Middle Grand River Designated as One of First State Water Trails

Water Trail Plan Brings Economic Opportunity, Accessibility to Greater Lansing Region

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced on December 20, 2018 the selection of the Middle Grand River Water Trail as one of the first waterways in Michigan to be a state-designated water trail. A total of eight waterways, covering over 540 miles that flow through more than a dozen counties, were selected as part of the DNR’s new water trails program.

Over the past several months, the DNR has worked on creating a water trails program with the goal of announcing the first designations in 2018. To apply for designation, local water trail organizations had to have established water trail plans that addressed components such as safety, stewardship, historic and cultural resources, education opportunities, funding, signage, management and development, local land and water use laws, and marketing and promotion.

“Outdoor recreation-based tourism is experiencing major growth right now,” said Paul Yauk, DNR’s state trails coordinator. “Designating these rivers as official water trails shines an even brighter light on some incredible natural resources. We fully expect that offering – and expanding – water trail opportunities in Michigan will encourage more outdoor recreation and healthier lifestyles, and also serve as regional destinations that will give a boost to local economies.”