Public Celebrates Dedication of Maplehurst Natural Area in Antrim County

“We had strong community support.”

A gem of Northern Michigan is now open for public enjoyment.

Saturday the public came out to celebrate the dedication and opening of the Maplehurst Natural Area.

From 1955 until 2011 the area was used as a camp for children.

Since the camp closed the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy has been working to buy the land for the public.

The state funded $1.9 million and the community raised $2 million to make it happen.

The 400 acres of land will be a place for hiking, biking, bird watching, cross country skiing and more.

“Seventy percent of the residents of Milton Township said preserving this and opening it to the public with trails was a priority. State and community money combined to make this happen and it’s a huge accomplishment and it’ll be open to the public and protected forever,” says the executive director of the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, Glen Chown.

No motorized vehicles will be allowed on the trails, or motorized boats on Maplehurst Lake.

Additionally, no hunting will be allowed.

Chown says volunteers are working on making trails for the area. The goal is to have six miles of trails finished by the end of 2020.