I-696 Trail

Michigan

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I-696 Trail Facts

States: Michigan
Counties: Oakland
Length: 2.5 miles
Trail end points: Meadowood Road (Southfield) and Wales Street (Oak Park)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 12213013
Activities:

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I-696 Trail Description

Located atop Interstate 696 as it cuts through the Detroit suburbs of Oak Park and Southfield are the three parks. Back in the 1980s, the Orthodox Jewish community opposed the construction of this segment of freeway, as it would have and cut them off from reaching their synagogues on foot. The compromise reached was to provide safe pedestrian crossings in the form of these upper deck parks. In addition to safe crossing, the parks provide plenty of room for recreation.

The three parks are Freeway Park, which features a plaza and spiral walking paths; the 7.2 acre Charlotte Rothstein Park, named for the mayor who helped negotiate for the crossings in the first place; and Victoria Park, which has play areas that young ones can enjoy. A concrete trail parallels I-696 and threads through the parks, enabling visitors to move between them easily and creating an extended recreation experience. It also provides access to the Lincoln Woods Nature Preserve. The trail is wide and flat, stroller and wheelchair friendly.

 

Parking and Trail Access

The trail is accessible from the adjacent neighborhoods for those traveling on foot or by bike. Alternatives for vehicle parking include:

-Freeway Park, located on Lincoln Drive in Southfield.

-Victoria Park, located at 25308 Church Street in Oak Park.

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