Celebrating Trails Week in the U.P.

Michigan has 12,000 miles of trails offering a variety of events.

To get more people introduced to the trails, the state is offering Trails Week, which includes free admission to all federal and state parks.

Officials say they want to encourage people to stay active and experience the state’s natural resources.

“It’s just being able to get out an hike,” Department of Natural Resources Park Ranger Debra Gill said.  “We have a lot of places in this area that people aren’t able to see because they don’t go out.”

“My favorite is Hogsback, I think it’s because once you get up high, Marquette is just phenomenal.”

Michigan is the national leader in the number of miles of trails, and offers substantial benefits to the state’s economy.

“Trails Week isn’t just about getting out and hiking trails, it’s also about going on the ORV trails, the dirt bike trails, the bicycle pathways, and equestrian trails,” DNR Park Ranger Michael Knack said.  “There’s a variety of different trail opportunities for residents to enjoy.”

Gill and Knack say while enjoying the trails should be fun for everyone, it’s important to put safety first.

“During the year, we see a lot of students get lost when it gets dark,” Gill said.  “Just knowing the trail system pretty well, and getting kids out there to see the trails to see it themselves, they’ll be less likely to be lost, which is a good thing.”

A free guided tour of Blueberry Ridge Pathways will start at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon.