EMPIRE (AP) – U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin say that Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has received a $1.3 million federal transportation grant to continue work on a 27-mile hike-and-bike trail.

The Michigan Democrats said Thursday that the money comes from a U.S. Department of Transportation program aimed at reducing vehicle congestion at national parks.  Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is along Lake Michigan in the northwestern Lower Peninsula.

The grant will help complete the first phase of the Sleeping Bear Heritage trail connecting the villages of Empire and Glenn Arbor.

The hard-surfaced 27-mile trail is parallel to state highways 22 and 109 and seeks to provide a safe, non-motorized, multi-use transportation alternative to the roads. Planning started about 10 years ago.

 Online:  Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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