According to a March 13 press release from Boyne City Manager Michael Cain, the Top of Michigan Mountain Bike Association (TOMMBA) has received an $18,500 grant from the Northwest Michigan Health Department for trailbuilding at Avalanche in Boyne City.
The Health Department’s Building Healthy Communities Greenspace Improvement Projects to Increase Physical Activity program seeks to increase physical activity in Northwest Michigan communities.
The grant was awarded on the basis of improved physical activity, infrastructure improvement and encouraging new participants to use the greenspace.
Last fall, professional trailbuilders Dirt Artisans completed Phase One of 9.7 miles of well-designed, sustainable multi-use trails being developed at Avalanche.
They will return in June for Phase Two and complete the overall project before the end of July.
The work will have very minimal impact on the use of other trails or park resources.
Improving Parks and Recreation was adopted by the Boyne City City Commission in 2016 as one of Boyne City’s top three goals.
In addition Boyne City’s Main Street Program at its February meeting named Outdoor Recreation as its number one community priority for 2017.
Trail development at Avalanche brings additional recreational and economic vitality to the region with the development of Avalanche and other area trails making Boyne City a year-round destination for bikers, hikers and cross-country skiers of all ages and abilities.
The community has come together in fundraising with over $200,000 in donations, including a successful $50,000 Patronicity crowdfunding campaign in 2016 supported by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Avalanche is part of the City of Boyne City parks system and is located on its south side.
It is a vital community asset, used by residents and visitors alike for a wide variety of outdoor recreational uses.
The existing trail system had become eroded and was in need of improvement.
The new trails developed over the two project phases are designed to meet the needs of a wide range of riders, from beginner to expert, to be environmentally friendly and help ensure they will remain a high quality community resource for many years to come.
The newest trails at Avalanche will be completed in time for the first-ever Michigan Mountain Bike Festival, being held in Boyne Aug. 25-27.
The event will bring to Boyne hundreds of mountain bikers and their families from throughout the Midwest.
Three days of presentations, skill clinics, rides, concerts and demonstrations will showcase the outdoor recreation assets and trails that Boyne offers.
More information on the festival is available at www.mmba.org.