Great Lakes News

Great Lakes News

Saugatuck Joins Lake Michigan Water Trail


On March 27, the Saugatuck City Council passed a resolution designating Saugatuck Harbor as a stop along the Lake Michigan Water Trail. By becoming a point on the Michigan Water Trail, Saugatuck joins an effort to demonstrate support for the Michigan trail in the hopes of garnering a National Recreation Trail designation in the near future.

Currently, the Lake Michigan Water Trail winds through Chicago’s lakefront, the coast of Indiana and up to New Buffalo, Michigan. Ultimately, organizers hope to link regional trails to create one large water trail system that runs along the entire Great Lakes Shoreline. By creating a water trail, organizers aim to promote coastal public access.

The Southwest Michigan Planning Commission is gathering support from municipalities, like Saugatuck, in order to submit an application to the National Park Service for National Recreation Trail designation of the Lake Michigan Water Trail. This summer, organizers will submit its collection of letters of support to the National Park Service, which will then determine whether or not to nationally designate the trail.

Becoming part of the trail has no financial obligations for the city beyond a resolution of support. In fact, organizers believe becoming an official trail stop will bring more visitors to municipalities. Each stop will provide paddlers with access to information about conditions and safety guides.

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