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Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail Opens; Ribbon Cutting June 20

News Release
June 5, 2012

Patty O'Donnell, Regional Planner, NWMCOG, Voice: (231) 929-5039, Email:
Pam Darling, Marketing and Outreach Director, TART Trails, Inc., Voice: (231) 941-4300, Email:
Tom Ulrich, Deputy Superintendent, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Voice: (231) 326-5135, Email:


Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail Opens
Ribbon Cutting June 20

GLEN ARBOR, MI — The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail officially opens with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Dune Climb on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 1:30pm. The ribbon cutting celebrates the completion of nearly five miles of hard-surfaced, non-motorized trail between Glen Arbor and the Dune Climb. When fully completed, the 27-mile trail will run from the southern edge of the Leelanau County through Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Empire, and Glen Arbor, to Good Harbor Bay. Construction of the remaining segments will continue as funds are raised.

“This spring we surpassed a million dollars in private funding, much of that generated by the local community. We’ve got some big milestones ahead of us this summer to keep trail construction rolling next year, but I think people can now see and experience the trail and benefits it can bring and they’ll want to help keep the project going,” said Julie Clark, executive director of TART Trails.

The trail was included in the National Lakeshore’s most recent management plan and then was analyzed and approved more specifically in an Environmental Assessment.

“The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is the single most exciting project to come out of our recently completed General Management Plan. The Trail will provide a wonderful way to explore and learn about the park and become a meaningful alternative for visitors to travel between park sites and local businesses without having to use their cars," said Dusty Schultz, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Superintendent.

Along with strong financial support from local residents and foundations, trail project partners have also had success obtaining federal and state grant funding. So far the Trail has received $6.3 million in state and federal grants.

“This will be a wonderful day to celebrate the opening of this major segment of the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail after the many years of planning," said Patty O’Donnell, Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail Project Manager - Northwest Michigan Council of Governments. "This segment was chosen as the first to complete because of the connectivity between the Dune Climb, the Group Campground, Historic Glen Haven, D.H. Day Campground, and Glen Arbor.”

Funding for trail construction is secure from the Dune Climb to Empire and Glen Arbor to Port Oneida. To move forward with construction, nearly $500,000 in matching funds are needed. To learn more about the project and how you can be a part of the effort visit or call Pam Darling, Development Director, TART Trails, 231-941-4300.


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- Ty Wessell, Leelanau County Commissioner