Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is part of a large conservation, recreation, business and local government coalition urging the Michigan Legislature to pass House Bills 4486, 4775 and 4776 in order to allow more Michigan citizens a clearer option of supporting their parks and trails. The Recreation Passport is the best recreation value in America!
Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is part of a large conservation, recreation, business and local government collation urging the Michigan Legislature to pass House Bills 4486, 4775 and 4776 to change the Recreation Passport Program to an opt-out model as intended, resulting in increased funding for state and local parks and trails. These bills are before the House Transportation Committee.
Michigan Trails and Greenways Celebrates the People Power of Trails
To celebrate Michigan Trails Week, the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance recognized 14 recipients of their Annual Trail Awards for their exemplary leadership as trail advocates in a ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda today.
MICHIGAN TRAILS AND CITY OF SOUTH HAVEN ANNOUNCE GRAND OPENING OF STATE’S LONGEST DESTINATION TRAIL
On Friday, September 13th at 10:45 a.m. state and local officials will join the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance at the Kal-Haven Trail State Park entrance in a celebration of the opening of the state’s newest and longest destination trail from South Haven to Port Huron, the Great Lake-to-Lake Trails Route #1.
Michigan Trails Announces Annual Trail Award Winners to be Awarded During Trails Week
The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance has announced the winners of their annual Trails Week Awards to recognize the exemplary leadership of trail advocates across the state that have helped Michigan remain the number one trails state in the nation.
Cambensy Resolution Declares Michigan Mountain Biking Day
State Rep. Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette) introduced House Resolution 138 today to declare June 22 as Michigan Mountain Biking Day to recognize the state’s many trails and destinations, as well as Michigan’s commitment to supporting and encouraging outdoor activities.
MICHIGAN TRAILS AND GREENWAYS ALLIANCE APPLAUDS INTRODUCTION OF RECREATION PASSPORT REFORMS
Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, the statewide voice for nonmotorized trail users, announced its support today for a bipartisan, bicameral package of bills that reform the Recreation Passport program and secure a more stable source of funding for state and local trails and parks.
REI Supports Michigan Trails’ Southeast Michigan Regional Trail Maintenance Collaboration Project
Recreational Equipment Incorporated has awarded the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance a $15,000 grant to support the new Southeast Michigan Regional Trail Maintenance Collaboration project.
Summer Fun Awaits on the 28th Annual Michigander Bicycle Tour
Cyclists of all levels will enjoy an active vacation on the 2019 Michigander Bicycle Tour as it explores the spectacular Lake Huron coastline and Huron Manistee National Forest from July 13-18.
Michigan Trails Completes New Statewide Trails Map and Directory
The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance has just published a new statewide map and directory of 286 multi-use trails. The online version has links to all listed trails for additional information.
May 17 is Recognized as Detroit Bike to Work Day
Today, the Michigan Senate passed Sen. Marshall Bullock’s (D–Detroit) resolution to recognize May 17, 2019 as Detroit Bike to Work Day. The resolution is part of a nationwide movement to promote healthy and environmentally friendly alternative modes of transportation in daily life.
Pure Michigan Trails and Trail Town Designation Recipients Announced
Six trails and four communities are being recognized as the first Pure Michigan® Trails and Pure Michigan® Trail Towns by the Department of Natural Resources.
The announcement was made today in South Haven by DNR, Travel Michigan and Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance officials.
Great Lake-to-Lake Trails Route #1 Website Launches
The website www.greatlaketolaketrails.org was unveiled yesterday at the fifth Great Lake-to-Lake Trails Summit. The website will serve as the gateway for people all over the country to explore this significant 275-mile destination trail connecting Lakes Michigan and Huron.
28th Annual Michigander Bicycle Tour Explores the Sunrise Side
Tour Celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the Michigan State Park System
The 28th Annual Michigander will take place July 13-18 on the Sunrise Side with a bicycle tour that showcases Lake Huron, the Iron Belle Trail and the 100th Anniversary of the Michigan State Parks as it travels through the towns of Tawas City, Oscoda, Lupton, Rose City, Higgins Lake, Cadillac, Tustin, Leroy, Reed City and Evart.
Michigan Trails Commends Legislature for Funding Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park
Michigan Trails applauds the efforts of the Legislature to secure a $3 million appropriation to help pave and enhance the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park in the budget supplemental that passed early this morning.
Michigan Trails Partners With MDNR in Announcing First Round of State Water Trails
Michigan Trails joined the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in announcing today the state’s first round of Michigan water trails that includes the Central River Raisin Water Trail, the Chain of Lakes Water Trail, the Huron River Water Trail, Flint River Trail, Middle Grand River Water Trail, Shiawasee River Trail, Upper Grand River Water Trail, and Island Loop Route.
Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance Urges Support of Senate Bills 1258 1259
SB 1258 and 1259 will amend the current Recreation Passport program to provide significantly more funding for state and local parks and trails by allowing for residents to simply fill out their annual motor vehicle registration forms with the $11 Recreation fee automatically assessed at the time of registration. Residents can still elect to not accept the added fee.
Trails and Parks Must Be a Priority for Our Incoming Political Leaders
It’s that time of the political season when we are faced with countless campaign pleas for support of candidates who promote road funding, health care, education reform, and crime control. Let the candidates know how important trails and parks are to you and all Michigan’s citizens!
Michigan Trails Celebrates Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation’s $100 Million Investment in Southeast Michigan
Gifts Create Signature Legacy Parks with Access Through Connected Trail System
The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is pleased to be a part of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation’s announcement to award Southeast Michigan $100 million for park and trail development, providing another significant financial incentive for communities to build trails.
Michigan Air Line Trail Announces Opening of M-5 Bridge
$6 million project welcomes first users; enhancements to be added this winter
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Commerce Township invite bicycle and pedestrian traffic to enjoy the new M-5 Pedestrian Bridge.
Michigan Trails Applauds State Trail Advocates Through Annual Awards Ceremony at Capitol Rotunda
Celebrate Michigan Trails Week
This week in Michigan we celebrate all of Michigan trails whether they are motorized, non-motorized, land or water trails and many will choose to concentrate on our status as the number one trails state. Yet Michigan’s trails should also be celebrated because of the thousands of volunteers across the state who contribute their time and talents to making a system of trails more than simply pathways for recreation and conservation.
Whitmer and Schuette Respond to Michigan Trails and mParks Gubernatorial Survey
Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance and mParks surveyed Michigan’s 2018 Gubernatorial Candidates to complete this questionnaire compiled from input by our statewide memberships.
Click here to view the candidates’ complete responses.
Michigan Trails Welcomes Andrea LaFontaine as Great Lake-to-Lake Trails Ambassador
Lansing, MI–The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is pleased to welcome former State Representative and current Oakland County Parks Commissioner and Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trail Specialist, Andrea LaFontaine to their trails team as their new Great Lake-to-Lake Trails Ambassador. The Trail Ambassador is a position created out of a partnership between Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to help develop and grow the state’s first destination trail, the Great Lake-to-Lake Trails Route #1.
Michigan Trails Applauds State Trail Advocates Through Annual Awards
Lansing, MI — The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance has announced an annual award program to recognize the exemplary leadership of trail advocates across the state that have helped Michigan become the number one trails state in the nation. In a ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda on September 27, Michigan Trails will honor a Legislator of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Federal/State Agency Employee Trail Advocate of the Year, and Non-Profit/Local Agency Employee Trail Advocate of the Year.
DNR and Travel Michigan Officially Launch Pure Michigan Trail and Trail Town Designation Program
The DNR and Travel Michigan today announced the official launch of the Pure Michigan Trail and Trail Town designation program. It’s an effort aimed at acknowledging Michigan’s position as the Trails State, showcasing an array of quality trails (including water trails) and trail-centered communities, and recognizing extensive collaboration of state and local governments, nonprofits, foundations and volunteers that develop and maintain the trails.
“The concept behind the Pure Michigan Trail and Trail Town designation is a welcome addition to the state’s trails program,” said Bob Wilson, executive director of the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance. “Having first worked on enabling legislation in 2014 and now seeing the Pure Michigan designation come to fruition, it is an exciting time for all those who believe in trails in our state.”
Michigan Trails and Huron River Watershed Council Host Legislative Kayak Outing to Showcase Huron River Water Trail
Ann Arbor, MI — The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance hosted a kayak outing in the Trail Town of Ann Arbor yesterday from the Argo Cascades to Gallup Park to highlight the importance of water trails to our cities and people. The event was presented in conjunction with the Huron River Watershed Council and made possible through the generous sponsorship of water trail supporters like the Michigan Restaurant Association, the Land and Information Access Association and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
Lansing, MI — The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance recently received a $255,000 grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to help turn the vision of a 315-mile long destination trail into reality. Michigan Trails will use the funds to continue working with the managers of 28 trails along the South Haven to Port Huron route to provide a unique recreational experience that increases fitness opportunities for our citizens while driving tourism to the region and state.
Trail Likely to Become the State’s First Destination Trail, Gaining National Attention
Jackson, MI — Trail managers and advocates from 8 counties and numerous communities along the proposed Great Lake-to-Lake Trails Route #1 stretching from South Haven to Port Huron gathered in Jackson yesterday to discuss a plan to jointly manage what will be the state’s first destination trail.
Michigan Trails Commends Legislature for Providing Over $4 Million in Trail Funding
Old Town, Lansing, MI — Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance applauds the recent work of the Michigan Legislature in adding over $4 million in funding from state grants for important trail development projects in Oceana and Tuscola counties and the Traverse Area Recreation Trail system.
In recognition of Michigan as the number one trails state in the country, the Legislature appropriated funds from Michigan Enhancement Grants and other community investment programs to help support our state trail system. Michigan Trails commends Senators Mike Green, Goeff Hansen and Wayne Schmidt for their support of previous legislative trails initiatives and their leadership in securing these vital funds.
Old Town, Lansing, MI — The 27th Annual Michigander Bicycle Tour hits the Top of Michigan Trails from July 14-21, travelling through the towns of Cheboygan, Mackinaw City, Mackinac Island, Onaway, Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Cross Village and Charlevoix; providing an active vacation that showcases Michigan’s natural wonders.
The Michigander is presented by the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance and Michigan Fitness Foundation and is dubbed as “One of the top ten multi-day rides in America” by Bicycling Magazine. Michigan’s classic cycling vacation offers three options: a 2-day tour; a 6-day tour; and an 8-day tour which combines both the 2-day and 6-day tours. The region along the tour is known for its scenery; sandy beaches, clear lakes, winding rivers and expansive shorelines dotted with shipwrecks and lighthouses. Riders will also enjoy sampling Michigan’s wines and craft beers from the many wineries and breweries along the tour such as the Mackinaw Trail Winery and Cheboygan Brewing Company.
Old Town, Lansing, MI — The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is proud to support the recognition of philanthropist and trails advocate Mike Levine for his work on Lakelands Trail State Park as the Natural Resources Commission recently honored him by renaming the trail park the Mike Levine Lakelands Trail
State Park. Key state and local officials will gather at the Pinckney Depot to celebrate Mike and his passion for trail building at a ceremony this morning.
“Mike Levine is an inventor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, Pinckney resident, and above all a tireless supporter of the Great Lake-to-Lake Trails Route #1 and Michigan trails movement in general,” said Bob Wilson, Executive Director of the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance. “He has pledged his time, his passion and millions of dollars to expand and improve trails throughout the state.”
Photo courtesy Rob Pulver, Michigan Trails Magazine
Old Town, Lansing, MI — The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance would like to thank all members of the Michigan Senate who voted and passed Senate Joint Resolution O today. The resolution helps ensure the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and Michigan State Parks Endowment Fund will be used for the preservation of our state’s natural resources and the citizen’s right to access those resources in a sustainable fashion.
Michigan Trails looks forward to working with all the members of the House of Representatives who support our state park system and local parks and trails to pass this vital legislation. Passage of the legislation would put a question on the August ballot that would allow voters to approve more revenue from the Michigan State Park Endowment Fund to be directed toward building local parks and trails across Michigan. The proposal protects our state parks.
Old Town, Lansing, MI — Bicycling and trail advocates will gather at the Capitol on Wednesday, May 23 to meet with legislators to advocate for policies that help make Michigan a more bike-friendly state. Led by a consortium of like-minded organizations; League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB), Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance (MTGA), Michigan Mountain Biking Association (MMBA) and Programs to Educate All Cyclists (PEAC), the Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day was created in memory of and to continue the legacy of former LMB executive director, Lucinda Means, who worked tirelessly to advance bicycling and the interests of cyclists of all abilities across the state.
The Advocacy Day is held during National Bike Month, which has showcased the many benefits of bicycling each May since 1956. As the popularity of cycling continues to grow, there is work to be done to advance a pro-bike policy and continue support for trail development. Michiganders that enjoy the roads, trails, or dirt single tracks are invited and encouraged to join LMB, MTGA, MMBA and PEAC for Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day to educate legislators on key policy issues to facilitate a bicycle-friendly state at the Michigan State Capital.
Governor Appoints Michigan Trails Director Bob Wilson to Michigan Trails Advisory Council
LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointments of Steven Davis of Marquette and Bob Wilson of Lansing to the Michigan Trails Advisory Council.
The 11-member board advises the Michigan Department of Natural Resources on the creation, development, operation and maintenance of motorized and non-motorized trails in the state, including, but not limited to, snowmobile, biking, equestrian, hiking, off-road vehicle, and skiing trails.
“I thank these two for their commitment to this council,” Snyder said. “I’m confident their work will help create and maintain the vast network of trails here in Michigan.”
Patty Birkholz—Beacon for Conservation and Civility
All of us in the conservation world lost a good friend this past week in the passing of Patty Birkholz. Patty was a public servant at numerous levels, a caring and passionate conservationist, but above all a decent and civil human being who respected and honored the process of lawmaking with her relationships of trust and friendship.
I had the privilege of working with Patty as counsel to the Senate Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee during her two terms in the Senate. Patty set an aggressive agenda working with both Republicans and Democrats to write landmark legislation that will bear her legacy well beyond anything we do to memorialize her.
Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day – May 23, 2018
Advocacy Day is a unique opportunity for road cyclists and trail users of all abilities – casual riders and die-hards alike – to speak with one voice to help make Michigan bicycling better. Hosted by the League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB) in partnership with the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, Michigan Mountain Biking Association and PEAC this collaborative effort brings supporters of all four organizations together to educate legislators on key policy issues that facilitate a more bicycle-friendly Michigan.
This year, Advocacy Day will take place on Wednesday, May 23rd, at the State Capitol in Lansing.
Michigander Bicycle Tour: Explore the Upper Midwest on Two Wheels in the Land of Hemingway
Mary McGuire Slevin, PRLog, Petoskey, January 30, 2018
North Central Michigan is home to excellent trails and towns to be explored on the 27th Annual Michigander Bicycle Tour from July 14-21. Featured towns include Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Harbor Springs, Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Petoskey, and all points in between stretching from Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. This region is known for its scenery; sandy beaches, clear lakes, winding rivers and the expansive shorelines dotted with shipwrecks and lighthouses. The Top of Michigan Trails manages a fantastic network of trails that cover 300 miles of Northern Michigan. Cyclists will experience the following trails: North Central State Trail, North Eastern State Trail, North Western State Trail, Little Traverse Wheelway, Burt Lake Trail, Charlevoix Township Bike Path, and Petoskey City Trails, which combined make up a part of the Great Lake to Lake Trail Route #3 and the Iron Belle Trail. Because of the expanse of this trail network, there are also opportunities for cyclists who like a longer ride to easily take on more miles than the planned routes each day. Cyclists have the option to tour car-free Mackinac Island, which will give Michigander riders the ability to explore up to 70 miles of trails, on the quaint Island that is a National Historic Landmark and considered “One of the Top Ten Islands in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler and National Geographic.
Michigander Bicycle Tour Celebrates Nature
Mary McGuire Slevin, Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance, Lansing, January 25, 2018
The official Michigander Bicycle Tour ride jersey design is a collaboration between ride director Mary McGuire Slevin and Michigan Fitness Foundation graphic designer Charli Holloway. Celebrating nature in North Central Michigan, the art elements give a nod to the rays of the rising sun with Michigan’s State Stone, the Petoskey Stone interpreted in a graphic on the sleeves and sides of the jersey. Then the deep blue grey color of the body of the jersey that depicts to color of night sky, long after the sun is set in the Straits of Mackinac. The deer is perfectly fitting as they are abundant in the Upper Midwest and a welcome sight in the forests of Northern Michigan. The bicycle gears on the front of the jersey and behind the deer celebrate the bicycle. And this classic cycling vacation is all about celebrating summer by leaving the world behind through an active vacation on two wheels.
Charli Holloway is a young, motivated graphic designer who thrives on helping others create a better business for themselves through beautiful, effective designs. Her work ranges from logo design and branding, to layout design and advertising in both print and digital medias. She strives to create simple, yet strong elements that are tailored to brand needs. Charli is continuing to delve deeper into the wonderful world of design to learn new techniques and be an inspiration to others.
Mary McGuire Slevin is also a graphic designer in addition to her work as ride director for the Michigander. Telling a story through art is something she loves to do, and after summering in this region as a child to moving and living on Mackinac Island for over a decade, she has a unique perspective to the colors and landscape of the Straits of Mackinac region.
Together, Charli and Mary had fun creating this design by researching colors and themes that would stand out in the forested trails. Working with the input of the Michigander Committee helped ensure it was fun and representative of this very special region.
For the riders, this is more than something to wear, it is a remembrance of their incredible athletic accomplishment by completing the 2-Day, 6-Day or 8-Day Michigander Bicycle Tour on their summer vacation in Northern Michigan.
Wilson Foundation gives $2 million for 26-mile Recreational Pathway
Kurt Nagl, Crain’s Detroit, July 13, 2017
A 26-mile recreational path in Detroit received a boost Thursday with a $2 million grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation. The money will be used to fund the design and preconstruction of the unfinished portions of the loop, according to a news release from the city. Called the Inner Circle Greenway, the nonmotorized path connects the city’s neighborhoods, parks, commercial corridors, the riverfront and downtown.
The 26th Annual Michigander Bicycle Tour Rolls into the
Most Beautiful Place in America
Mary McGuire Slevin, November 4, 2016
Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance and Michigan Fitness Foundation, the 26th Annual Michigander Bicycle Tour will take place in Traverse City, Leland and Frankfort on the shores of Lake Michigan in Michigan’s Northwest coast from July 15-22, 2017. T=this classic cycling vacation combines beautiful trails, Great Lakes beaches, lighthouses, rivers, virgin white pines, vineyards and more in this vibrant region of the Upper Midwest. Home to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, dubbed the “Most Beautiful Place in America” by tens of thousands of viewers from ABC’s Good Morning America, cyclists will surely be amazed at the inspiring vistas and challenging terrain in what is known as one of the nation’s best kept secrets.
Iron Belle Trail third-round grants now available; proposals due Jan. 9
Kristen Bennett, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, November 4, 2016
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced a third round of grant funding is available for communities and organizations working on sections of trail that will be part of Michigan’s two Iron Belle Trail routes. Proposals are due Jan. 9, 2017.
Communities or eligible non-profits located on the two trail routes are eligible for funding. Approximately $350,000 in grant funding is available and the maximum request is $30,000. A match is highly recommended.
Eligible items for round-three funding include:
- Engineering and design assistance
- Construction project assistance
- Purchase and installation of Iron Belle Trail signage
“Michigan is known as ‘The Trails State’ with good reason,” said Paul Yauk, DNR state trails coordinator. “The Iron Belle Trail connects communities across the entire state. Our partners are making tremendous strides with their grant dollars to make the Iron Belle Trail a reality.”
Yauk also said that recent Iron Belle Trail grants have helped fund projects such as the 1.25-mile extension of the Falling Waters Trail in Concord and the completion of the Bay-Saginaw connector trail that opened in October.
Bicyclists ride to Capitol for Advocacy Day
LANSING – Approximately 80 bicyclists rode to the Capitol this morning as part of the annual Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day. Representatives from the League of Michigan Bicyclists and the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance gathered on the Capitol lawn to discuss proposed legislation to make roadways safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Bikes, brews & beaches: The Michigander’s 25th ride to be hosted in West Michigan
GRAND RAPIDS – Michigan is no stranger to cycling, and once a year dedicated cyclists focus their attention on one long distance event that defines the state. The Michigander Bicycle Tour, hosted by the Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance (MTGA), will this year celebrate its 25th anniversary. A multi-day tour that ranks among the top 10 in the nation, according to Bicycling Magazine, the Michigander celebrates Michigan’s varied landscape and the dedicated and fun-loving cyclists that give the sport a home on the state’s trails. Taking place along West Michigan’s Gold Coast, the region is excited to showcase this year’s theme of “bikes, brews and beaches” from July 16-23.
“It’s just a very fun ride,” says Roger Tuuk, West Michigan Trails and Greenways Coalition (WMTGC) board member and seven-time Michigander cyclist. With three options—a two-day, six-day and eight-day tour (a combination of the two- and six-day tours)—the multi-day tours provides an option for most skill levels. “Anybody can do it,” says Tuuk, adding that some parents even hitch up bicycle trailers and take their children along for the ride.
Dequindre Cut extension opens this weekend
DETROIT – The formal opening Friday of the Dequindre Cut extension does more than add a half-mile addition to the popular strolling and bicycle path. It also marks the latest in Detroit’s growing network of greenways and bike lanes that is making non-motorized transportation a reality in the Motor City.
The expanded Dequindre Cut links into the Midtown Loop of bike lanes and wider sidewalks and one day will connect to the planned Inner Circle Greenway, about 20 miles of non-motorized paths circling greater downtown along mostly unused railroad right-of-way lines. The city also is expanding its pilot program of protected bicycle lanes along East Jefferson and Livernois, separating bikers from motor vehicle traffic. The DetroitRiverfront Conservancy also is working on its next link to expand the city’s award-winning RiverWalk.