Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

July 6, 2014

Forum: Extend Heritage Trail along CR 669 to Good Harbor Bay

With the completion of the multi-use Heritage Recreational Trail from the Dune Climb to Empire, the focus now turns to constructing the trail eastward from Glen Arbor. We highly encourage the construction of the Heritage Trail northward from M-22 along CR 669 to Good Harbor Beach, using federally owned land that avoids traversing private property.

National Park Service officials have indicated that CR 669 will be promoted as a “spur” for the Heritage Trail. The Park Service has indicated they will place directional signs letting trail users on the M-22 route know they can turn north onto CR 669 and access Good Harbor Beach and associated facilities. We believe this should be more than just a secondary thought or suggestion — make it part of the Heritage Trail.

We believe there is great merit to actually constructing the recreational trail alongside CR 669 (or inclusion of very wide shoulders) north to Lake Michigan. The north end of CR 669 has improved parking, picnic and restroom facilities and would create an important beginning point for Heritage Trail users that wish to use the Heritage Trail toward Port Oneida. These existing improved facilities and parking space are rare features along the Heritage Trail and should be utilized. This route would be on Park Service property without transgressing private property.

Almost all of the road right of way of CR 669 is already cleared of vegetation. CR 669 already has a wide shoulder base that could easily be used for paving wide designated bicycle lanes or even used for constructing a separate trailway. CR 669 is in desperate need of upgrading so this would be the perfect time to consider accommodating the Heritage Trail and do so in a way that separates trail users from road traffic. This is also a very quick and cost-effective way to provide trail users access to Good Harbor Bay and allow them to use existing parking and restroom facilities.

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