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Mike Levine Lakelands Trail

A wood sign announces the Mike Levine Lakelands Trail, a trail bordered by trees and a road

Mike Levine Lakelands Trail

Newest Heritage Trail

The Mike Levine Lakelands Trail runs 33 miles between Hamburg Township in Livingston County and Blackman Township in Jackson County. Opened to the public in 1994 as the Lakelands Trail State Park, it is a popular destination for people looking to enjoy the outdoors. The trail is also a component of the Great Lake to Lakes Trails Route #1, which extends 275 from South Haven to Port Huron. Local philanthropist, Mike Levine, contributed extensive resources to transform the corridor into an improved trail. In 2018, the DNR changed the trail’s name to the Mike Levine Lakelands Trail State Park in recognition of Mike’s efforts.

In December 2018, the DNR Heritage Trail Program held the first community engagement meeting for a project to add 12 interpretive signs along the trail. Thanks to a grant from Mike Levine, Josh Kaminski, then a graduate student in Eastern Michigan University’s Historic Preservation Program, assisted on the project for two years. The Heritage Trail Coordinator and Kaminski met regularly with members of the community to identify the area’s important stories, conduct research, and acquire images.

In November 2021, Michigan History Center staff and volunteers installed 11 signs interpreting the natural and cultural history along the trail. People can cross the Huron River and travel along the “Chain of Lakes,” learning about the Pottawatomi and the area’s resort history along the way. They will discover remnants of the railroad era and learn how it transformed the area in the 1880s. Trail users can learn the history of communities they pass through, some of which date back to the 1830’s. Other stories include artist Baltasar Martinez, novelist Mary Clavers, the Edwin S. George Preserve, and the Jackson prison.

A twelfth interpretive sign will be added once the trail surface is improved 3.7 miles to Blackman Township in fall 2022. The new signs are in addition to five that the MotorCities National Heritage Area had previously installed on the eastern section of the trail. With seventeen interpreted historic stops, the Mike Levine Lakelands Trail is an outdoor recreation and cultural destination for all to enjoy.

Lakelands Heritage Trail Map

Download a PDF of the Lakelands trail map.

a map of the lakelands trail