Spirit Trail


Click here for the first ever Clark Lake Glaze-a-thon – Sunday, January 26, 2019

Click here to read about the Glaze-a-thon

Click here for Sign Up for the Sign

Click here for how the Spirit Trail may fit in with the Jackson County non-motorized plan–September 12, 2019

Click here for Run Clark Lake 2019 Results – August 3, 2019

Click here for the Spirit Trail Clean Up, 2019


L to R: Rick Belcher, Bob Lajdziak, Don Fowler, Ann Swain, Dan Omo, Janet Larson, Tucker Boyers, Jim Gaetzi

The Spirit Trail Committee meets year around and watches over the 7.3 mile path around the lake. The Trail offers a variety of surfaces, and was designed with cyclists, walkers and runners in mind. Maintenance comes almost entirely from volunteers.  Fund raising supports new construction like the section between Rita and Grand Boulevard and the rebuild of the area adjacent to the post office on Hyde Road. You can make a tax-advantaged donation to the Trail through this website and the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation, a 501c3. 

Spirit Trail Cleanup 2018

Sun Shines on Spirit Trail Cleanup – April 1, 2017

For Run Clark Lake 2016 results, please click here.

Spirit Trail’s New Amenity – August 26, 2016

New Spirit Trail Pamphlet

Read about the new signs to guide you on the Spirit Trail by clicking here.

Read about the Spirit Trail Cleanup on Saturday, March 26, by clicking here.

For info on the Spirit Trail Cleanup scheduled for Saturday, March 26, click here.

Note: For Run Clark Lake info and sign up forms, please click here–Run Clark Lake page.

New Pavement Adjacent to the Post Office – June 4, 2015


Posted under News and Events on March 13, 2015

Spirit Trail: County Park

The Trail is named after Tom Collins: The Thomas R. Collins Clark Lake Spirit Trail

The Clark Lake Spirit Trail is a shining example of what this community is about. The Trail was built with the idea of exemplifying community spirit. Funds for its construction and maintenance have come from voluntary donations and fund raisers, not tax dollars.  And it’s been the many hours of hard work of the Trail Committee and the service-oriented volunteers that keep it in great shape.

Because donations are so important to the Trail’s existence, it’s only fitting that names of donors be recognized. Users of the Trail know that there are names of donors embedded in the concrete in the portion of the Trail that parallels Jefferson Road.  Additional donor names were recently engraved on a bronze plaque and attached to the granite marker at the trail head that lauds Tom Collins for his involvement in the Trail and community.

(click or tap to enlarge any image; repeat, to reduce)

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Photo: Ann Swain

Donations are always welcome and will be recognized.

Bronze * $250 – $500
Silver ** $600 – $800
Gold *** $1000 – $2500 ***  (name on plaque or name on the trail surface)
Platinum **** over $3000 (name both on trail and on plaque)

Posted under News and Events on November 22, 2014

Michigan weather is a hard taskmaster, especially with the abuse it inflicts on any sort of pavement.  That was painfully evident at the end of last winter when drivers had to play dodge ’em with rim-damaging potholes.  The Spirit Trail also suffered in the area around the post office–from where the building starts, west to the old railroad bed.

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View of the trail, adjacent to the Post Office, facing west toward the old Cincinnati Northern Railroad bed

The Clark Lake Spirit Trail Committee has commissioned Bendele Construction to repave that section.  Included will be a catch basin and drain to prevent the accumulation of water.  The repeated freezing and thawing weakens the infrastructure and one fissure in the surface leads to another, destroying the integrity of the surface.  The puddles are also a nuisance to those using the Trail.

The construction plan recognizes that the surface must be robust enough to handle the weight of post office vehicles that have access to the small parking lot behind the building, used for loading and unloading deliveries.  It’s expected that some prep work may be completed before the end of the year, depending on weather conditions.  It’s likely that the laying of concrete will be delayed until spring.

As with the Trail extension between Rita and Grand Boulevard at the east end, Ann Swain, Tucker Boyers and Vic Marshall are overseeing the project.

Clark Lake Spirit Trail projects are funded through donations from people like you.  Your donation is welcome and can be made through the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation, a non-profit for tax purposes.  Simply use your credit card and go to “Donations” on this website–and direct the use of your donation to benefit the Clark Lake Spirit Trail.

This post, first posted under News and Events, announced the completion of the Spirit Trail extension at the east end of Clark Lake: 

Early Saturday, July 27, the yellow barrier ribbons came down and the newly paved section of the Clark Lake Spirit Trail opened to all users.  And the response was immediate as people tried it out for the first time.

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Ann Marlow was one of the first to explore the new extension.

The new section follows the curve on North Lake Road, between Rita and Grand Blvd.  Now it’s possible for cyclists, runners and walkers to keep more distance from traffic on a section of North Lake where the speed limit is 45 mph.

The project is the work of the Clark Lake Spirit Trail committee headed by Ann Swain.  Tucker Boyers led the project.  Bendele Construction performed the work.  Bill Bendele said that the sealant was placed on the freshly poured concrete yesterday at midday.  The overnight curing allowed for use of the new section by this morning.  Bendele construction also was responsible for the landscaping.  The area has been seeded and other interesting enhancements are in been place with eye appeal in mind.

This new section of the trail now joins several other sections that are paved and are for the exclusive use of cyclists, runners and walkers.  The other areas include–Jefferson Road, the Magic Forest between Jefferson Road and Lakeview East, through the County Park, the old Cincinnati Northern railway bed along Hyde Road, the cut-thrus’s between Oakwood and S. Woodlands and between S. Woodlands and Sandy Beach.

The funding for this and other Trail building projects come solely through donations.  The Trail committee maintains it mostly through volunteer efforts.  And all of this reflects the spirit of those who originally conceived and developed the Trail–people like Tom Collins and George Svinicki.  There have been many praises for the Clark Lake Spirit Trail over the years.  The Trail is a wonderful enhancement to the lake we love is and made possible through the hard work of the Clark Lake Spirit Trail Committee and the many donations from our community.


What follows is a review of previous stories regarding the Spirit Trail.  The entries pertain to events in 2013.

No matter what the weather, summers are always beautiful at Clark Lake. And it’s awesome to see so many runners, bikers, and walkers enjoying the Spirit Trail!

The forest in this section of the Spirit Trail creates the feeling of magic for runners, bikers and walkers.

The forest in this section of the Spirit Trail creates the feeling of magic for runners, bikers and walkers.

Over 900 runners participated in the 2013 Run Clark Lake event. Our volunteers heard many favorable comments about the run, our community spirit, and the beauty of our course around the lake. Without a staff of volunteers, the event would not be possible. To those who devoted their time and energy—thank you so much!

An important, but fun, event that supports the Spirit Trail is coming soon—the Beer Fest. If you’ve attended in the past, just wait to see what’s in store this year! It will be bigger and better with more bands, and plenty of the best beer. Mark your calendar to be at the Beach Bar September 28th. You’ll find details at www.clarklakespirt.com, Facebook and a reminder on posters around the area.

The Spirit Trail expansion plans continue to go forward. It’s expected that construction will be completed on a smaller section this fall. Environmental issues present a challenge in the other area, but the Trail will continue to pursue this project as it is designed to ensure safety of both users and motorists.

Thanks to the Calhoun's, the path between Oakwood and South Woodlands looks better than ever.

Thanks to the Calhoun’s, the path between Oakwood and South Woodlands looks better than ever.

As you enjoy the Spirit Trail this fall, keep in mind one section is always closed during November and December for deer season. You’ll find barriers at the forested area between Jefferson Road and Lakeview (at the east end).

For regular updates, please stop by our website often.

The Trail is the result of the collaborative action of a community that cares deeply about expanding the horizons of this incredibly wonderful area.  The funds freely donated by individuals and families, plus the huge amount of work on the part of many local residents, turned a dream into today’s reality.  You can be part of the important project of expanding the Clark Lake Spirit Trail in the two new areas.  Your donation to the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation in support of the Trail will make a difference.trail_images_003

By donating to the Trail through the Clark Lake Foundation your contribution is tax-advantaged.  For this tax-advantage, make out your check to The Clark Lake Spirit Foundation (and note that it is to benefit the Trail) and mail it to PO Box 224, Clarklake, MI 49234 or you can donate with your credit card through this website.  If you have questions, Ann Swain (529-9485), treasurer, is available with more information and looks forward to hearing from you. This is a big project, and your help is needed!

Whether it’s a cash donation or you are among those who stop to pick up litter (or after their own dog), the community is grateful.  By supporting the Clark Lake Spirit Trail, know that you will be part of enhancing the future, beauty and usefulness of this amazing place that we all love—Clark Lake!

Spirit Trail Update

The section of the Trail that parallels Hyde Road has been resurfaced.

The section of the Trail that parallels Hyde Road has been resurfaced.

You might think that the work for the Clark Lake Spirit Trail is finished.  Actually it’s a work in progress.  Most recently repairs were made to the section that parallels Hyde Road.  The trail has been patched and resurfaced.  If you use this section of the trail, you’ll also notice the weeds have been cleared.  If given a chance these weeds would soon overtake the paved area.  Good to see them gone, at least for this season!

Earlier this year, other paved areas were cleared of debris and gravel.  A team of volunteers cleaned up the section located in the County Park.  This included scraping vegetation from the pavement revealing almost six inches more of pavement on both sides of the trail.  The gardens were cleared of leaves and plants manicured.  The trail committee has responsibility for maintaining the garden in the Township Park, and volunteers cleared leaves and other debris from this area.

The Spirit Trail is looking great; perhaps it is at its best.  And judging from activity the week of July 4th, the many bikers, runners and walkers are enjoying its ample attributes.