September 20, 2017

OUR VIEW: Michigan Trails Week

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We live in a state that is blessed with plentiful natural resources. Michigan boasts 11,000 inland lakes, 3,200 miles of freshwater shorelines, 36,000 miles of rivers and streams, 8 million acres of public hunting land, 153 species of fish, 102 state parks, two national forests, three national parks, two national lakeshores and more lighthouses than any other state.

So it is no wonder why Gov. Rick Snyder recently proclaimed Sept. 17-24 as Michigan’s third official trails week.

In a state with 4,010 miles of hiking trails, 1,398 miles of equestrian trails, 3,660 miles of ORV trails, 1,483 miles of bicycle trails, 6,204 miles of snowmobile trails, celebrating the expansive trail systems in Michigan makes good sense.

With today’s world of social media time and again you hear news of a new holiday or a day, week or month that is dedicated to awareness or recognition of something — everything from Payroll Week to International Bacon Day — and while many of the reasons for them may be admirable, Michigan Trails Week is something we can get behind.

What better time to step outside than in early autumn? With the mornings often starting out crisp and fresh and the days warming to a comfortable short-sleeve level, celebrating Michigan’s abundant trail network in early fall provides residents the perfect opportunity to leap off the couch and hit the trails.

Anyone who claims there is nothing to do in the state needs to remember the state motto, featured on our coat of arms and the great seal: “Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amaenam Circumspice” or “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.”

If you are a novice to the great outdoors, swing by your local sporting goods store or state recreation area, or reach out to some friends and chat them up. There are numerous places to get information on how to get out and participate in the dozens of hobbies many enjoy.

Pure Michigan boasts that in Michigan you are never more than six miles from a lake or stream, and if you stand anywhere in the state, you are within 85 miles of a Great Lake.

Grab up your family or friends and head out in any of the cardinal directions, and you will find a plethora of adventures on Michigan’s trail network.

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