CADILLAC — The path moseys through fields and branches.
Or maybe you’re following a course by boat, pushed along by a river or following a shoreline.
Maybe you’re paddling. Maybe you’re walking. Maybe you’re pedaling. Maybe you’re motoring.
If it’s a trail in this part of Michigan, you’ve got a lot of options.
“We have everything up here,‘ said Scott Slavin, a trail specialist in the Cadillac district of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
The Department is in the middle of re-examining the state’s trails strategy and is asking people to participate in a survey that will help them develop a guidance document akin to a strategic plan for the state’s 13,000 miles of trails.
“We ask people a lot about their use of trails,‘ said Dakota Hewlett, the Iron-Belle Trail coordinator with the Parks and Recreation division of the DNR. “The information that we’re interested in is, how they use trails, what type of activities do they do? Where do they use trails? Where are they from?‘
Slavin said he expects the survey will reflect a lot of interest in motorized trails in Wexford, Missaukee, Lake and Osceola counties.
Off-road vehicles, dirt-biking, side-by-sides and ATVs are all popular here, and even more so since the state opened up forest roads to ORV use. People travel here to go use ORVs on the trails, Slavin said.
“It’s really turning into a family sport,‘ Slavin said.
The survey is at https://michigantrailsplan.org.
There are also virtual discussions coming up in October, where trail users can talk with the state about their priorities. The northern Lower Peninsula session is planned for Thursday, Oct. 8, 6 p.m. (northern Lower Peninsula region). Additionally, there will be sessions specifically for non-motorized trails on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 6 p.m. and water trails on Thursday, Oct. 22, 6 p.m.