The Department of Natural Resources encourages mid-Michigan families to explore the natural treasures found within Bay City State Recreation Area during Michigan Trails Week (Sept. 23-29) by participating in the Pedal to the Park trail ride taking place on Saturday, Sept. 29. Registration and guided trail rides will begin from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Veterans Memorial Park’s tennis courts in downtown Bay City.

The Pedal to the Park trail ride is a 7.5-mile trek to Bay City State Recreation Area’s Tobico Marsh following Bangor Township’s paved rail-trail, which links the Bay City River Walk to the state park’s Andersen Nature Trail.

Riders will be able to take a break along the way at several optional information stations highlighting a different outdoor recreation activity presented by local outdoor outfitters and organizations. Participants can earn free Junior Ranger patches by having their Pedal Passport stamped at these rest stations. Souvenir water bottles will be distributed to the first 125 participants. Bicycle helmets are highly recommended.

Michigan Trails Week is sponsored by the DNR, Michigan Recreation and Park Association and the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, and will feature multiple events and activities throughout Michigan during its first celebration of the state’s motorized, non-motorized and water trails.

Register for the ride the day of the event under the Friends of Bay City State Recreation Area’s blue canopy at Veterans Memorial Park’s tennis court parking area. For details, call or stop by the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center, located inside Bay City State Recreation Area, or call 989-667-0717.

More outdoor fun and exercise is available through the DNR’s Recreation 101 program, which provides expert instruction to budding outdoor enthusiasts by offering free, hands-on training in over 100 different activities. Learn about participating or becoming an instructor, at www.michigan.gov/rec101. The DNR also offers ongoing nature programming; check out the schedule at www.michigan.gov/natureprograms.

The Recreation Passport is an easy, affordable way for residents to enjoy and support outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan. By checking “YES” for the $10 Recreation Passport ($5 for motorcycles) when renewing a license plate through the Secretary of State (by mail, kiosk, online at www.expresssos.com or at branch offices), Michigan motorists get access to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, non-motorized state trailhead parking and state boat launches. In addition, Recreation Passport holders can experience real savings at businesses and retailers that participate in the Passport Perks discount program. The Recreation Passport is valid until the next license plate renewal date. Nonresidents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) at any state park or recreation area or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.

Learn more about this creative way of sustaining Michigan’s outdoor recreation and natural resources at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport. For information on Passport Perks shopping discounts or how businesses and retailers can enroll in the program, visit www.michigan.gov/passportperks.

Logo courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources

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