In 2012,
Michigan Governor
Rick Snyder
unveiled plans for a trail across the state,
about 600 miles from Detroit through
the Upper Peninsula to the Wisconsin
border. The proposed cross-state trail will
connect a number of existing trails, many
of them rail-trails. Snyder’s ambitious
plan immediately attracted praise from
trail advocates and the outdoor recre-
ation industry. Now, all eyes are on The
Wolverine State and its leaders to see how
they are going to make the trail a reality.
At the state capitol building in
Lansing, Snyder sat down with RTC for
a discussion about what Michigan has to
gain by investing in its trail systems.
Obviously you are a busy man.
Do you find time to get out on the
Actually, I do. It’s something I really
enjoy. I have a summer place at Gun
You’ve often noted that trails are
important for Michigan. Why is
It’s a quality-of-life issue. Michiganders
love the outdoors. That’s where trails
are a great opportunity, and I’m really
excited about that—being able to connect
Michiganders and people visiting this state
with the wonderful natural assets we are so
proud of.
I think one of the challenges we face
is to make our trails more connected and
to provide more information about where
they are and the places they connect to.
That’s all about accessibility.
What prompted you to prioritize
the cross-state trail?
I want to give our team credit for that—it
was a terrific idea that came out of a great
team discussion. Obviously the core of
the project is about connectivity, but
right from the beginning we were con-
Lake, right next to the Yankee Springs
Recreation Area, and there are plenty
of trails and opportunities to explore.
It’s a unique place: There’s a state park,
surrounded by a state recreation area,
surrounded by a state game area. I grew
up on the trails out there.
Back in the campaigning days, we
did a snowmobile ride from Marquette
to Escanaba. Well, we were trying to
get to Escanaba, but we made it about
halfway before we ran out of snow. It
was too warm. So we had to get out the
banana boat! We also did a bike ride
on the
[a rail-trail in
downtown Detroit], which was a lot
of fun. I wanted to highlight how you
could go from the riverfront to Eastern
I usually spend some time bike
riding on Mackinac Island. That’s about
the most I get to do on a regular basis.
They keep me very busy here!
A Bold
Vision for
make it happen