Whether it’s on foot or on horseback, a mountain bike or a snowmobile – or even in a canoe – Michigan has a trail for you.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared Sept. 22-29 as Trails Week in Michigan, which state officials say provides a great opportunity to hit the trails for the first time, revisit familiar favorites or try out a new trail adventure.
Michigan has more than 12,500 miles of designated trails, including more rail-trail miles than any other state.
“It doesn’t matter the season, it doesn’t matter where you are in the state, Michigan has your trail,” said Paul Yauk, state trails coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Parks and Recreation Division. “It’s unbelievable the number of trails available across the state. They’re a great resource to help people stay healthy and active, explore history, or just have fun.”
Michigan boasts the 2,050-mile Iron Belle Trail, the longest state-designated trail in the nation. With two distinct routes – one for hiking and one for biking – the trail is a catalyst for communities across Michigan to connect to each other. The trail stretches from Belle Isle in Detroit to Ironwood in the western Upper Peninsula.
Michigan Trails Week not only celebrates trails on land, but also water trails. Earlier this year, state officials announced Michigan’s first-ever designated water trails and launched the Pure Michigan Trails and Trail Towns program, which recognized six trails and four trail towns for having broad community support, a sustainable maintenance and marketing plan, and providing users with a quality trail experience.
“Michigan’s vast and diverse trails system plays a big role in stimulating tourism and encouraging healthy lifestyles for all ages,” said DNR Parks and Recreation chief Ron Olson. “We deeply appreciate all of our trail partners who are critical to sustaining quality trails throughout the state.”