- Associated Press - Monday, December 1, 2014

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - A new trail that’s part of the VASA pathway is up and running just in time for winter.

Although it’s meant for fat tire biking, it’s open to everyone. The path was built due to of the growing popularity of fat tire biking, WPBN-TV (https://bit.ly/1AQxp41 ) reported.

Last winter, it was difficult for skiers and bikers to share the 25 kilometer path, so they came together to work out a solution.

“The VASA pathway for the past 20 plus years has been traditionally only skiing during the winter,” said state Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation Supervisor Tim Schreiner.

“A lot of people feel a lot of ownership of the trail so whenever a new user comes on there’s often some conflicts,” said coalition member Michele Howard. “So we decided if we can make a new trail that it would help people to get along better.”

So the bikers and skiers created a coalition to do just that. It only took five weeks to get the trail proposal approved by the DNR, something that often takes up to a year.

“It’s unheard of to get a trail proposal done as quickly as we did,” said coalition member Glen Ruczynski. “And that was because we teamed up as a group rather than going our separate ways and I think we got a lot of great things ahead of us it’s going to be a fun winter.”

The new trail is 15 kilometers and starts off of Supply Road. Those who have already used the trail for fat tire biking it say it’s a great addition to the VASA pathways.

“The fun part is you can pretty much go anywhere,” said Howard. “You really kind of feel like you’re a tank and you start riding around and you get this goofy grin on your face and it’s just quiet you get to enjoy the woods.”

And this new trail is only just the start.

“We’re known as the trail state, we’ve got over 12,000 miles of trails, that’s a lot of pathways, and it’s not enough,” said Schreiner. “People want more and what we talked about tonight was the need for more and how this group came together and actually built it during the course of the summer and we know our job is not done.”

The coalition is also fundraising to buy new grooming equipment and has volunteers who will keep the path cleared.

Coalition members say the trail is relatively flat with only a few hills, so it’s a great path for bikers of all levels.

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Information from: WPBN-TV, https://www.tv7-4.com


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