Wednesday, July 10, 2024

DNR seeks public comment on trail use for Thunder Valley Equestrian Trail in Marquette County

Feedback welcomed during Monday's in-person and virtual public meeting

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is considering the types of allowable trail use on an Upper Peninsula equestrian trail and is inviting the public to share their ideas during a meeting next week in Marquette County.

Community members are invited to learn more about recent upgrades to the Thunder Valley Equestrian Trail and provide feedback on whether this pathway should allow trail users other than equine. The public meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 15, at the Hiawathaland Snowmobile Club clubhouse, 398 State Highway M-553 in Marquette.

The DNR recently completed improvements to the Thunder Valley EquestrianTrail that extended the pathway from 7 miles to 13.5 miles and added a connection to the Marquette County Fairgrounds.

The Equine Trails Subcommittee is seeking clarification on how the trail will be used and has requested that this possibly be a trail designated exclusively for equine use, said Ron Yesney, Upper Peninsula trails coordinator for the DNR's Parks and Recreation Division.

“The DNR takes recommendations from our advisory workgroups very seriously, and we work to implement their recommendations whenever possible,” Yesney said. “The Thunder Valley Equestrian Trail was built with a primary focus on equestrian use. However, as we consider how a trail may accommodate other uses, we want to be sure to seek public input before making any changes.”

The DNR's Parks and Recreation Division trails staff is committed to working with trail groups to ensure trail users of all kinds have as safe and enjoyable an experience as possible.

Meeting participation

Anyone wishing to speak during the meeting must complete a public hearing comment card prior to the meeting. Each person will be allowed three minutes to comment. A virtual meeting option is also available by using this call-in information:

Please email with any questions about the meeting.

About the DNR trails committees

The Equine Trails Subcommittee, an advisory subcommittee of the Michigan Trails Advisory Council, provides guidance and recommendations on a statewide network of pack and saddle trails.

The Michigan Trails Advisory Council advises the DNR and the governor on the creation, development, operation and maintenance of motorized and nonmotorized trails in the state, including snowmobile, biking, equestrian, hiking, off-road vehicle and skiing trails.

Contact: Ron Yesney, 906-228-6561