Municipalities seek to establish Lake Macatawa water trail

Associated Press • Apr 14, 2016 at 1:00 PM

HOLLAND — Four local governments in Ottawa County are collaborating to establish a water trail on Lake Macatawa as part of an effort to designate the City of Holland as a "Pure Michigan Trail Town."

Gov. Rick Snyder recently approved a $300,000 grant to install a universally accessible kayak and canoe launch and other recreational amenities at Dunton Park in Holland Township, The Holland Sentinel reported. Funding is still being sought for similar launches at Kollen Park in Holland, the South Shore Marina in Park Township and Ottawa County's Historic Ottawa Beach.

Each respective local government hopes to secure grants to cover the $45,000 launches. They plan to submit their grant applications by the end of the year, according to Don Swierenga, a local advocate helping to organize the Lake Macatawa water trail.

Holland Township secured funding for Dunton Park amid the $28 million in projects approved last week by Snyder through the Michigan's Natural Resources Trust Fund. The Dunton Park project also includes a floating fishing pier, a picnic shelter, a playground, a restroom building and kayak rental.

In 2014, Snyder signed a law authorizing the state Department of Natural Resources to designate Michigan communities as trail towns. Communities can earn the designation by connecting local trail systems through clear signage, better trail head facilities and establishing easy access between trails and businesses.

The goal of trail towns is to link communities to other local trail systems and the greater Michigan trail system.

The four launches on Lake Macatawa would better link Holland to a Lake Michigan water trail and a future trail on the Macatawa River.

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