Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Sunday

January 19, 2014

Man plans canopy walkway through the trees

TRAVERSE CITY — Northern Michigan’s trees are a big draw for visitors, but it can be a challenge to experience such vibrant foliage at eye level.

Mark Evans, a resident of British Columbia, hopes to sharpen that focus by building a canopy walk, or a pathway along the upper level of the forest in Leelanau County’s Kasson Township. Evans built several such walkways around the world, albeit on a larger scale.

“It takes people through the forest and exposes them in a way they’ve not seen it before,” Evans said. “Everyone has seen it at ground level, but very few people have walked through the canopy level.”

The walk would be the first of its kind in North America. Evans has a vision for the project, called the Sleeping Bear Air Walk, to be both a tourist attraction and an educational tool for local students.

Evans expects the nonprofit would charge somewhere around $15 for adults and $9 for children. But some locals are wary that the project could be a blemish on the area’s bucolic atmosphere.

Last month, Evans and his business partner Bob Barnes shared their canopy idea with the Kasson Township Planning Commission, though they’ve yet to file a formal application to build such an attraction. Evans said he’s trying to pull together an estimate of the project’s cost over the next few weeks and expects it to be between $4 and $6 million.

The walkway would weave through an 83-acre parcel near Fritz and Baatz roads with an average elevation of 60 feet. Twelve towers would be installed to support the 2,000-foot-long path.

The area is zoned for residential development, and Evans would need to apply for an outdoor recreational establishment permit, said Mike Lanham,

Kasson Township’s zoning administrator.

Evans said the walkway likely would be open from May through October.

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Swiftair Loses Contact With Air Algerie Aircraft LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam