Avalanche Nature Preserve in Boyne City is closer to having a world-class, sustainable and professionally built non-motorized trails thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign and the generosity of over 200 patrons throughout northern Michigan.
The campaign recently surpassed its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 and received a matching grant with funds made possible by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Also contributing to the project is the Charlevoix County Community Foundation.
This project is now underway and trails are being built by a professional trail builder called Dirt Artisans. Work began on Sept. 13 by the 3-man team.
The Dirt Artisans team will be working through the first week of November and plans are to complete approximately six miles of trails in this short time.
Trails of varying skill levels will be completed so there should be a variety of new trails to choose from.
As of Thursday Sept. 29, the first 1.25 miles of new trail were opened for everyone to enjoy and reviews coming in are very positive.
While work is underway on additional trail, people are asked not to ride their bikes on the new non-motorized trails until they are officially opened.
It is very important that the new trail has time to firm up before bikes create ruts which could take significant effort to repair.
When all phases of the project are complete, this project will add almost 10 miles of new, sustainably designed trails that will become a destination trail system for the region.
The new trail is being constructed using current best practices for sustainable trail development providing many years of use with little requirement for ongoing maintenance.
Dirt Artisan’s design is laid out to take into account other users of Avalanche (such as disc golfers and people who enjoy the existing walking trail) and keeps overlap to a minimum.
For full trail plans and design notes please visit: www.tommba.org.
The Top of Michigan Mountain Bike Association is a chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association and is a non-profit advocacy organization serving northern lower Michigan.