This week, Gov. Rick Snyder directed the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to focus on connecting trails -through cooperation with private and non-profit partners and the use of their own resources- to create a trail from Detroit to the Wisconsin border.
Snyder said the hiking and biking trail, which would wind for more than 900 miles, would be intended to be a showcase trail to help showcase Michigan as the Trail State.
We think this is a great idea and would attract larger numbers of visitors to Michigan to enjoy our great outdoor experiences. State officials think the trail could be completed within five years.
In his message on "Ensuring Our Future: Energy and the Environment" delivered this week, Snyder said Michigan has more total trail miles than just about any other state.
"Much of the credit goes to volunteers who have shoveled, raked, trimmed and groomed these trails on their own time and often at their own expense," Snyder said. "This shows the real appetite Michiganders have for quality trails and points to the opportunity we have to be the number one trail state."
Snyder said he was directing the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, Michigan Snowmobile and Trail Advisory Committee, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Michigan Department of Transportation to align and prioritize their efforts to support and create trail connections.
The trail connections would be developed across a patchwork of state, federal and private lands, with easements necessary in some areas. Cost estimates for the trail were still being developed, along with a name for the trail.
In the Upper Peninsula, some of the existing trails which would be part of the connection network include the North Country Trail and Lakeshore Trail at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
We applaud both state officials and the governor for developing and championing this idea, with looking toward the future with another positive image for Pure Michigan.