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MICHIGAN — It’s Trails Week in Michigan.
The state of Michigan is home to over 13,000 miles of state-managed trails, with diverse landscapes ranging from pristine national forests to sand dunes, scenic rivers, and even a few mountain paths.
In celebration of “Pure Michigan” and its stunning natural scenery, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance are inviting Michiganders to participate in the 2020 Michigan Trails Week statewide event beginning this Sunday, Sept. 20, through Sunday, Sept. 27.
The event challenges Michiganders to collectively walk, run, ride, hike, bike or paddle 100,000 miles.
“Michigan Trails Week is the perfect time to get out and explore Michigan’s amazing network of trails,” said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division.
Participants are encouraged to register for the event and to log at least one mile to begin tracking their progress during the week, and will earn badges as they go.
Embracing the Wanderlust
“Explore Michigan and report your mileage; it’s that easy,” Olson said.
“Participants earn badges for completing miles – any distance counts. Every badge earned is another entry in a drawing for cool outdoor gear and Michigan branded prizes.”
Those who register will earn a badge every time they:
-Horseback ride for 5 miles
-Walk, run or hike for 5 miles,
-Bike for 10 miles
-Paddle for 2 miles
“Michigan’s rich network of trails throughout the Upper and Lower peninsulas provide residents and visitors with scenic spaces to explore nature, appreciate wildlife, experience solitude, enjoy time with family and friends, and discover the rich history and heritage of the trails,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer in her proclamation of the event.
Michigan is known as “The Trails State” due to its spectacular variety of unique hiking, biking and paddling destinations.
“The state’s trail system is the result of a successful partnership between state agencies, local trails groups, local units of government, non-profit organizations, businesses, and citizens who have come together to connect communities and people.”
Whitmer added that Michigan’s trail system plays a “significant role” in strengthening Michigan’s economy, supporting thousands of jobs and increasing the quality of life for all Michiganders.”
Michigan Trails: By the Numbers
The breakdown of Michigan trails is as follows, according to an official Trails Week infographic released by the state: 7,932 miles of motorized trails, 6,029 snowmobile, 3,871 hiking, 2,079 biking, 1,423 rail-trail, 1,136 cross-country skiing, and 863 equestrian.
According to a Facebook post from the DNR, over 4,000 people have registered for the event.
Those who wish to sign up or learn more can visit Michigan.gov/TrailsWeek. There is no cost to sign up, but those interested may donate funds to complete various trail-related projects across the state.