The Manistee County Community Foundation (MCCF) has collaborated to support the development of a multi-use trail network to connect communities throughout Manistee County.
MCCF partnered with the State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to leverage nearly $1.4 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to support regional trail development efforts in Northern Manistee County and a portion of Benzie County.
The EDA grant was awarded through the Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Program funded by the American Rescue Plan. MCCF’s award was made possible by the Minger Family Endowment Fund and is the largest single grant award in the foundation’s 35-year history.
“The Manistee County Community Foundation is excited to make this historic investment in our community which was made possible through a remarkable estate gift from Forest R. Minger, Jr.,” Laura Heintzelman, president and CEO of MCCF said. “We are honored to continue to build Mr. Minger’s legacy through this grant which helped leverage significant additional funding and galvanized community partners around a shared vision to expand access to recreation.”
According to an MCCF press release, trail enhancements will include universally accessible aggregate surfacing, improved pedestrian road crossings, trailheads and signage, and allow for greater snowmobile, pedestrian and other non-motorized use.
On a separate trail segment between the Village of Thompsonville and the Village of Kaleva, a bridge will be placed over Bear Creek in Springdale Township allowing the railroad bed to be utilized by snowmobilers and pedestrians and setting the stage for future surfacing and improvements for other non-motorized uses, including an envisioned trail connection to the City of Manistee.