Governor Rick Snyder wants Michigan to be known as “the trail state.” During a special address on an environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient Michigan near Kalamazoo on Wednesday, he laid out the plan for a 599-mile trail that would run from Detroit to Wisconsin through the Upper Peninsula.

Beginning on Belle Isle, Detroit’s inner-city recreational island with a bike path, picnic areas and a beach, the trail will wind north through Flint, Bay City, Mackinaw City, Grand Marais, Munising and through Ironwood on the border of Wisconsin.

Already, 365.5 miles of the proposed trail are existing trails that are in use today. Snyder’s plan hopes to build an additional 233.5 miles of trails to link between the existing routes. Of that, 152 miles are needed in the upper peninsula and 81.5 in the lower peninsula.

“We have unique assets in our state that many other people in the world wish they have,” Snyder said during the address. “Let’s not take it for granted but do something with [them].”

Ultimately, the trail might extend further if connected to Wisconsin’s trail system. In Michigan, the effort is not projected to cost a lot of money since the state does not plan to purchase land for this route. A preliminary map released by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) shows the route, as well as links that are missing and need to be constructed. The department stresses that the map is purely conceptual and that the actual trails may change.

The DNR has already met with communities, the federal government and volunteer groups to determine how the trails can be connected. The non-motorized trail will take participants through the state’s “breathtaking vistas,” forests, prairies, waterways and more dazzling terrain.

Image courtesy of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Slider image courtesy Adam Lynch (LetTheCardsFall) on the flickr Creative Commons

What's Your Reaction?

Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry

2 thoughts on “Michigan’s Governor Proposes 599-mile Trail Connecting Detroit to Wisconsin via the UP

  1. Wow, that is great non motorized trail. How many people do you think will actually use it? It would be an awesome trail system if it was actually able to be used.

    What about people in wheelchairs or not able to hike 599 miles. Wouldn’t it be awesome if they could ride a quad (hand controlled) and be able to enjoy this beautiful country.

    Oh that’s right quads are bad!!! How much money do you suppose quad’s and side by side riders bring to the state? They pay taxes to buy machines, fuel and food and the Governments wants to shut them down.

    bicycle riders bring 2 pair of shorts and $20.00 with and leave with both.

    Great job again by the government to limit the real people that actually pay taxes.

    1. I appreciate your point of view, but many quad/side by side riders, in the enjoyment of a trail, don’t follow posted speeds, trails and rules for riding on a trail. Sharing a path where there would be walkers, joggers, strollers, etc., could be hazardous. I work at an all sports club and the 4×4’s do a nice job in tearing up paths and trails (I mean, who really can avoid the temptation of a nice puddle of mud or a nice whoop de doo?). Our club spends thousands in upkeep on trails that 4x4s use. We also have a difficult time from keeping them off our “walking only” nature trails with non-motorized vehicle signs posted. Maybe a 4×4 trail could be put in adjacent to the walking trail for the enjoyment and safety of all and perhaps all could obey rules and laws (walkers are not completely without “sin”–don’t litter, whatever you pack in, pack out–stop destroying our beautiful Michigan with trash!). It would be nice if they considered both–almost like a motorized and walking Pacific Crest Trail or Appalachian Trail…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *