Michigan Trails advocates for trails policy and funding with the Michigan Legislature and the Executive Branch to advance a pro-trails agenda that fits the needs of the non-motorized trails community. We provide testimony, work directly with local trail groups to carry policy positions to the legislature and help to advance funding issues at the state level. Most recently we have polled all current gubernatorial candidates to determine their positions on key trails issues so that trail users can be aware of how these candidates stack up.
Great Lake to Lake Trail, Route 1 – South Haven to Port HuronPlan: Completing the last gap in the trail between Richmond and Port Huron in St.Clair County.
We are just finishing the route determination in Calhoun County, one of the largest gaps, through a grant from Consumers Energy Foundation. Meanwhile, another gap, is being closed with the acquisition of the Wixom, Walled Lake and Commerce Township abandoned rail (a project many years in the making). The last big gap is in St. Clair County from the east end of the Macomb Orchard Trail to the Bridge to Bay Trail on Lake St. Clair. Closing this gap would mean a continuous trail of over 250 miles! The work is to do an optimal location review of a variety of alternatives, pursue community approval, and line up the critical path towards making it happen. Michigan Trails and Greenways has just received a $5,000 DALMAC grant from the Tri-County Bicycle Association to allow this route analysis and community engagement to happen.
Need: Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is actively seeking individual donations to continue to develop the Great Lake to Lake Trail.
The Iron Belle TrailPlan: Complete seamless hiking trail connections in Ingham, Jackson, and Calhoun counties and continuous biking trail connections in Genesee county as part of this cross-state trail network from Belle Isle Park in Detroit to Ironwood at the Michigan/Wisconsin border.
Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is working together with other partners, at the statewide, regional, and local levels to complete this 2,000+ mile trail. Both the hiking trail up the west side of the state and the biking trail along the east side of the state are more than 60 percent complete. The routes both start at Belle Isle Park in Detroit and end in Ironwood at the Michigan/Wisconsin border. In between the trail will experience the gamut of Michigan scenery and attractions, through urban and rural landscapes, forests, meadows and cityscapes, over and under interstate highways, across rivers and around lakes. Visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Iron Belle Trail page for more information on this spectacular project.
Need: The Iron Belle Trail will need $162 million in private dollars to complete the trail in conjunction with public grant funding from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and the federal Transportation Alternatives Program. The Iron Belle Trail team is on the lookout for any potential donors that would like to participate in the fundraising campaign! Email Kristen Bennett, Iron Belle Trail Coordinator at to explore this opportunity!
History Telling Program
Beginning in 2018, Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance has worked in partnership with the Michigan History Center and the Michigan Heritage Trail coordinator, Dan Spegel, to develop a scholarship program to provide tuition support for key graduate students in history programs around Michigan. This work has been funded by generous gifts from Mike Levine and the Meijer Foundation to provide support for these graduate students. These graduate students work closely with Dan Spegel to go out and conduct first-hand research of historical events along Michigan’s trails. Currently, Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is engaging two graduate students—one working on the Mike Levine Lakelands Trail and another to work in conjunction with the Wayne County park system in telling history along the trails in Wayne County. A third graduate student is anticipated to be engaged soon to work up in the central Michigan area. This effort helps to accurately portray and depict historical events along Michigan’s trails as it adds to the depth and the richness of people’s journeys along our trails.
Michigan’s multi-use trails stretch more than 2,100 miles across the state. Trail surfaces are indicated by icons for paved trails, crushed stone, unimproved, boardwalk or road sections as represented in the trail chart. State parks are included as additional places to bike, hike and camp. Listings also include icons when trails are shared with horses, snowmobiles and/or ORVs.
The Michigan Multi-Use Trails Directory & Map is a general overview of the trail system across the state for trails 3.5 miles and longer and is updated biennially. Please refer to the websites listed for each trail for additional details (all websites are linked from the downloadable map, just over the bitly.com address with your curser, then click and open the corresponding website).
Michigan Trail’s and Greenways Alliance 2019 Annual Report
Check out our new release of MTGA’s 2019 Annual Report! This report covers MTGA’s achievements over the past year, including an overview of the Great Lake-to-Lake Trails Inaugural Ride and the 28th Annual Michigander Bicycle Tour.