Sleeping Bear Dunes: Five miles of the new Sleeping Bear Dunes bike trail, linking Glen Arbor to the Dune Climb, are set to open to the public on Wednesday, June 20, 2012. The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail officially will open with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1:30 p.m. at the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore Dune Climb. When fully completed, the trail will cover 27 miles from the southern edge of Leelanau Country through Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Empire, and Glen Arbor to Good Harbor Bay. Construction of the remaining segments of the trail will continue as funds are raised. See a map of the first five miles of the Sleeping Bear bike trail.
As is typical for Northern Michigan, the local community has played a strong role in the development of the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. Julie Clark, Executive Director of Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation (TART) Trails, Inc., is appreciative of support from community members and foundations. "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 we can now see and experience the trail and benefits it can bring, and they’ll want to help keep the project going.”
Patty O’Donnell, Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail Project Manager – Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, is excited about the trail’s success in obtaining federal and state grant funding. “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! 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 secured 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 sleepingbeartrail.org or call Pam Darling, Development Director, TART Trails, 231.941.4300.
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