Location: 10750 28 Mile Rd Albion, MI 49224
Size: 65 acres
Albion Park is a scenic, 65-acre parcel of agricultural land, which has been developed into a trailhead and recreational use area in eastern Calhoun County to formally establish the intersection of the Iron Belle Trail, the Great Lake to Lake Trail, and the (National Park Service) North Country.
The larger trailhead/property includes restored native prairie habitat (38 acres), and restoration of over 20 acres of woodland habitat.
This property’s proximity to Albion College’s campus, the Nancy G. Held Equestrian Center, Whitehouse Nature Center, the Kalamazoo River and downtown Albion is strategic to future plans for use and growth and the impact it will have on the local economy. A shared hope in the community is that this trailhead will become a welcoming and dynamic recreational use area, which will increase awareness and public access to many new opportunities.
The design for the Eastern Calhoun County Iron Belle Trailhead meets and, in many cases, exceeds ADA and ABA Accessibility Guidelines. The asphalt paved, shared-use trail is 10 feet wide. The park includes paved access to the trailway, and amenities including a kiosk, interpretive and wayfinding signage, benches, bike racks and trash receptacles.
Calhoun County is situated at the hub of three major recreational trails: The Iron- Belle Trail, Great Lake-to-Lake Trail, and the national North Country Trail. In 2016, the City of Albion was awarded a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) grant to extend its own local river trail 1.2 miles through Albion College’s campus, which engaged a young and active population of students and trail users and also leveraged financial and technical resources of the College and other partners. This project also helped formalize the local trail system as part of the Iron Belle, GL2L and NCT trail networks.
In 2017 Calhoun County and Albion College collaborated to successfully secure a MNRTF acquisition grant to purchase a unique and strategically located 65-acre parcel of land that serves as the trailhead and allows the recently completed trail segment in Albion to be developed.
In 2019 Calhoun County purchased the yet unnamed “Albion Park.” The park will serve as a trail hub for the Great Lake to Lake Trail, Iron Belle Trail, North Country National Scenic Trail, and Albion River Trail, all of which intersect in close proximity to the 65 acre farmland. The parcel is located near Albion College's Equestrian Facility and provides the possibility of development of equestrian trails. There are two structures on the property that have been demolished during the development of the park. A Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant was granted for the first phase of development which includes a paved trail, parking, signage, waste bins, and more.