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Northwest Michigan Bike Trails

Betsie Valley Trail

The Betsie Valley Trail is 22 miles long and extends from Frankfort through Elberta and Beulah to Thompsonville in Benzie County Michigan (see map and trail description on Trail Tour page). From Frankfort to Beulah it is non-motorized. All of it is excellent for bicycles and pedestrian use. The 6 miles from Frankfort to Mollineaux Rd. is asphalt and is good for roller blading. From Beulah to Thompsonville (13 miles) the compacted aggregate trail is open to snowmobiles from December through March.

The trail is owned by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and is operated and maintained by Benzie County. The Friends of the Betsie Valley Trail (FBVT) is a Michigan not for profit corporation formed in 1993 "to advocate, promote and encourage the development and successful operation of a recreational trail on the former Ann Arbor Railroad corridor in Benzie County." FBVT is a benevolent friend of the trail. It supports the efforts of the DNR and County and intends to see that the trail is built, maintained and enjoyed.


The 10.5 mile long TART Trail is a paved urban transportation corridor with an eastern end point at M-72 (Bates Road) in Acme Township and a western end point at the M-22/M-72 intersection in Traverse City.

The eastern trail section from M-72 to Lautner Road is 2 miles, then the trail leapfrogs to Bunker Hill Road and continues for 8.4 miles into Traverse City. At its western end point the TART trail connects to the Leelanau Trail, which runs north to Suttons Bay.

The TART Trail's route gives users views of both West and East Grand Traverse Bays, through Traverse City neighborhoods and the Mitchell Creek watershed. Locals and visitors alike are found enjoying the TART, including families, bicyclists, dog walkers, parents pushing strollers and in-line skaters.


The trailway will run for 27 miles from the northern end of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, where M-22 and County Road 651 meet, to a point just south of Empire on Manning Road. The first 5-mile segment from Glen Arbor to the Dune Climb will be open late June of 2012.

To accommodate hikers, bicyclists, walkers, cross-country skiers and people of all physical abilities, the trail will measure 10 feet wide and have two-foot shoulders, and the surface will alternate between asphalt and smoothly compacted crushed limestone. Boardwalks will trace above wetlands to avoid filling any of these critical habitat areas. For the most part, the trail will run parallel to existing road corridors, and in the places where it departs, the trail will be built over old logging roads, abandoned railroads and existing trails to keep forest disruption to a minimum. Where the trail runs though the villages of Glen Arbor and Empire, users will divert to low-traffic roads, on routes approved by village councils.

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