FRIENDS OF THE SLEEPING BEAR DUNES wrote -
We are excited to begin the planning process for a possible Mountain Bike trail to be located in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. This proposed trail has generated a lot of interest from members of the community and Mountain Bike enthusiasts. We want the new trail to have beginner, intermediate, and advanced sections, so people of all ages and skills can have fun riding through this natural forest.
This will be a great new addition to the National Lakeshore and a new way for families to enjoy nature! We are raising funds to conduct this planning process. Once funds are in place and the National Lakeshore management determines the project’s priority and allocates staff to the project, it will take several years before a trail is ready for riders – so we need to get the ball rolling! Help us raise money to get this project going. The first phase is planning what the trail system will be.
The 2009 General Management Plan for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore stated, “The wooded area south of the Glen Lakes and east of M-22 is zoned recreation to allow consideration for a possible future designated mountain bike trail system.”
The size of the NPS's Echo Valley area of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is approximately 2,300 acres in the hills south of Glen Lake Narrows.
The planning process will follow National Park Service protocols. An expert in conducting these planning processes will be brought in to facilitate the process and work with National Lakeshore personnel. The first step in the process is to request public input on the project. Several alternatives will be evaluated for their environmental impacts as well as community, traffic, and management impacts.
We envision a trail system that includes loops with different levels of difficulty: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Trail surface would be a single-track constructed of compacted soil and use existing natural contours of hills and valleys. In keeping with the natural beauty of the forested area, we do not envision any built obstacles or challenges. We want this trail to be built and maintained in an environmentally responsible manner.
Maintenance and operation of the proposed trail would be done by trail users coordinated by theFriends of Sleeping Bear Dunes and the local chapter of the International Mountain Bike Association.