Park Name: Veronica Valley Park
Size: 92.3 acres
Service Area: Entire County
Park and Recreation Area
The acquisition of the Veronica Valley Park was completed in December 2008 from a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant award with the help from Rotary Charities and Leelanau County. This parcel is located in Bingham Township at the junction of Maple Valley Road and County Road 641, approximately four (4) miles southwest of Suttons Bay and four (4) miles south of the Village of Lake Leelanau in the east central area of the County. The Park is approximately one-half mile from Lake Leelanau and 12 miles from the City of Traverse City.
The Veronica Valley Park property was formerly a family operated, nine hole golf course that has not been in use for about four years. The site is characterized by gently rolling hills, open space, wetlands, and forested wetlands that include dense stands of white cedar. The property has three bridges and six ponds. Mebert Creek, a designated trout stream, also winds approximately 2,268 feet through the site. The forested and agrarian views will make this site a peaceful retreat for the passive recreation user.
The concept plan for the proposed passive recreation activities blends well with this site that includes gently rolling hills, a scenic trout stream and high quality wetlands. The proposed trail system will reach most of the areas of the park with a high percentage of the trails maintained by a single width of a county mower. Wood-chipped paths and elevated boardwalks are planned leading to viewing platforms in and adjacent to the wetland areas. In addition to the trails, a picnic area and playground area have been proposed with tables and benches. The two existing parking areas will remain, with one moved so the net increase in parking area will be kept to a minimum. The nature center/youth fishing center will be in and around a proposed pavilion building. This youth/adult educational center will have the following displays: fishing (both in the stream and ponds), stream ecology, pond ecology, wetland ecology, and birdwatching. This center is seen as being used by youth groups, county schools, individual visitors, and tourists and will be a four season park with cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding in the winter.
With the completion of the purchase, a management plan has now been developed and implemented.