ACO branch is one of the most successful in the ACO group. As long as sales are strong, the “inventory blowout” will likely continue for a while. The switchover to ACE could occur sometime in August.
Jus’ Bad Food in Brooklyn has closed its doors. They were located next to ACO Hardware. Apparently the food was not “bad enough”.
Sheri Bush at last year’s Junior soul2sole 5K Run
As reported previously on this website, the 5K run for area kids starts tomorrow morning (Sat, May 17th). The group will assemble at 8 am at the County Park on Ocean Beach Road, and the race starts at 8:30 am.
The participants are 5th graders from Columbia Middle School. Twenty-nine of them signed up to practice for a 6-week after school program in preparation for this run. The after-school sessions included track intervals, hill training and 2-mile “road rages” from Columbia Middle School to the flagpole at the Brooklyn Fire Department.
The competitors in the race will run on the right side of Ocean Beach Road (wide shoulder area) toward Lakeview (East) to the Spirit Trail through the Magic Forest. A Soul2Sole officer, Kristy Allen will mark their hands just beyond the 1.5 mile marker, and then the participants will run back to the park.
There will be ribbons for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places and a bag of goodies for other runners. Parents, siblings, and Columbia Middle School students will be invited to run or walk the course, but will not be competing for the awards.
These kind of events don’t happen by themselves. Hats off to the volunteers who make it happen, and here are some of their names–Sheri Bush (Soul2Sole), Jessica White (Middle School teacher), Megan Mickels (who will DJ at the event) and Dan Omo (finish line timing and order).
Donations will be gratefully received.
Sheri Bush at last year’s Junior soul2sole 5K Run
The kids are ready! As reported earlier on this website, the Junior soul2sole 5K will be held Saturday, May 17 at 8:30am on the Spirit Trail.
Activity will be begin at 8 am at the County Park on Ocean Beach Road. Kids will gather to get their race bibs and circle up for stretches, and the run will begin at 8:30am. Ready at the start will be 28 5th graders who have participated in the 6 week after-school training program.
Sheri Bush says she has volunteers along the course–at the corner of Ocean Beach Road and Lakeview Drive East and at the 1.5 mile marker to ensure that participants run the whole distance.
Clark Lake’s unofficial mayor, Dan Matthews
The Magic Forest section of the Spirit Trail becomes more magical as trees and plants begin to form an overhead canopy
You can tell that summer is on the way when the trees begin to bud, flowers push through the ground, dandelions make their presence known, and Clark Lake’s unofficial mayor, Dan Matthews, once again greets neighbors from his backyard on Lakeview Drive West. Today the air temperature reached mid 80s and water temperature hit 63 degrees. Two kids were seen swimming off a dock at Ocean Beach, although their entry into the lake seemed tentative.
As reported Tuesday on this website, JDOT is performing preliminary patching work in preparation of the paving and chip seal work later this summer on Jefferson Road. Thia preliminary work is expected to take about two weeks. Elsewhere around the county, there are plenty of road work projects. For a roundup from MLive, click here.
The extension project is the curved area on N. Lake Rd., between Rita Dr. and Grand Blvd
The Spirit Trail extension on North Lake Road from Rita Drive to Grand Blvd has the blessing of the County road engineer. Next it must go before the project must be approved by the Jackson County Commission. This will delay the project until it appears on their docket for the June meeting.
The motive of the Spirit Trail committee for this project is to create a safer environment for both users of the Trail and motorists. As you can see by the photo, there is substantial curve on this section of the Trail. For motorists, the speed limit is 45 mph, if they obey it. Cyclists, runners and walkers should use utmost caution. And having a separate surface for the Trail from the road will reduce potential hazards.
Becky Loechl with daughter Adelaide near Kentucky Point
Ashley Zuzelski on the York Dr. area of the Trail
As they sped by, one of the cyclists was heard to say “I love the Trail!”
Meanwhile, today’s sunny skies and warmer temperatures encouraged several to venture onto the Trail. Becky and daughter, Adelaide Loechl, from Marietta, Georgia, are visiting their relatives, Bob and Cherie Fish. Both are runners and Adelaide is on the track team at home. To keep in shape, mother and daughter took advantage of today’s weather. They return every couple years to participate in Run Clark Lake. Also out on the Trail today was Ashley Zuzelski. Three on bikes were spotted on the section of the Trail that was once the Cincinnati Northern Railway bed.
Around 2 pm today (Tuesday), the air temperature was 64; water temperature 56; and spring water, 50 degrees.
Photo taken May 6th, late morning on Jefferson Road near Hayes Rd and Q Lane.
If you traveled Jefferson Road today, you probably noticed road work signs popping up in the area of the lake. JDOT’s Joe Michalsky says that the County is “performing some preliminary patching work in preparation of the paving and chip seal work later this summer.” He expects this phase of the work to take a couple of weeks.