Fort Custer Trail Separation becomes Official November 14, 2011

Event: Open house from Noon to 4 p.m. on Monday, November 14

Fort Custer Recreation Area – Trail Separation Announcement

The anticipated separating of the trail system at Fort Custer Recreation Area (FCRA) has progressed rapidly over the past few months and is nearing its final stages of completion. The MI-DNR, Parks and Recreation Division (PRD), is pleased to announce the official trail separation date. Monday, November 14, 2011 will be the beginning of separated trail use at Fort Custer Recreation Area and a new era of safer, well-defined trail use. An Open House is planned at FCRA from noon until 4 p.m. on the November 14 in order to celebrate this accomplishment and to provide information and interim trail maps to guests. This separation effort has increased the trail distance at FCRA from 24 miles of trails to over 30 miles of trails thanks to the tremendous volunteer efforts of the major trail groups, and some much needed development funding from the Parks and Recreation Division.

Beginning on November 14, the trails used by equestrians and mountain bikers will have separate trail heads, and except for the shared use on the Blue Loop around Whitford-Lawler and Jackson Hole Lakes, the two groups will have their own trails.

Beginning the separate trail use by both mountain bikers and equestrians in the fall will give both groups and all visitors some time to become accustomed to the new trail layout, and correct minor issues that each group may identify. The fall separation will also allow the Parks and Recreation Division and all trail participants to make use of the winter months to help spread the word about the separated trails throughout their respective communities. Dog sledders (mushers) will benefit by having opportunities to try out the trails with dog teams and provide further input from their perspective prior to the trails getting active again in the spring. Finally, the PRD will have time to GPS the final trail system, prepare and print quantities of official trail maps for distribution beginning in the spring, and make needed trail sign postings.

It has been a long and consuming process to get to this point. We in the PRD thank everyone involved from the public input process, to the volunteers, to the continued group involvement in future planning and use of the Fort Custer Recreation Area. Your involvement, passion and perseverance throughout this trail separation effort will make Fort Custer Recreation Area an even better and pleasant place for all of our outdoor trail enthusiasts.