Crowdfunding campaign launched to create the ‘Ultimate Trailhead’ in Northern Michigan

Nate Pilon, MEDC

Friday, September 18, 2015

$38,150 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

Lansing, Mich. – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Top of Michigan Trails Council today announced a new crowdfunding campaign through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity. The campaign will support the transformation of a historic limestone cottage at the intersection of Little Traverse Wheelway and North Western State Trail connecting Petoskey and Harbor Springs into an education and activities center.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $38,150 by Oct. 23, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“Public Spaces Community Places is a great resource to help communities leverage their unique strengths into awesome spaces for the public to enjoy,” said MEDC Community Development Director Katharine Czarnecki. “We are excited to partner in this project and help enhance Michigan’s beautiful trail network.”

In 2014, Michigan State University conducted a survey on the Little Traverse Wheelway and a seven-mile stretch of the North Western State Trail that runs from Petoskey to Alanson. MSU calculated that during non-snow months, the trails were used over 100,000 times and users generated approximately $750,000 in the Petoskey-Harbor Springs-Alanson area. The survey found that many of the trail users did not have access to information about trail network in Northern Michigan.

The Ultimate Trailhead education center will feature maps, information on health and wellness, safety training, youth and family programs, and provide a location where the council can plan, execute and evaluate programs to help communities realize the economic, health, and wellness benefits from the trails.

“Over the past 30 years our communities in Northern Michigan have built hundreds of miles of trails,” said Steve Biggs, the President of the board of TOMTC. “Now it is time for those trails to build our communities - the Ultimate Trailhead will make that happen.”

The launch of the campaign comes on the eve of Michigan Trails Week, a weeklong celebration Sep. 19-26 that features a variety of events in honor of Michigan's extensive trail network.

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity where local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, non-profits and other business entities can apply at

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About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.