There are many good reasons – more than 13,000 – that Michigan continues to build its reputation as the Trails State. Whether you’re into hiking, biking, horseback riding, snowmobiling, off-roading or paddling, it’s pretty easy to find a trail nearby. Michigan offers 13,000 miles of state-managed trails. Some of them serve multiple uses, which means a collective 7,932 miles of motorized trails and 4,668 miles of nonmotorized trails.
During Michigan Trails Week – Sunday to Sunday, Sept. 20 to 27 – the Department of Natural Resources encourages everyone to celebrate and discover a spectacular trails system that provides safe, outdoor space for recreation, alternative paths for transportation and an economic boost for many communities.
“Michigan’s trails are a public treasure, and they’re here for everyone,” said Paul Yauk, state trails coordinator, DNR Parks and Recreation Division. “These eight days of Michigan Trails Week are a great opportunity to check out new trails, visit old favorites or maybe try a new activity on trails that take you past small towns, urban centers, historic sites, state parks and stunning natural settings.”
As part of the celebration, the DNR is partnering with the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance and communities around the state to highlight trail opportunities all year long.
Get ready to hit the trails
Join a brand-new effort to maximize miles during the Michigan Trails Week Challenge. Newcomers or veteran trail users, everyone is welcome to walk, run, ride, hike, bike or paddle the trails. The DNR and the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance have set a collective statewide goal of 100,000 miles. Visit Michigan.gov/TrailsWeek to learn more, sign up for the challenge and help make every mile count.
Support the future of trails
The value of all of Michigan’s state, county and local trails has become even more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, as more people turn to the outdoors for socially distanced opportunities to relax and recharge mentally and physically. Everyone can play a role in ensuring Michigan’s trails are available, accessible and properly maintained, and there are several upcoming opportunities to get involved:
From Oct. 1 through Oct. 22 the DNR is hosting seven virtual public meetings to talk about updating the 2013 Statewide Trails Plan. Visit MichiganTrailsPlan.org to register for a meeting, learn about the department’s draft vision and goals or complete an online survey.
On Saturday, Sept. 26, many states celebrate National Public Lands Day, traditionally the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort that honors the connection between people and community green spaces. Learn more about this effort and think about ways to give back to Michigan’s trails.
Right now, the DNR is working on updating the public land strategy to guide the care and management of the 4.6 million acres of resources – state parks, trails, forests, hunting land and more – it manages. Trails enthusiasts are urged to visit Michigan.gov/PublicLands and lend their voices to the discussion.
Use the Trails Week toolkit
For more information about Michigan’s trails system and Michigan Trails Week, including statistics, the governor’s 2020 proclamation, safety information, photos and more, visit Michigan.gov/TrailsWeek.