Considering TOMMBA is 100% volunteer driven, 2021 proved to be a very productive year. Here is a look back at most of the accomplishments made. You and your support make all of this possible!
We are excited to bring you more great trails in 2022. Please consider supporting TOMMBA in our future endeavors:
Harbor Springs Trails Update
The trailhead known as the “Meadows” was closed by the property owners in late October, 2018 cutting off many mountain bikers from easily accessing the vast trail system in the Harbor Springs area. TOMMBA is working with the Michigan DNR and the other property owners (Harbor Springs Public Schools, Boyne Highlands, Little Traverse Conservancy) encompassing the Harbor Springs trails to protect and recognize this system.
Local riders may have seen signs posted by the DNR regarding upcoming logging operations. Some sections will be clear-cut and some will be select-cut. These operations are planned to begin within the next few months to 2 years. Some of the clear-cut forest management is required in the Red Pine stands due to a fungus called Heterobasidion Root Disease (HRD) and attempts to eradicate and/or minimize the spread. This DNR forestry management has been on their schedule prior to being aware of the existing trails but they are making efforts to minimize trail damage.
If you’re seeing a LOT of new flagging along some of the trails, TOMMBA volunteers have begun flagging the existing trail corridors in these stands in hopes of minimizing the logger’s impact. Flagging is completed on the trails along Big Foot Rd and we are working on the northern stands next, hoping to get it completed before hunting season begins.
Here is a link to the MI DNR GIS website: https://midnr.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=43579d040c7d4860b125e405f531d465 - zoom in to the Harbor Springs area and you can see more information. While the DNR site doesn’t yet show the existing trails, here are a couple of images with the trails added showing where logging will take place. Specifically in the stands numbered: 31, 32, 42, 27, 29, 35, 36, 38, 39:
Harbor Springs Trails - South sections near Warwick Rd
Harbor Springs Trails - North sections
Please know that TOMMBA continues to work to preserve and protect the trails in the Harbor Springs area ensuring we have great places and trails to ride!
Fall mountain biking in northern Michigan has its challenges. Leaf-covered trails, dwindling daylight, lake-effect rain/snow, daily temperature swings, just to name a few. So when the conditions align, you want to take advantage as much as possible...save for the last two weeks of November.
If you’re new to Michigan or maybe just unfamiliar with another very popular sport: Firearm Deer Hunting Season runs from November 15-30th each year and draws hunters from around the state and those surrounding. Hunting is allowed on most MI state-owned lands, many conservancy properties, as well as some private lands. Most deer hunters only get these two-weeks each year to hunt.
For these reasons we suggest being safe as well as respectful and asking that you take a break from riding in the woods during this season. If you feel you absolutely need to go for a ride, you can ride the Avalanche trails in Boyne City. The park is completely within city limits and hunting there is not permitted.
If you do choose to ride during firearm hunting season (outside of Avalanche):
Thank you and have a safe November!
Join TOMMBA for a Trail Ride in Gaylord at the Aspen Park Trails, Wednesday, October 20th at 5:30 pm.
After the ride we'll head to Snowbelt Brewing Co's Biergarten room (and if the weather's not great for the ride, we'll just meet at Snowbelt :)
This will be an introduction to the trails (for those unfamiliar) and an opportunity to meet with the local crew and talk about Gaylord trails, growth, work, and volunteering!
We hope to see you there! If you have any questions, please email our board member Lynn: email@example.com
Please join us for the Trail Discovery and Ribbon Cutting for the new addition to the Boyne Forest Trail System, called Double Dog. It is scheduled for Saturday, August 21st, 2021 at 10:00 AM at the new West Trailhead on Old Horton Bay Road.
The new Double Dog trail is part of the Boyne Forest Trail System, a network of sustainable multi-use trails being constructed by the Top of Michigan Mountain Bike Association (TOMMBA) under agreements with the City of Boyne City, Walloon Lake Association and Conservancy, Evangeline Township, State of Michigan DNR and Boyne City Public Schools. TOMMBA and the City of Boyne City have been partners for over a decade in the development and maintenance of several multi-use trails at Avalanche Park in the City.
“Creating new recreational assets for a region is a strong strategy for economic development and local pride, and this project is another example of how Boyne City continues to enhance the sense of place in its community and improve the quality of life for its residents and visitors,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman.
At the Trail Discovery and Ribbon Cutting everyone will experience the evolution of a multi-use trail system, learn about the partners who make it happen, and why sustainable trail design is so important. For those who choose to ride the trails Saturday morning, we will have giveaways and random prizes at various points along the new trails.
In 2019, the Walloon Lake Association and Conservancy (WLAC) completed a land acquisition project that contained 43 acres of land adjacent to the Boyne Forest Trail system. This acquisition was a critical connector that allowed for the existing Boyne Forest Trail system to be connected to this new Conservancy property and more land owned by the City of Boyne City. The WLAC partnership with TOMMBA expands trails and promotes recreational mountain biking around Walloon Lake.
In 2020, $20,000 of County parks & recreation millage funds were allocated by Charlevoix County to The City of Boyne City and Evangeline Township for the construction of a parking lot and trailhead area along Old Horton Bay Road, just north of Boyne City. The State of Michigan approved the repurposing of a portion of the former City landfill site turning an undesirable use into a regional asset. TOMMBA is also contributing $15,000 towards the parking lot and trailhead.
TOMMBA, established in 2012, has led the efforts to create more than 35 miles of new mountain bike trails in the region. In early 2021, TOMMBA completed a successful crowdfunding campaign to this first of three phases of new trails on the City-owned property and successfully raised over $100,000. More than $50,000 was raised through donations by individuals locally and around the state and each dollar of the $50,000 was matched by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) grant program called Public Spaces Community Places. These generous donations accelerated the timeframe for constructing the multi-use trails this year.
In July of this year, a company named Flowtrack from Marquette, under contract with TOMMBA, completed the new 2.5-mile trail called Double Dog. This phase is part of the Boyne Forest Trail System, which consists of land owned by City of Boyne City, the Walloon Lake Association and Conservancy trails, the Boyne Public Schools and Michigan Department of Natural Resources. These trails create an extensive network of multi-use trails for users of varying abilities. Flowtrack is known for their sustainable approach to building trails throughout the Midwest.
In the near future, two more phases will be added to this western section of the Boyne Forest Trail System. These will include more challenges and more features including a new concept called The Hub. More details to come soon as TOMMBA continues to build on this successful trail system. Together, with funding support and many hours of volunteer effort, TOMMBA’s partners will continue to create healthy opportunities to enjoy our area’s amazing outdoor attractions.
Join Us on Saturday, August 21st for the Trail Discovery and Ribbon Cutting Event. If you are unable to attend and still want to help, Donate Today!
If you have any questions or comments please contact Steve Schnell, 231-330-7070 or firstname.lastname@example.org
TOMMBA is kicking off the opening of the new trail and new parking lot with a new ride. Join us for the inaugural TOMMBA Tailgate Tuesday Ride July 13 at 6:00 pm. Meet at the new parking lot on Old Horton Bay Rd here: https://goo.gl/maps/T4gyaVmbwpyJLqBx6
Find out more info at the Facebook event: https://fb.me/e/N44uVLS0
TOMMBA and Raven Hill Discovery Center are collaborating to bring you the opportunity to Choose Your Wheels with the Pedal Pig & Pint Bike Tour event, Sunday, August 1st, 2021.
Enjoy beautiful miles of wooded mountain bike trails or a scenic paved route around Lake Charlevoix, while supporting two exceptional non-profit organizations striving to enhance outdoor experiences in the area. Stiggs Brewing Company in Boyne City has generously offered to support this event with a Pig Roast, Pint and festive atmosphere for relaxing after the ride.
All riders start at Veterans Memorial Park in Boyne City and finish with a celebratory lunch at Stiggs Brewing Company.
Road cyclists can opt for a scenic, paved trail between Boyne City and Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls, or the 42 mile tour along the north shore of Lake Charlevoix to the Lake Michigan shoreline trail. Then on to the Ironton Ferry and back to Boyne City along the south shore of Lake Charlevoix.
Trail riders can choose from a network of beginner to advanced riding trails at Boyne Forest Trails or the Avalanche Trails. Advanced mountain bike cyclists might challenge themselves by combining both trails and the distance between them.
“This is the only combined mountain and road bike event in the region,” explained TOMMBA spokesman Mike Labadie. “Whatever your choice of wheels, it will be a beautiful ride, and a great way to explore the area and support two great organizations.”
Register online at www.bikereg.com or at Veterans Memorial Park, 319 N. Lake St. in Boyne City, beginning at 7:30 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. Registration includes an event bike shirt, lunch and a pint at Stiggs, a free admission pass to Raven Hill Discovery and acknowledgement for your support of these two amazing non-profit organizations. $50.00 for an individual, $100 for families (up to five related family members), and $25 for a child (under 15) accompanied by an adults. Wrist bands will be distributed at registration and are required for Lunch and a pint at Stiggs Brewing Company, 112 S. Park St., Boyne City. www.stiggsbrewingcompany.com
Top of Michigan Mountain Bike Association is dedicated to creating, enhancing, and preserving great trail experiences in Northern Michigan. All proceeds go to maintaining and building top quality trails for riders of all levels. Visit www.tommba.org to learn more about TOMMBA and explore the many TOMMBA built mountain biking trails you might like to explore.
Raven Hill Discovery Center provides hands-on experiences through programs, exhibits, and facilities that connect science, history and the arts for all ages. Located on 175 acres in East Jordan, Raven Hill expands time from prehistory, to modern, to future and from our world to beyond the universe. Raven Hill challenges minds of all ages through experiences that expand the brain and link thoughtful ideas. Raven Hill is looking for your ideas connecting cycling to art, science, and history. If you have a historical fact, story, artistic effort, or scientific facts you would like to share about bicycling, please contact Cheri Leach at Raven Hill to share your idea (231)536-3369, or email email@example.com. Raven Hill is developing a bicycling display at the museum to align with this year’s Pedal, Pig, & Pint event!
If you have additional questions concerning the ride, contact Holly Sasso (517) 231-3341 or Michael Labadie (616) 304-5758.
The first new trail, Double Dog, of the Boyne Forest Trails on the Boyne City property is OPEN!! Easiest access is from the brand new 60-space parking lot on Old Horton Bay Rd here: https://goo.gl/maps/NeixmrwnE7mAcFey8 - From the parking lot, follow the gravel access road in the Northeast corner up to the tree line and the start of the trail.
This trail was built professionally by Flowtrack Mountain Bike Trails and is a Beginner / Intermediate level trail that enters and exits the narrow West corridor of the property, on the North and South side of a two track access road. This trail is designed as an experienced beginner to intermediate trail experience that will provide a constantly reversing grade and moderate sinuosity. The trail tread is well-defined by a narrow finished bench cut on hillsides and narrow corridor on flatter ground. The trail has native or non native rock installed in the trail tread, along with Flowtrack Steeltrack steel frame / wood decking features. Further complementing this trail are soil features including larger rollers, natural jumps, and insloped (berm turns).
Double Dog follows the daily-directional system: M-W-Th-Sat = Clockwise riding; Sun-Tu-F = Counter-clockwise. You can connect to the rest of the Boyne Forest Trails via a new, TOMMBA-built trail called Thing 2 which connects to Hog Wild in 2 places. The southern 1/2 of Thing 2 is still under construction but will be completed in the next few weeks. Please respect any/all "Trail Closed" signs.
Since this a very newly constructed trail, please take it easy on the corners and berms. As the trail matures and compacts, these will definitely firm up.
TOMMBA trail maps and more can be found at Trailforks.com
The trails in Harbor Springs known most commonly as the “Meadows” is an extensive system that was primarily ‘rogue-built’ over the past 20 years or so by a myriad group of individuals on a mix of state and privately-owned land...almost all without landowner permission. With the closure of the “Meadows” Parking lot (on private property) a couple of years ago, TOMMBA realized how fragile this trail system is and began working to preserve and protect this amazing trail system. TOMMBA is currently working with Boyne Highlands Resort, Harbor Springs Public Schools, the Little Traverse Conservancy, and the Michigan DNR to legitimize these trails and protect them for the future. This trail system is a unique combination, crossing back-and-forth over public and private lands, and is interconnected with Boyne’s cross-country mountain bike trail system.
While many details are still being discussed, Boyne has granted us permission to use some of their cross-country trails as long as their liability waiver is signed. We are very hopeful of this partnership and ask that you please SIGN THE WAIVER now. It only takes a minute and will show that TOMMBA will minimize liability concerns as we continue to promote a formal trail network in this area.
Greetings TOMMBA Members!
We are just finishing up a website redesign and wanted to share a couple of our new features!
First, we have created a ‘News’ tab that will have our recent updates in chronological order. If you are wondering if the trails have been cleared after a storm or we are with fundraising for a new trail system, check this tab out!
Next up, our favorite new feature is the ‘Where to Ride’ tab! Knowing that providing this information is our most important duty - we’ve created a separate tab for this! By linking this page with Trailforks, it will be updated as we continue adding new trials. Please note - many of these trails are not formalized TOMMBA trail systems. Please be aware of who owns the land and refrain from riding or parking on private property. Here's your Where to Ride preview:
We hope you like what you see. Be sure to Join TOMMBA Today!!
copyright 2021 TOMMBA
"Top of Michigan Mountain Bike Association" is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. TOMMBA, PO Box 112, Boyne City, MI 49712