The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance
The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is a nonprofit organization that fosters and facilitates the creation of an interconnected statewide system of trails and greenways for recreation, health, transportation, economic development and environmental/cultural preservation purposes.
By partnering with citizen groups, public agencies, railroads, and others, MTGA facilitates the building of trails across the state. There were fewer than 25 trailways in Michigan in 1988. Today, Michigan stands at #1 in the country with 118 trails totaling 2,623 miles.
Through technical assistance and advocacy, MTGA brings together, often for the first time, those interested in economic development, recreation, historic preservation, conservation, nonmotorized transportation and health, with the common objective of building a trailway and connections to it as a key community asset.
MTGA also provides the following services on a regular basis:
- A Technical Report offering trail news and know-how — sent to approximately 500 trail builders
- Quarterly “Trailblazing in Michigan” Newsletter sent to MTGA members
- Statewide Trail Directory — biannually updated and distributed on an ongoing basis to Michigan’s welcome centers and the general public
- The annual Michigander Bicycle Tour — a 2-day, 6-day, or 7-day trip utilizing trails and connecting roads, named as one of Bicycling Magazine’s Top Ten favorite multi-day tours in the U.S.
MTGA is involved with, and promotes, several events including Michigan Trails Week and National Trails Day.
Michigan Trails Week
Michigan Trails Week is a weeklong campaign, sponsored by Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Recreation and Park Association and Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, highlighting events and volunteer activities along the state’s vast network of trails. The inaugural event took place September 23–29, 2012. Find a calendar of events, trail locations, and an event planner’s toolkit at the Department of Natural Resources website
National Trails Day
National Trails Day is an annual national celebration of trails, held on the first Saturday in June. It was originated by the American Hiking Society in 1993 to increase awareness about trails and celebrate the hard work and support of many people and partners, including volunteers, land agencies, communities and businesses that help make trails happen.
Events have ranged from trail dedications, hikes, bike and horse rides, paddle trips, trail maintenance, and many other activities. Whatever you like to do on trails, you’re likely to find an event to fit your interests.