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Recreation Resources


A guide to outdoor experiences for recreation enthusiasts in northern Michigan.


Land Information Access Association Trail Towns: Capturing Trail-Based Tourism—A Manual for Communities in Northern Michigan
A resource for communities interested in exploring the trail town concept. The manual covers design concepts, economic considerations, planning recommendations, and more.


Michigan Department of Natural Resources Guidelines for the Development of Community Park, Recreation, Open Space, and Greenway Plans
A booklet describing what a recreation plan must include in order to be approved by the MDNR. Communities must have an approved five-year recreation plan to be eligible to apply for grants available through the State of Michigan for acquiring land for parks or open spaces and developing recreation facilities.
A website featuring writing and photography about northern Michigan’s outdoor recreation opportunities, food and wine, events, history, and more. The website is the home of several regional print publications, including Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.


Nonprofit Needs Assessment for Northwest Michigan

A needs assessment was developed in 2013-2014 to identify challenges for nonprofit organizations in the ten-county Northwest Michigan region, relative to resources, capacity, leadership, revenue, and other issues. The report identifies potential opportunities for addressing challenges experienced by the region's nonprofits in order to better adapt to changing trends and complex communitiy issues.  


Northern Michgian Community Placemaking Guidebook
Information and resources on creating vibrant communities through placemaking. The guide includes a number of case studies from northwest Michigan.


Planning with Green Infrastructure: An Implementation Resource of the New Designs for Growth Guidebook
This publication was developed to aid local governments in their efforts to implement policies included in the New Designs for Growth Guidebook.


Planning for Pathways: An Implementation Resource of the New Designs for Growth Guidebook  

The New Designs for Growth Guidebook recognizes that pathways are increasingly important features in new development and site design, and encourages the creation of pathways as an integral component of communities' transportation networks. This publication was developed to help implement the policies included in the New Designs for Growth Guidebook.


US Forest Service Accessibility Guidebook for Outdoor Recreation and Trails
A guide to help integrate accessibility into planning, design, construction, and maintenance of outdoor recreation facilities and trails.
An online source of trail information for all of Northern Lower Michigan. An interactive map allows users to explore over 5,300 miles of trails, with trail details available for every trail and trail segment.

Networks Northwest always proves to be a valued resource for our local government planning efforts. No organization does a better job of convening partners, promoting collaboration, and reporting on the data than does Networks Northwest
- Ty Wessell, Leelanau County Commissioner