Michigan History Center seeks stories for Grayling heritage trail

Dec 28, 2020

The proposed route of the Forest Heritage Trail.
Credit Department of Natural Resources

The Michigan History Center is looking for stories on local history from the public for a trail that will go through Grayling. 

It will connect North Higgins Lake State Park with Hartwick Pines State Park.

 

Daniel Spegel with the Department of Natural Resources and Michigan History Center says this program began in 2013 when the state was looking for ways to expand recreation.

 

“[They got] a number of recommendations. One which included the integration of heritage with outdoor recreation, with trails in particular.” he said.

 

“What they can do is raise awareness of places of history to both local residents and visitors.”

 

The working title for the project is the Forest Heritage Trail, due to Crawford County's strong ties to logging. 

 

“But also, we’re not limiting heritage stories to the forest, so if you have other stories that you feel really share the unique character of the area, please share that as well,” he said. 

 

“We want to be inclusive. We want to tell the story of everybody that lived there, not just of the European people that moved in, but everybody.” 

 

Spegal says including local history along the trails are good for tourism engagement. 

 

“Sharing history along trails is kinda like bringing the museum outdoors where more people can encounter it. This allows people who might not traditionally go to a museum...to learn about the history and character of that place. ”

 

The Michigan History Center is accepting stories about the Grayling area until February. 

 

You can submit your local history story here.