New Winter Recreation Trail Open At Leelanau State Park
If you’re looking for a new way to get out and enjoy all the fresh snow on the ground this week — you’re in luck!
A brand new trail just opened up at the Leelanau State Park.
It was an abandoned snow mobile trail — that hasn’t been used in about 40 years.
Hundreds of volunteers came together to groom the new trail so it can be enjoyed by people who love all sorts of winter sports.
“You can hike, you can ski, oh you can snow shoe and you can fat bike,” said vice president of Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association, Chad Jordan,
All those adventures have something in common…
“Human powered outdoor recreation,” he said.
The only motorized vehicle allowed on this brand new stretch of trail is a snow mobile used to groom the trail.
“The fact it’s routinely groomed, it’s gonna keep a solid surface, it’s more enjoyable, it enhances the trail experience,” explained Jordan.
The new trail is about 7 miles long, shown in orange.
The older, 9 mile trail — shown in red — is not routinely groomed.
“You call it back country experience and so people go out and ski or hike and they’re making their own experience,” he said.
People in the area asked park staff for the trail addition. Once it got approved, it rolled into existence pretty quickly.
“It just happened in October so this is like record time and there’s a ton of volunteers we cleared literally hundreds of downed trees in these old trails that hadn’t been maintained in decades and so we doubled the territory that’s available while still keeping most of it for skiiers only,” said owner of north shore operator, Will Harper.
Now that the hard part is done, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the glide.
“Everyone’s gonna love the new territory,” Harper said. “Let’s get out in the snow!”
There’s a six inch snow minimum to enjoy the trail.
It will be open until April 1.
To get to the start of the trail, take M-22 though Northport. Pass Woosley Memorial Airport, turn left on Densmore Road, and drive on Densmore Road until you reach the trailhead.