Chesterton Tribune



Cyclists paddlers and planners to create multimodal trail around Great Lakes

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Cyclists, kayakers, 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.”

Recreational users 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.

Conference hosts 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.

Registration is free but is limited to 250 participants.

For information, visit and the Lake Michigan Water Trail Association at


Posted 4/11/2014




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