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Northern Michigan Trail Promotion Project Wins Governor’s Award

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – A project designed to promote trails in northern Michigan has received the Governor’s Award for Innovative Tourism Collaboration. The Up North Trails Collaborative won in the category of Non-Traditional Partnerships for its website and trail promotion efforts connected to the website. The Up North Trails Collaborative is a coalition of 53 organizations in northern Michigan with the goal of promoting all trail systems together for all trail users. The coalition is led by Networks Northwest and the Northeast Michigan Council of Governments. 

The Up North Trails Collaborative brings together regional stakeholders to support and enhance economic development opportunities by developing a comprehensive trail marketing initiative in northern Lower Michigan. The common goal of this collaborative is to promote all the trail systems in a 21-county area to create further opportunities for trail enthusiasts. A grand total of 5,358 miles of trail were identified and mapped. After the data collection was complete, the information was presented through the trail mapping website The collaboration is truly a unique and geographically wide-ranging effort, resulting in a promotional effort throughout northern Michigan.

The Governor’s Awards for Innovative Tourism Collaboration were created by the Michigan Travel Commission, in conjunction with the Governor’s Office, to elevate the status of Michigan’s tourism industry and to promote innovative collaboration as an effective, efficient and creative operating principle for the industry.

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Our Township greatly benefits from Network Northwest's experience, depth of knowledge and understanding. Because they work with so many diverse communities in our ten-county region they understand the local land-use issues and are already working on solutions by the time we realize we need some help.
- Susan Odom, Chair, Suttons Bay Township Planning Commission