Scenic Manistee Area Recreation Trails
Vision: A County that has a well developed & connected trail system.
The Friends of SMART is an advocacy group committed to helping create, promote, maintain, and connect trails within Manistee County and to the growing trail system in Michigan.
The Friends of SMART is a 501c-3 non-profit organization focused on non-motorized recreation trail advocacy in Manistee County, Michigan. It is our goal to advocate through fundraising and community support through strategic partnerships including:
Benzie – Manistee Snowbirds
Shoreline Cycling Club
Manistee County government services/Manistee County Recreation Committee
Thompsonville Area Revitalization
as well as the gracious support of many other individuals and businesses!
What we do
We advocate for trail development as part of the larger picture of an inter-connected regional trail system.
We fund-raise for trail development funding through grants and community functions.
We volunteer to spread the word about our local trail developments, fund-raising, and physical trail stewardship to maintain our trails.
What we have Accomplished
The Friends of SMART have been on the forefront of trail development here in Manistee County! Through combined efforts we have begun work on a trail system that many generations will be able to utilize, enjoy, and hopefully have fun on.
Gravel trail between Chief to Kaleva was laid in late 2021 in a collaborative effort by Snowbirds, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Friends of SMART, and the Manistee County Recreation Commission as part of the long-term plan to develop a multi-use trail system throughout the county.
Currently in Progress
EDA Grant through Networks Northwest.
The grant will fund two separate projects along two separate trail routes.
- Trail surfacing and amenities (signage, gates, trailhead) will be implemented along a 3.4 mile section of abandoned railroad bed between the Village of Thompsonville and the Village of Copemish, which will extend the Betsie Valley Trail as a year-round trail to Copemish.
- Placement of a bridge over Bear Creek in Springdale Township along a separate abandoned railroad bed which connects the Village of Thompsonville to the Village of Kaleva allowing for immediate use during the winter months by snowmobilers.
Future trail development is in the works!
Latest from our blog
SMARTrails Encourages Letters of Support for County Hirings
Regional Director of Community Development at Networks Northwest
Excited and ready for our trail developments!
Actively involved with many organizations including Cleon Township.
Outdoor ready while keeping multiple organizations in financial check as the treasurer.
Trail steward and advocate of the outdoors.
Great supporter of SMART and trail advocate.
Avid cyclist and advocate for the cycling community.
President of the Benzie-Manistee Snowbirds and an active advocate who works closely with the DNR to accomplish trailwork.
Marketing And Community Relations – Filer Credit Union | Race Director/Co-Founder NOMI Racing | Friends of SMARTRAILS Manistee trail advocacy