Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail
The SBHT idea came from the Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route (LSHR) Committee. The State of Michigan designated the LSHR in 2002 to promote measures which preserve and enhance the scenic, historical, and recreational characteristics of Michigan Highways 22, 109, and 204 as they traverse the rural countryside and unique villages of Leelanau County, including Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
The LSHR Committee is made up of representatives from all 12 townships and villages along the route, Leelanau County, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the National Park Service, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, several private organizations, and local citizens. The Northwest Michigan Council of Governments coordinates the Committee’s activities. Information and materials on the LSHR can be found at www.nwm.org/lshr.asp. The SBHT concept is supported by all members of the LSHR and is the group’s top priority.
Planning for the SBHT began in 2005 when the LSHR Committee suggested the concept to the National Park Service. The SBHT received repeated public reviews in the National Lakeshore’s recent General Management Plan process, and was included in the final Plan. In 2009, an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the SBHT was completed that demonstrated that the SBHT will have no significant impact on the environment.
Construction of the SBHT will occur in segments over a period of approximately ten years at a projected cost of $10 million. It is anticipated that 50% of the cost will be funded through federal and state grant sources and 50% raised philanthropically over the first five years of the project. Over $2.5 million in grant funding has already been secured.
Did You Know?
The Piping Plover is an endangered species that makes its home on the wide open beaches of Lakes Michigan and Superior. Several nesting pairs have made the shores of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore their home. Their nesting areas have been marked so they will not be disturbed.