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Info & Documents

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail

Opportunities for an “Along the Shore” segment

Let’s work together to create a real legacy!


We believe the “Along the Shore” Route is very desirable, feasible and practical.  This “Along the Shore” route follows historical and existing roads, does not have significant environmental impacts (no wetlands, no clearing of mature forests, no large creek crossings, no removal of protected critical dune hills) and is considerable lower in cost than the proposed alternative along Traverse Lake Road.
We have researched, studied and identified various solutions and have included that information here, including concerns raised by the National Park Service.


Click Here for a quick summary and pictorial overview of the “Along the Shore” route as well as the various difficulties associated with the currently proposed Traverse Lake Road options.


The property owners of Little Traverse have submitted to the National Park Service and the Leelanau County Road Commission over 200 written petitions, representing over 70% of the property owners along Traverse Lake Road, expressing their opposition to the current trail options along Traverse Lake Road.  We are proposing instead a far superior alternative that would be a win-win for everyone involved.  If you would like to sign our petition, or support the “Along the Shore” trail, please contact us.

Click Here for the position paper completed by the Heritage Trail Committee of the Little Traverse Lake Property Owners Association which describes the opportunities and challenges in more detail.


Click Here for the review of the National Park Service’s environmental assessment report on the Heritage Trail that was completed by Mansfield & Associates, Inc.  Mansfield & Associates, Inc. identified various challenges with routing the trail down Traverse Lake Road and also discovered numerous errors, inconsistencies and inadequacies with the Park’s environmental assessment.  They also identified opportunities with an “Along the Shore” route.


The Little Traverse Lake Property Owners Association made a presentation to the Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route Committee at their public meeting held May 21, 2012.  This presentation describes the opportunities for creating the “Along the Shore” Trail as well as highlights the real challenges of constructing a trail along Traverse Lake Road.
We welcome you to view this 20 minute presentation to understand more fully the potential opportunities and present challenges.  Click Here for a pdf copy of the power point presentation.


The “Along the Shore” Route would run along the northern edge of the proposed wilderness area, in a similar fashion as the Traverse Lake Road options run along the southern edge of the proposed wilderness area.  The core of the wilderness area would remain intact and would not be impacted. 
There is less environmental impact to wetlands, creek crossings, mature forests, critical dune hills and wildlife habitat with the “Along the Shore” route as compared to the Traverse Lake Road options.
The proposed wilderness area would need to be modified to accommodate the “Along the Shore” Route and can be done in two ways:
1.  Modify the proposed wilderness map by moving the northern boundary line a few hundred feet 
    south.  The proposed wilderness area was modified in the past to accommodate other portions
    of the Heritage Trail.
2.  Provide a wilderness exclusion for the Heritage Trail similar to the Cottonwood Trail.  The
    Lakeshore’s General Management Plan provided a “wilderness exclusion for the Cottonwood Trail
    to provide an opportunity for large groups to experience the namesake Sleeping Bear Dunes." 
    We believe that it would be appropriate to provide a “"a wilderness exclusion for the Sleeping
    Bear Heritage Trail to provide a unique recreational opportunity for visitors to experience the
    diverse, varied and protected landscapes that make up the natural beauty of Sleeping Bear Dunes
    National Lakeshore."

Full Presentation - "Along the Shore Opportunity" and "Traverse Lake Road Challenges"


Part 1

Traverse Lake Road Options

Part 2

"Along the Shore" Route

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