By Jessica Mathews /

Michigan Trails Week is underway and Livingston County residents are encouraged to get outdoors.

It’s Michigan Trails Week and the Department of Natural Resources says Michigan’s trails are a public treasure and they’re here for everyone. The MDNR is encouraging everyone to celebrate and discover a spectacular trails system that provides safe, outdoor space for recreation, alternative paths for transportation and an economic boost for many communities. Officials say the eight days of Michigan Trails Week are a great opportunity to check out new trails, visit old favorites or maybe try a new activity on trails that take people past small towns, urban centers, historic sites, state parks or natural settings.

Whether hiking, biking, horseback riding, snowmobiling, off-roading or paddling, officials say it’s pretty easy to find a trail nearby. Michigan offers 13,000 miles of state-managed trails and a new effort is underway this year to maximize miles during Michigan Trails Week. For those who are up to it, there’s a Michigan Trails Week Challenge.
The DNR's Michelle Coss deals with fund and resource development and works with groups to raise funds for special park and trail projects. She says the week is celebrated every year but this time they decided to do a non-motorized challenge that invites trail users to walk, run, ride, hike, bike or paddle the trails and log distance. Coss says any distance counts and as people reach different milestones, they earn badges and then get entered into drawings. Every badge earned is another entry into a drawing for outdoor gear and Michigan branded prizes. The DNR and the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance have set a collective statewide goal of 100,000 miles

Coss noted there are also seven identified trail projects throughout the state covering different disciplines and people can sign up to get involved or donate. Among those is the Huron Waterloo Pathway Initiative. For more information or to sign up for the challenge, visit the provided link.