Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail and Leelanau Trails both named ‘Pure Michigan’ trails

From staff reports

Representatives from the Pure Michigan campaign recently announced this year’s inaugural picks for the Pure Michigan Trail and Trail Town designation program. Six trails and four trail towns were awarded at a ceremony in South Haven hosted by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Travel Michigan and Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance officials. 

Among the trails listed, two popular area trails were among those awarded the honor: The Leelanau Trail and the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. These trails attract visitors from across the state and around the world, offering much more than a glimpse of the pastoral, beachside beauty of the region.


nice to have this confirmed by having the trails named Pure Michigan Trails.”

TART Trails Executive Director, Julie Clark, added: “The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail and the Leelanau Trail both offer incredible recreation opportunities in our region and we are just thrilled they are receiving this recognition. There are too many partner organizations and individuals to thank for their work over the past two decades to create these gems, but this announcement from Pure Michigan is a tribute to the cast of thousands who have dedicated their support to develop and maintain these treasured trails.”

Kerry Kelly, chairman of the board for Friends of Sleeping Bear shared his excitement of the news: “We have a lot of visitors to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, especially in the summer. Being named a Pure Michigan Trail lets park visitors know that biking is a recreational option at the Park. Biking in the spring and fall (shoulder seasons) is exceptional here, and this designation may encourage people to visit when there are fewer people. Cross-country skiing in the winter is awesome on our groomed trail.“This designation as a Pure Michigan Trail will encourage Park visitors to bring their bikes along when they visit this region. Having both Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail and the Leelanau Trail in the same region gives visitors to the area a couple of amazing trails to ride. It offers them variety on one vacation. “Those of us who ride these trails knew they were great recreational assets to the region.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore superintendent, Scott Tucker added his support and enthusiasm, “We are so excited to learn that The Sleeping Bear Dunes Heritage Trail has received this recognition. We hope it will lead to new opportunities for our park visitors to recreate and experience the lakeshore in a new way on our fully accessible trail.”