Hikers, bicyclists, off-road vehicle users, horseback riders, and other trail enthusiasts can now more easily locate and enjoy the vast network of trails and other points of interest in northern Lower Michigan by using the interactive website upnorthtrails.org, recently launched by the Up North Trails Collaborative.
The collaborative, a partnership of more than 50 organizations and agencies led by the Northwest and Northeast Michigan Councils of Governments and Department of Natural Resources, designed the new website to connect the public with more than 5,300 miles of motorized and non-motorized trails in the northern Lower Peninsula.
The Up North Trails website allows users to search for trails based on type of use and/or location, and also serves as a source of information on trail systems throughout the state.
“There are more miles of trails in the northern Lower Peninsula than the distance from Anchorage to Miami,” said Kerry Wieber, DNR liaison to the Up North Trails Collaborative. “The website will help customers find information on all of these trails in one place, regardless of whether it is a state trail or managed by another organization or local unit of government.”
The user-friendly features of upnorthtrails.org include:
An interactive trails map that can be filtered for type of use and location
Detailed information about each individual trail, including any changes in type of use for specific segments of trail
Trailhead locations and points of interest near each trail
A mobile-friendly design, which is fully functional on tablets, mobile phones and other devices
“We wanted to give users a one-stop-shop for information about our trail systems,” said Denise Cline, GIS specialist for the Northeast Michigan Council of Governments. “Up North Trails is a valuable new tool for everyone looking to get outside in northern Michigan.”
The goal of the Up North Trails Collaborative in creating the new website was to promote northern Michigan’s abundance of trails to all user groups, driving recreational and economic activity in the region.
“Up North Trails is the first website of its kind in Michigan, providing information about all trail systems in the region, whether you are a bicyclist, snowmobiler, hiker or horseback rider,” said Matt McCauley, Director of Regional Planning and Community Development for the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments. “We hope it will provide a fun, engaging, and useful way for residents and visitors to locate new outdoor adventures.”
Up North Trails Collaborative member groups include the DNR, NEMCOG, NWMCOG, Top of Michigan Trails Council, Land Information Access Association (LIAA), Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation Trails (TART Trails), Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy and Cheboygan County.
The collaborative is supported financially by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Rotary Charities, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information about the Up North Trails Collaborative, visit www.upnorthtrails.org and click on “About”.