Clare Gap receives $5000 grant

September 13, 2018

Friends of Clare County Parks & Recreation is pleased to announce that Clare is the recipient of a 2018 Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Doppelt Fund grant in the

The Clare County Parks and Recreation is excited to receive the grant so they can work towards closing the Gap.

The Clare County Parks and Recreation is excited to receive the grant so they can work towards closing the Gap.

amount of $5000.00. This grant is intended to assist with increasing support for an off-road alignment of the popular Pere Marquette Rail Trail through the City of Clare, to help bicyclists navigate the gap and visit the city. This gap is referred to as the “Clare Gap”.

Closing the Clare Gap translates to revenue for local businesses. Lost revenue is estimated to translate to tens of thousands of dollars annually assuming economic studies of other communities are accurate. People who ride bikes spend money–anywhere from $16 to $25 a day–when they visit towns and cities along bike routes. While there is a bike route both east and west of Clare, there is not a bike route through Clare. Instead there is a 2.5-mile gap, the Clare Gap, that keeps people out of the city and away from city businesses.

The popular Pere Marquette Rail Trail that was once the path for the Pere Marquette Railroad is now a path for bikers, hikers and casual walkers. It traverses streams, fields and woodlands from Midland to Reed City.

Joy Simmer, City of Clare’s Parks and Recreation Director who sits on the Friends’ Board is thrilled this project was one of ten in the country to receive an RTC grant.

“I hear the frustration of riders who don’t know how to get through the Clare Gap that starts near the Clare Library on the east side of the city and ends at the Moose Lodge west of Clare because no trail exists, and neither does signage to assist them navigating through the city. Many just turn around and leave, taking money they would have spent with them.

“Thanks to the grant, we can provide maps and interpretative signage at both ends of the trail, and at the Clare Depot,” she said. “We also can work to build a permanent trail through the city that eliminates the Clare Gap.”

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