“Hopefully, people will use it,” said Steve Nauta, a village councilman and member of the village’s Parks and Recreation Board. “It’s a nice alternative to not have to go all the way to Hoffmaster to snowshoe or cross-country ski. I think it’s a quick, easy exercise and a nice little trail. It will be a nice addition to the village.”
The mile-long stretch is located in the wooded area north of Lakeside Trail from North Buchanan to Fruitport Road.
Nauta and Village Manager Ryan Cotton began marking the trail last season. More than 50 volunteers trimmed limbs and brush to make the path accessible.
A winter recreational trail was the third-highest priority in the village’s 2009 Community Recreation Plan.
“I go out to Hoffmaster and Coast Guard Park a lot,” Nauta said. “When I don’t have time, it will be nice to go on a quick hike here. I will use it with both snow shoes and cross-country skis.”
Snowshoers are asked to walk alongside the ski tracks and not in them.
“The more people use the ski trail, the better it will be,” Nauta said. “People have to ferment the path by using it. We want to get the word out.”
Village resident Patrick Schullo walked his dogs on Lakeside Trail on Wednesday afternoon. He said he was thrilled with the new trail.
“I’m all excited about it,” said Schullo, who has been driving south to Ottawa County’s Pigeon Creek Park to ski. “The dogs will like it, too. They can follow behind me and get some cardio-vascular exercise. This is awesome, and it’s only a mile from my house.”
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