In the summer of 2015, the Bays de Noc Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Escanaba) contracted the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) to develop a plan to add designated single-track mountain bike trails at the Days River Pathway. Due to staffing changes and multiple factors the plan never gained traction. Now five years later, the newly formed non-profit, Delta County Nonmotorized Trails (DCNT) has worked in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ parks and recreation and forestry divisions to revise the plan to include the addition of a 22 miles of designated single-track trails.
“Single-track trails will be a great addition to the Days River Pathway property, and we’re excited to expand recreation opportunities for trail users,” said Rob Katona, DNR central Upper Peninsula trails specialist.
“The idea of single-track trails at Days River Pathway has been talked about for years and was a big influence on the formation of our organization,” said Tony Lambert, President of DCNT. “We’re so excited to finally make this dream come true.”
As a 501(c)3 non-profit, DCNT’s mission is to create and maintain sustainable non-motorized, multi-use trail systems in and connecting Delta County that use the region’s natural assets and expand recreational opportunities for residents and visitors. With the help of many volunteers, DCNT will work side by side with the DNR to secure resources to complete the new multi-use single-track trails over the course of the next few years.
“We can’t wait to get out, get our hands dirty and build trails”, said Andy Claes, DCNT Board Member, Master Trails Committee Chair
With gently rolling hills and diverse forests, the Days River Pathway is one of the most popular non-motorized trail systems in Delta County. The existing trail system includes five stacked loops for a total of approximately 9 miles, which are utilized by non-motorized sports enthusiasts year round. Originally designed for cross country skiing, the existing trails are quite wide to accommodate for grooming equipment and work well for multiple user groups. Single track trails are generally narrower and provide users a more intimate experience, which is generally preferred by mountain bike users. The new trails will traverse the forest to utilize the natural landscape to provide a flowing trail that will be fun for riders of all skill levels.
“As a hotel owner, it’s hard to miss all of the vehicles with mountain bikes on the back passing through town as they head North. We’re excited to get Delta County on the map as a biking destination for visitors planning a trip to the Upper Peninsula.”, said Jarred Drown, President of Visit Escanaba.
With hundreds of miles of world class biking trails in Marquette, Munising and Copper Harbor, the Upper Peninsula has become a very popular mountain biking destination. Mountain biking has been shown to have a tremendous economic impact on the community.