Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail Officially Opens
A ribbon cutting on June 20 marked the official opening of the first segment of the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, which runs about five miles from the Dune Climb at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to Glen Arbor. While that was the official opening, the hard-surfaced, non-motorized trail had already seen plenty of use since construction was completed in the spring.
"This officially opens the park to a user group that has never had an opportunity before," said Tom Ulrich, deputy superintendent at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. "People on bicycles, wheelchairs, strollers, and rollerblades have never before had an opportunity to safely enjoy the fantastic place that is Sleeping Bear Dunes."
When it is completed, the Heritage Trail will run 27 miles through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore from Empire to Good Harbor Bay. Prior to the ribbon cutting a variety of people, including the National Park Service's Midwest Regional Director, talked about what the trail will mean to the park and the surrounding area.
"This trail will give people options other than their cars to get around the park and to the park as the connections happen and even more importantly in to neighboring communities engaging the business community," said Mike Reynolds, Midwest regional director for the National Park Service.
"What trails mean to northwest lower Michigan is quality of life," said Julie Clark, executive director of TART Trails. "It's a choice that you have, and it's a pleasant one, for getting to places you want to go as well as being that tourist attraction."
"As we were in the planning for this trail what we wanted to make sure of was that this fit our mission which is to get people in to the resource and provide them access in a way that doesn't diminish it," said Ulrich. "The trail is perfect for that."
Related Info: Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route
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