For Immediate Release
Contact: Bob Otwell, TART Trails (231) 941-4300
TART Trails grooming Vasa Pathway
ACME TOWNSHIP- (Tuesday, December 23, 2003) Traverse Area Recreation & Transportation Trails (TART Trails) will continue to groom the Vasa Pathway for cross-country skiers this winter despite a lack of funding from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). Traditionally, the TART Trails grooming team grooms the trail all winter and then submits their grooming efforts to the MDNR to be partially reimbursed by the state. This year the state is not funding any cross-country skiing activities and we have lost $6,000-$8,000 in revenue. The trail grooming program will be funded entirely by donations to TART Trails.
The 5, 11 and 27 kilometer loops on the Vasa Pathway were groomed this past weekend and the parking lot was full. The loops are groomed for cross-country skiing (traditional and skating). There also is a 3 kilometer loop that is available for snowshoeing. The trail will be open every day over the holidays.
The Vasa Pathway is open year round, but is used most frequently in the winter months. The trail is managed under agreement with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Grand Traverse County, and TART Trails, and is located amid the pristine beauty of the Pere Marquette State Forest. The Pathway, utilized by cross country skiers, mountain bikers, walkers, and naturalists, features a series of loops and trails that offer both challenging and easier routes for every level of user.
TART Trails, Inc. is a network of four trail systems located in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties utilized by thousands of people who walk, bike, run, in-line skate, cross-country ski and commute. TART Trails connects us to people, to communities, and to our past. The four trails include the Boardman Lake Trail, Leelanau Trail, TART Trail, and Vasa Pathway. The TART trails combine to form 50 miles of recreation and transportation pathways spanning from Suttons Bay to Acme Township. It is estimated that the trails served over 200,000 users in 2002 while preserving valuable community greenspace.