Crisp, early mornings after a storm of snow has fallen, is seemingly a sumptuous breakfast for the eyes of snowshoers. In addition, many of the dark evergreens are layered with an abundance of fresh white powder and accented by a clear blue sky seems to be nature’s canvas. The uniqueness of walking through open spaces, forests and on ice is a freedom shoers revel in.
Yet finding these idyllic and edenesque parcels has been a bit difficult at times. However, local Conservancies are taking the initiative throughout many states in an attempt to preserve hundreds of acres of land for public use. With hard work, dedication and of course monies, their efforts in Michigan have certainly made a difference for snowshoe enthusiasts who seek solitude and serenity in the woods. Indeed, shoers seek out conservancy tracts and enjoy some of the finest and scenic paths and trails they have ever been on.
According to the GTRLC (Grand Traverse Land Conservancy) “Of Michigan’s 43 land conservancies, just a handful existed before 1980. The real boom came during the 1990’s, when 20 new conservancies formed. Conservancies run on donations, dues, and endowments-some directed by volunteers, others with paid staffs.” In essence, the conservancies receive donated land from property owners for use as a nature preserve, and others leave it in their wills. In fact, the Little Traverse Conservancy in Emmet County has protected over 27,000 acres in donated, willed or purchased tracts since 1972 and more than 70 miles of lake and stream frontage for public use and enjoyment while arranging for more than 100 conservation easements.
Indeed, Northern Michigan offers a variety of sights, scenes, and sounds for those who snowshoe. In Emmet County try The Bay View woods, the NCMC nature trail or any of the more then thirteen local conservancy tracts. There’s no excuse not to get out there and strap them on.
For more information contact: The Little Traverse Conservancy
3264 Powell Road
Petoskey, Michigan 49740
231 347-1276 fax