regional planners, and government officials from the U.S. and Canada will
gather in Saugatuck, Mich. on May 15 and 16, for the Great Lakes Coastal
Trail Conference to formalize the development of a “multi-modal” kayak,
biking and motor corridor around the shoreline of all five Great Lakes and
the St. Lawrence River.
According to Dr.
Dave Lemberg, Associate Professor, Department of Geography at Western
Michigan University and Conference Coordinator, “The objective of this
conference will be to establish a long distance recreational trail unlike
any in North America. Imagine a loop around the shores of all of the Great
Lakes and the St. Lawrence River, longer than the Appalachian Trail and the
Pacific Crest Trail combined. Imagine an experience mixing cosmopolitan
urban centers, resort beach towns, wilderness areas, national lakeshores,
and state and provincial parklands.”
He added, “Two
years ago, we met to put together a multi-modal trail around Lake Michigan.
That dream is quickly becoming a reality. Our goal is to work with
conference participants from the U.S. and Canada to create a world class
destination for tourist and vacationers here and abroad.”
and planning agencies around the Lakes have been working independently for
many years to develop water trails and bicycle routes, adding to the
existing Great Lakes Circle Tours to attract visitors and outdoor
enthusiasts to the region. Conference organizers say the meeting will
provide an opportunity to integrate these independent efforts around the
Lakes and between the States and Provinces into an international multi-modal
trail through a collaborative planning process.
include the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Coastal Zone
Management Program, the Lake Michigan Water Trail Association, the National
Park Service-Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, the
Michigan Department of Transportation, the Michigan Department of Natural
Resources, the Saugatuck-Douglas Convention Visitors Bureau and the
Adventure Cycling Association.
free but is limited to 250 participants.
visit wmich.edu/glcms/lmconf/index.html and the Lake Michigan Water Trail