Home > Chatter, Cultural Movement, Design the Details, Economics, Grand Visioning, Health, Parks and Recreation, Public Transit > Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail connects Glen Arbor to the dune climb

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail connects Glen Arbor to the dune climb


Go Team

TART Trails executive director gives an interview near the newly Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail.

Yesterday I jumped on BATA’s village connector with my bike to Glen Arbor where I and dozens of other people rode the newly opened Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail from the village to the National Lakeshore dune climb for the grand opening celebrations. The completed section meanders through the woods for the roughly 4.5 miles between the two popular destinations and will be a total of 27-miles, including some road sections, once it is complete.

For more information about the trail and the development forward, visit SleepingBearTrail.org.

Northwest Michigan’s Second Wave’s post from Tuesday, Heritage trails highlight alternative transportation opportunities, also offers highlights to the project and another heritage trail,  Iron Ore Heritage Trail, soon to open in Marquette, MI. Both trails have not only a recreational goal, but also transportation goals to connect popular destinations to nearby villages and cities.

Here’s a video of the last half mile to end at the Dune Climb–Look for a smiling Pam Darling, development director of Traverse Area Recreational Trails, at the end. From the smiles on everyone else’s faces yesterday, it’s easy to see that this trail is going to be enjoyed by thousands every year.

And, one more.

Good work!


Your modest contribution is greatly appreciated.

  1. Nancy Griesinger
    June 21, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Sooooo Beautiful…..quiet enough you can hear the birds sing, ah….let’s hope the trail escapes the minds of “place makers” or else we’ll be seeing a few splash pads along the way, and someday…oh no! Golden Arches????

  2. June 22, 2012 at 11:35 am

    This trail is such a crock and so is TART and their bullying tactics in Leelanau! It’s so funny and disturbing that for years the Park Service and all the “protectors” of the park and surrounding area have vigorously tried to keep out the intrusion of pavement and vehicles. They killed the dune rides that would be abhorrent to any “greener” to think of having in the park in its modern day. Yet when I talked with a friend that works for the road construction crew that actually worked on the trail they laughed at the irony of having big construction equipment where it would never be allowed. On any other day if anyone tried to remove a shovel of soil they would find them self in Federal court!

    Now you have the TART outsiders co-mingling with the part-time opportunists in Glen Arbor to put the trail down the side lawns and back yards of Little Traverse Lake area residents. I love riding my bike as much as anyone, but when the initiatives become political and money driven fodder, I and so many others have had enough of TARTness and the ones that fawn over them and their agendas.
    Will they use the Sleeping Bear Trail as a grant writing tool to inflate their agenda, raise money locally and send it to VASA like they have been doing for years? Like the money you put in the pipes on the Leelanau Trail. Where do you think that money goes?! Many people are just finding out that their little donations do not stay on the trail!
    TART also uses their volunteers like a herd of cattle. Chewing them up and spitting them out till another wide eyed do-gooder comes along. They also seem to despise public service personnel (county and city road crews). As exemplified in their disdain for the Traverse City street crews this past winter in an on going wimpy-mouthed email battle and comments about Traverse City’s DPW work on snow-removal around the trail in TC. TART wanted control of the trail so it’s TARTS responsibility to step up. While TART finally did step up with a volunteer crew and tractor/snow blower; they then kicked them to the side and treated the crew like they were lowly snow shovelers. The people of TC were very grateful for that tractor crew and TART for finally clearing the trail consistently. In the end TART continued their berating of city street service workers.
    The pretty picture of the just opened Sleeping Bear Trail hide what many are coming to realize: TART and their minions really know how to kick the people they shake hands with.

  3. June 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    KC, you certainly have a strong opinion about TART Trails and apparently this specific trail. Note, a trail that opened not because of them, but because of wide coalition of people who wanted to see it happen. However, I don’t have the interest or inclination to refute your accusations–none of which are substantiated or supported with any relevant information or reasoning. Which, is unfortunate, because I think a well-reasoned, researched, and articulated environmental case could be interesting regarding trails through national parkland.

    I suggest that you start a blog dedicated to taking each issue one-by-one you have with TART, and everything else in the community that you feel has gone wrong, and providing relevant information to support your case. Put your name to it, stand for something, and see how it fares under public scrutiny.

  4. Matt Ross
    June 22, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Wow Kc, You sound so angry and sad. I know get your bike and come out to the SBHT. My wife and I are going tonight. I think you will feel better after a nice ride.

  5. tslocum
    June 23, 2012 at 8:15 am

    KC You made some very valid points. Yes, many in the area are weary of TART’s agenda(s) and motivations. You hit a nerve that the greeners don’t want to admit. Matt doesn’t care about how the trail evolved or will effect others that have to live with it everyday. It’s also common knowledge of their elitiste attitudes toward common workers and the city street crews.

  6. Bill
    June 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    KC, it doesn’t take much effort to throw out angry words on the internet. I am concerned that you have not looked into the accuracy of your claims about TART’s “outsiders” and have not given sufficient thought to the planning process that has been underway for years concerning this new trail or about its true environmental impact. I am unclear as to your fear of grants as well. TART has the ability to be the recipients of public and private grants that if not used here in the Traverse City area, will be given to groups elsewhere.

    Trails cost a lot of money to plan and build (as does any infrastructure) and outside funds that supplement local donations are very useful to creating and maintaining the trail system to a standard that everybody wants. Speaking of which, I need to respond to your comments concerning the snow removal effort.

    You need to talk to more of the people involved with this to know how hard the TART staff worked to clear the trails of snow for the first time and how much they truly appreciated the many volunteers, donors and City street crews who made it all possible. One particular member of this volunteer crew (whom from I am assuming you got all your information) believed that TART had unlimited cash and fundraising ability and took the opportunity as a volunteer to use the machine at his own will to plow everything that he felt needed cleared – without regard to the decision making process, funding issues, City crews, and even other volunteer efforts. TART worked with this volunteer the best they could for as long as they could to correct the problem and to show that they appreciated all of their volunteers – even one that went rogue. Despite this, as a first year effort the snow plowing went well – especially since the weather was moderate – and fundraising efforts initiated by volunteers were successful. I am sure that TART hopes to have the ability to be responsible for clearing more trail in the coming years and understands the importance of continuing a good relationship with the City crews that still play an active role as well.

    I would ask that you take a pause and talk to people in a civilized fashion about your concerns before you post inaccuracies and one-sided perceptions in open forums without giving your target an appropriate way to defend the accusations. I am proud of TART and their staff and of the residents of the Traverse City and Sleeping Bear Dunes area for their work on ALL of their trails; TART, Leelanau, VASA, Sleeping Bear, etc. I find it somewhat comforting that residents of this beautiful area love their favorite trail so much that they bash every effort to invest in other trails rather than solely theirs. Thanks TART – you will be a nationally recognized trail system because of your work with these different pathways.

  7. June 24, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I have to say that I am perplexed by the venom directed toward TART. I have only been actively been using the local trail network for about a year now but I have come to consider it something that I almost couldn’t live without. I have had a few exchanges with TART staff and without exception they have all been very pleasant. I would happily become more directly involved with trail maintenance and advocacy in our area as a result of my experience with TART.
    I live in Leelanau County right along the Leelanau Trail and I get to see first hand the benefits that having a well-tended recreation trail available to walk, run or ride on brings. I am excited to have the paving of the Leelanau Trail completed, to get to try out the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, and to enjoy the local trail network as it continues to expand in the years to come.

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