Soon, paddlers will have their own water trail along the shores of Lake Michigan.
The trail will be dotted with information — where good places are to pull up your boat, where good towns and parks are to visit — and all will be complemented with a website.
“It’s going to be part of the Lake Michigan water trail,” said Harry Burkholder, community planner with Traverse City’s Land Information Access Association. “Over the next year, the State of Michigan’s coastal zone program funded about 12 different water trail planning projects across the state. One of them is Lake Michigan — there’s no official water trail on Lake Michigan.”
Eventually, the water trail will extend around the perimeter of the entire lake. According to Michelle Foster, regional planner for the Traverse City-based Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, the northern region of the trail will include 335 miles of Lake Michigan coastline.
“The workshop on Wednesday is designed to recruit volunteers to help inventory access sites and proposed routes, and interesting features on the route,” said Burkholder. “It’s one volunteer opportunity of many for Lake Michigan planning project done over the course of next year.”
The groups are also looking for volunteers to provide access site inventories, photographs, suggestions for enhancements and narrative descriptions of the trail sections, wrote Foster in an email.
Burkholder said the trail will have a unifying sign theme and will offer mapping. Information for the water trail will be available on a website, www.michiganwatertrails.org.
The organizations establishing the water trail include the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s coastal zones management program, the Land Information Access Association as well as other groups.
“We hope to get a lot of people out there on Wednesday and get some enthusiasm around a water trail,” said Burkholder.
Those who can’t make the Wednesday meeting but would still like to volunteer can contact Foster at (231) 929-5039 or email@example.com.
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