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.

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

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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

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