Phase I of the Iosco Exploration Trail resides along Mill Street and was completed by John Henry Excavating Contractor to give locals and visitors a place to enjoy walking and biking in town

OSCODA – Members of the Iosco Exploration Trail (IET) Committee met via Zoom on Thursday, Sept. 17, to discuss updates about phase I, III and IV of the IET.

The IET is a section of the Iron Belle Trail which is expected to run from Belle Isle in Detroit up to Iron River in the Upper Peninsula. IET Chairman Fred Lewis kicked off the September meeting with an update on phase III. 

Phase III, as previously reported, is expected to run from Oscoda High School to Old Orchard Park. A story detailing all the action and steps taken at the Oscoda Township meetings and the September IET meeting can be found in a recent story published in the Oscoda Press. 

After much discussion about phase III, Lewis handed the floor to AuSable Township Clerk Kelly Graham for an update on how searching for funding was going for phase IV of the trail. Phase IV is expected to run south of the AuSable Township Hall to the southern logical terminus previously reported on. 

During the August meeting, AuSable Township Supervisor Kevin Beliveau and Clerk Kelly Graham said they were seeking a grant writer to assist in applying for Transporation Alternatives Program (TAP) grants among others. Additionally, they were seeking trail routing maps from the Spicer Group to overlay on the sewer main expansion project, reported about in past editions of this publication. 

“The drawings to the sewer contractor has been taken care of and we are going to present to our board on Monday to just go ahead and have Spicer do our application,” said Graham during the Thursday meeting. 

Lewis responded by inquiring whether or not the township is seeking both TAP and Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF)  grants at the same time. Graham said she didn’t know as all of this is new to her. Lewis later provided Graham with deadlines he was aware of for the TAP and MNRTF grant. He said TAP applications, he believes, are due in June and the MNRTF grant is due April 1. 

A final update was given on phase I which, according to Lewis, is pretty much wrapped up by John Henry Excavating Contractor. At press time, all work on Mill Street was complete.

Additionally Lewis inquired about whether or not a ribbon cutting or opening ceremony was in the works for completion of phase I. 

“Not that I know of, but that’s a great idea,” said Graham. 

Lewis said Graham should get together with the township board and figure out when a ceremony or ribbon cutting could take place, but at press time, no date has been confirmed. 

Additional updates of the path can be found in this publication in the future. The next IET meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 15, at 2 p.m. Whether the meeting will be held digitally or in person is still to be determined. For more information on the IET visit