The Department of Natural Resources is planning several new winter GO-Get Outdoors recreational activities for the users of Bay City State Recreation Area in Bay County.

DNR staff will begin grooming and track-setting five miles of trails inside the park, located at 3582 State Park Dr. in Bay City, as soon as adequate snow exists. Grooming will primarily involve the Andersen Trail as well as many of the park’s trails at the Tobico Marsh. One side of the trails will be track-set for cross-country skiers while the other side will be smoothed for hikers and snowshoers.

Novice and experienced hikers and snowshoers are reminded that trail etiquette dictates that non-skiers use the opposite side of the groomed trails to avoid stepping in the set tracks.

“When people leave footprints in the ski tracks, it greatly diminishes the effectiveness of the tracks for skiers,” said DNR Park Manager George Lauinger. “If each type of user stays to his or her side of the trails, Bay City State Recreation Area will be able to accommodate many new types of trail users this year.”

Park staff will also be plowing a one-mile outer loop of the heavily wooded campground for walkers seeking easier terrain than the groomed trails. This is the first year this section of the park will be plowed for those looking for new winter hiking opportunities in the Bay City area.

The DNR is also constructing an access path from the park’s day use parking lot to the Saginaw Bay. This would allow icefishers using snowmobiles or ATVs to legally access the bay from the parking lot. The access path will be located east of Shelter #3 in the day use area. Construction is expected to be completed by mid-December.

Bay City is one of 16 parks that will be participating in Michigan state parks’ “Shoe” Years Day special events on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012. These events are opportunities for those who resolve to get fit in 2012 to take their first step in that direction. Park rangers will be on hand to lead a two-mile hike from the Visitors Center starting at 11 a.m.

For details, contact George Lauinger, 989-684-3020 or e-mail lauingerg@michigan.gov.

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