Recreation and parks are a significant and integral player in Northwest Michigan’s health, economy, and quality of life.

How does recreation affect our economy?

Northwest Michigan has a tremendous variety of recreation for all seasons. Hiking, biking, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, downhill and cross-country skiing, swimming, boating, and many more activities are available in the region’s forests, open spaces, rivers, lakes, and neighborhoods. In addition to these outdoor activities, residents can use the region’s many parks and recreation facilities for swimming, ice skating, physical fitness, and organized sports.
The region boasts over 2,500 miles of motorized and non-motorized trails. Motorized trails include those that were designed to accommodate motorcycles, ORVs, or snowmobiles, while hiking, biking, horseback riding and snowshoeing are among uses permitted on non-motorized trails. Multi-use trails are those designed to accommodate multiple user types simultaneously, such as pedestrians and cyclists. Other trails might be designed and designated for certain uses, such as hiking trails, a bike path, or snowmobile or ORV route.

Source: A Framework for Recreation in Northwest Michigan; EMSI, 2014

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