- serving the communities of Metro Detroit, Michigan, USA



DNR Announces Naming Contest For New Trail Across Michigan

Lansing, MI - What’s in a name? For the winner of a Department of Natural Resources contest starting Sept. 22, 2014, it’s the chance to be a part of history by suggesting the official name for a landmark bicycling/hiking trail stretching from Belle Isle Park in Detroit to Ironwood in the western Upper Peninsula.

“This contest is a fun, inclusive opportunity for people to share their creativity, draw on their passion for our state’s trails and be involved in celebrating a milestone accomplishment for Michigan’s outdoor recreation,” said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division.

Name suggestions will be accepted now through Oct. 13, 2014. People can submit their ideas online at, via Facebook at, or by mailing in a paper entry form, which is available by visiting and clicking “name the trail.”

Olson said submissions will be judged on creativity, originality and ability to capture the overall character of Michigan. Submissions also should portray the concept of connection, since this trail will link several existing trails and communities in a way that best showcases Michigan’s exceptional natural and cultural resources.

The winner will be offered a choice of several vacation prize packages at locations along the trail:

- The Henry Ford Museum and Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit.
- The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.
- The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park Lodge in Ontonagon.

Runners-up also may be selected to win these prizes.

With the most rail-trail miles of any state and more than 12,000 miles of recreational trails serving a variety of users, Michigan’s acclaim as a national trails leader is well established. This new trail will further enhance Michigan’s reputation as a recreation leader, strengthen connections among communities, and provide new economic opportunities for businesses along the route.

The trail-naming contest is a collaboration among several statewide partners, which reflects the widespread importance and impact of trails on nearby communities.

This Detroit-to-Ironwood trail represents a signature Pure Michigan experience and is supported by the DNR’s Michigan Trails Advisory Council, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Recreation and Park Association and the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance. Representatives from these partner organizations will judge the contest entries and the official name will be announced in early December 2014. If multiple people submit the same winning name, a single winner will be randomly chosen from among those entries.

“This trail will encourage and make it easier for Michigan residents and visitors to experience even more great places in our state,” Olson said. “We’re excited to see the economic, health, social and transportation benefits this trail will ultimately provide for communities and individuals all over Michigan.”

First proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder in November 2012, the nonmotorized trail will stretch across Michigan, linking numerous existing trails to provide both a hiking route and a bicycling route, but sharing a single name. One end of the trail lies in Michigan’s newest state park, Belle Isle (Wayne County); the other is more than 900 miles away in Ironwood (Gogebic County).

Learn more about this new trail and Michigan’s current recreation trail offerings at