The Planning Process

Michigan’s trails span the vast mature forestland of the western Upper Peninsula and travel to the urban center of the city of Detroit. Trails may be state-owned or managed in partnership with other private and public landowners. The DNR owns, manages and maintains a diverse array of motorized and nonmotorized trails, also referred to as the state trail system. Currently, there are more than 13,000 miles of state-designated trails. Trail type, by the numbers, can be found on the Trail Mileage Dashboard.

Family in snowy winter landscape on cross-country-ski
Woman in a kayak on the river on the scenic sunset

The DNR is updating the plan by incorporating the diverse needs and perspectives of all trail users. The planning process includes existing plan review, facilitated public meetings with, state trail advisory groups stakeholders and DNR staff and circulation of a statewide electronic questionnaire to collect feedback from the public on the draft plan.

State trail advisory groups are groups of citizens selected to advise the DNR and governor on Michigan’s motorized and nonmotorized trails. The groups include the Michigan Trails Advisory CouncilOff-Road Vehicle Advisory WorkgroupSnowmobile Advisory WorkgroupNonmotorized Advisory Workgroup and Equestrian Trails Subcommittee. Specifically, the advisory groups will provide input on the previous trail plan in winter 2020 and review the draft goals and objectives during winter-spring 2021. Once all input from the draft plan review is collected, a final version will be publicly available summer 2021.

Trails Plan Timeline

Fall–Winter 2019

  • Project kickoff.
  • 2013–2018 trails plan and supplemental agency reports reviewed.

Winter–Spring 2020

  • Trails advisory group engagement and outreach conducted.

Summer 2020

  • Draft goals and objectives presented to DNR for internal review.
  • Draft goals and objectives posted on website.

Fall–Winter 2020

  • Public input on draft goals and objectives collected through an online survey and public meetings throughout the state.

Winter–Spring 2021

  • Trails advisory group engagement and outreach conducted.

Summer 2021

  • Final plan approved by the DNR.
  • Final plan released.