Greetings TARTans,
With all the events that summer has to offer, Friday's Tour de TART is one of my favorites. Over the years we've seen lots of changes along the trail and made some great memories. How many of you remember the trip to Suttons Bay when the Leelanau Trail wasn't all paved? Or how about some of Julie and Yvonne's delicious snacks (cream cheese pinwheels!) at the Monstrey bike stop on Bingham?  Now that stop is stocked with sweet, farm fresh cherries and friendly faces of volunteers. We've ridden when the skies opened and the rain poured and we wound up in Suttons Bay cold and wet and comforted by towels warmed in Lois Bahle's own dryer. We've made it through steamy, sweat-soaked rides where we thanked our lucky stars for Suttons Bay Bikes' paddle boards and an escape to the cool waters of the bay. The Brick Wheels luau spot is sacred and a long standing highlight of the tour (a moment of silence for that one year they couldn't make it). While the festivities now end at North Park, Platinum Sound still keeps the beats flowing so dancing on the lawn is an actual thing. There's something nostalgic about riding the school bus back to Traverse City as the sun finally starts to set. It's not fancy. It's just plain fun, with 600 folks that all feel like old friends by the end of the night. Can't wait to see you there.

Julie Clark, Chief Executive Officer


Acme Connector Trail
Progress continues on the 1.8 mile Acme Connector Trail (ACT), serving as the southernmost segment of the Nakwema Trailway. Construction has largely been focused at Acme Creek and the wetland areas on the east side of the project. With significant advancements in this area, construction is returning to the corridor between Mount Hope Road and Bunker Hill Road. Upon completion, the ACT will connect the current TART Trail terminus at Bunker Hill Road to the intersection of M-72 and US-31 in Acme. Stay up to date on trail happenings here.
Meet Kam
Kam just joined the TART team as our summer intern. After attending Ave Maria University in Florida on a basketball scholarship she's boomeranged back to northern Michigan. She plans to put her volunteer skills learned through events such as the Jingle Bell Run, Bayshore Marathon, and Girls on the Run to work. Outside of work, Kam can be found enjoying time with her family, at the beach soaking up sunshine, playing basketball, or utilizing the various trails for a run, bike, or hike. Look out for her around the office or at an event this summer!

A big thank you to our Leelanau Trail Invasive Species Crew (Jerry West, Matt Frye and Pat O'Connor) and to our friends and neighbors at the Leelanau Conservancy (represented by Ben Laird) for their role in protecting the biodiversity of our natural areas. After years of grit and gumption, wild parsnip is starting to get gone at DeYoung Natural Area.

Team TART was stoked to participate in the inaugural Accessible Recreation Day hosted by the Disability Network in partnership with Grand Traverse County and Norte. Huge thanks to these groups for a wonderful event centered around inclusive and adaptive recreation and transportation options in our region. TART Trails proudly offers approximately 50 miles of ADA-compliant trails in its network, including sections of the Buffalo Ridge Trail, Leelanau Trail, Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, the TART, Three Mile Trail, and Boardman Lake Loop Trail.

Applaud along as we show our gratitude to the recently formed Boardman Lake Loop Trail Maintenance Crew. This crew takes on maintenance projects that are outside of the City scope. A few examples of the tasks they tackle are seasonal cleanups, installing signage, repairs to railings, trailhead maintenance, and more. Please give them a big wave and a smile the next time you see them out along the trail.

Many, many thanks to The Oleson Foundation for their continued support through a generous grant to the Traverse Ridge Trail project! TART Trails is collaborating with SEEDS and the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy on a pilot program to construct .5 miles of sustainable single-track trail — part of a larger vision to join Hickory Meadows with the Grand Traverse Commons Natural Area. Learn more about the project here.

The residents at Orchard Creek recently set up shop to offer trail users a nice, cool break from the heat with their pop up popsicle stand. Free popsicles, big smiles, and warm hearts make for a great day on the trail. Thanks to these trail supporters for their generosity and sweetness of giving back. Please remember to practice your three C's of courtesy, caution, and control while cruising through this section of trail to keep it safe and welcoming for all.

Welcome to the newest members of our Sustainers Circle of Donors!

The Isabel Foundation
Ruth Hoppe and Yasmin Richmond
Jason and Arianne Whittaker

Thank you for making happy, healthy, connected communities happen.

Learn more about our Sustainers Circle here.


Thanks to these sponsors for supporting miles of smiles and helping to make this Tour de TART the best it can be. The 2022 Tour de TART is presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network. The event is supported by platinum sponsors: The Simonton-Walsh-Hanosek-Mangum Wealth Management Group and Hagerty Insurance; gold sponsors Insight Optometry, Grand Traverse Pie Company, C&M Insurance Services and David Clark and Phyllis Kirk.


Tour de TART - Friday, July 15
TOMORROW! Best bike ride of the year. Online registration closes tonight at 5pm or, for those who really like to wait till the last minute, day-of registration begins at Darrow Park at 4pm. More info here.
Leelanau Trail Open House - Saturday, July 30
Celebrate with us at the Caboose off Carter Road. Staff and volunteers will be on hand to pass out refreshments, talk LT improvement projects, and celebrate the folks who make it all possible - trail users, community partners, volunteers and donors like you!
Boardman Lake Loop Ribbon Cutting - Friday, August 19
Save the date and mark your calendars folks because we've got some celebrating to do! Stay tuned for more details to come because the champagne will be flowing! 


Do you know the highest point of the Leelanau Trail? And no, it's not a trick question. Although it is indeed a converted rail trail, you aren't imagining the slight steepness in either direction. At its steepest crest the elevation reaches 785 feet above sea level (aka 580 feet above Lake Michigan). See if you can find it (or feel it!) on your next ride up. Hint: it's very near one of our favorite vineyards whose wine is served at Tour de TART.

Bonus Round...
Ever wonder what's inside that iconic caboose? Well, take a sneak peak while it's open during Tour de TART this Friday. See you then!

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