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April 19, 2011

MADISON -- The public is invited to share their comments on a proposed 450-mile water trail along the Lake Michigan shoreline during an open house April 28 in Milwaukee and another one May 3 in Green Bay.

The draft plan would establish the new Lake Michigan Water Trail network along the Wisconsin shoreline of Lake Michigan from the Michigan border at Marinette to the Illinois border south of Kenosha. When finalized, it will be the second longest trail in the state, behind the 1,000-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

A water trail is a route along a waterbody for people using small beachable boats like kayaks, canoes, day sailors or rowboats. Water trails are linked by shoreline facilities that support water travel and the variety of natural, cultural and historic resources a traveler encounters along the way.

There are currently eight other established water trails in Wisconsin.

The draft Lake Michigan Water Trail Plan identifies gaps or zones where further public access is needed to complete this trail. These zones would be targeted to increase public land holdings along the shoreline. The plan also proposes developing a branding strategy that local communities and private affiliates can embrace as a Lake Michigan Water Trail Network, and provides for educational opportunities that will encourage the understanding of the Lake Michigan ecosystem.

Participants at the open houses will have opportunity to review Lake Michigan water access points and associated facilities. During the open houses participants will be asked to review maps and information about a variety of water access points that could become part of a Lake Michigan Water Trail.

The goal of the open houses is to gain more knowledge about water access points along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Staff from the Wisconsin State Park System, National Park Service and Bay Lake Regional Planning Commission will facilitate review input, provide maps and background information.

Both open houses will run from 5 to 7 p.m., with a short presentation at 5:30 p.m. to provide background information:

  • April 28, Milwaukee - Milwaukee Public Library Bay View Branch, 2566 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
  • May 3, Green Bay - Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission Office, 438 South Jackson St.
  • People also can provide comments by regular mail, email or phone through May 13, 2011. For information, questions or to submit email comments can contact Jeff Prey, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, PO Box 7921, PR/6, Madison WI 53703 (608) 266-2182

    More information about this project is available on the Lake Michigan Water Trail page.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Prey, (608) 266-2182

    Last Revised: Tuesday, April 19, 2011

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