Letters

Letters 8-18-2014

The Climate Clarified

Climate change isn’t an easy subject. A class I’m taking compared it to medicine in a way that was helpful for me: Climate scientists are like planetary physicians. Our understanding of medicine is incomplete, but what we know is useful...

Beware Non-Locally Grown

The article “Farm Fresh?” couldn’t be any more true than exactly stated. As an avid shopper at the local farm markets I want to know “exactly” what I am buying, from GMO free to organic or not organic, sprayed or not sprayed and with what...

Media Bias Must End

I wish to thank Joel Weberman for his letter “Seeking Balanced Israel Coverage.” The pro-Palestinian bias includes TV news coverage...

Proud of My President

The world is a mess. According to many conservative voices, it would not be in such a mess if Obama was not the president. I am finally understanding that the problem with our president is that he is too thoughtful, too rational, too realistic, too inclined to see things differently and change his mind, too compassionate to be the leader of a free world...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Rolling out the New Betsie...
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Rolling out the New Betsie Valley Trail: Region‘s Newest Bike Trail will Connect to Michigan Network

Danielle Horvath - June 10th, 2004
Someday, the Betsie Valley Trail will connect to the Michigan Trailway System which is proposed to stretch over 1,000 miles across the state, creating a web of recreational trails that stretch from Lake Huron to Lake Michigan and from the south state line across the U.P.
A major section of the trail from Elberta to Beulah was paved last fall. When it is completed, the 22-mile piece in Benzie County will connect Thompsonville, Benzonia, Beulah, Frankfort and Elberta. Constructed on the former Ann Arbor Railroad Corridor, it passes around Betsie Bay, crosses through forests and parallels the Betsie River and Crystal Lake.
The project is a partnership project of Benzie County and the Department of Natural Resources. In 1993, the “Friends of Betsie Valley Trail” non-profit, volunteer group formed to encourage the development and operation of a recreational trail in Benzie County. They have been instrumental in generating support for the trail and in raising funds to build it. Other community groups, businesses and individuals have supported the project, from the Benzie Audubon Club, who erected a bird watching platform along the trail in Elberta, to families participating in the Adopt-A-Trail program which takes care of segments along the route.

ON A ROLL
Because of a lengthy court case, it took 10 years from the first meeting to the first pavement, laid in November 2000, to get the trail underway. The asphalt now extends seven miles from Elberta to Mollineaux Road west of Beulah, and then is gravel the next three miles along the segment in front of private homes east of Railroad Point along Crystal Lake. The court settlement case involving property owners along Crystal Lake requires a semi-soft material on the 2.5-mile stretch of the trail along the lake.
The next phase of the trail is the proposed 12-1/2 mile stretch that will connect Beulah to Thompsonville. Plans for trailheads in both Beulah and Thompsonville are underway. The proposed Beulah Trailhead and Visitors Center with bike racks, bathrooms, and parking space, would be located near the old railroad depot, behind the businesses in downtown Beulah. An MDOT grant request is pending and DNR lease agreement is being considered.
“It seems like such a simple concept; after all it’s just a trail, said Sean DuPerron, Betsie Valley Trailway manager, who works under the MSU Extension Office in Benzie County. “But it’s so much more than that. Trail management involves organizing and managing resources, being aware of requirements, keeping the public involved and informed, and much more.”

GET INVOLVED
DuPerron sees the trail as an integral part of the community, with a multitude of uses besides the many bikers, hikers, roller bladers and snowmobilers who use it. “It’s can be used to teach school groups about the local history of the area, particularly the railroads; it can be a tool for master gardeners to share knowledge about the flora and fauna of the area; it’s a chance to see the land from a unique and different perspective,” he explained.
Volunteers are always needed and much appreciated for tasks ranging from folding trail maps to clearing brush and promoting the trail through photography. Anyone interested may contact 231-882-9605 or email: betsievalleytrl@benzie.com.






 
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