Is there a speed limit on the Trail?
Are dogs allowed on the Trail?
Are e-bikes permitted on the Trail?
These are a few of the questions we often hear from trail users and we’ll address these below, but we feel it’s important, as the Friends of the Betsie Valley Trail, to make it clear what our role is when it comes to the rules of the trail and enforcing those rules.
The Friends of the BVT is a volunteer, non-profit organization. We advocate, promote and encourage the development and successful operation of the Trail. We work in partnership with, and at the direction of, the Betsie Valley Trailway Management Council. The Friends are not in a position to enforce rules; that is the role of local law enforcement officials and DNR personnel.
One of the ways we promote successful operation of the trail is through signage along the trail. The Friends certainly recognize the important of informative signage. At the same time, we feel it’s important not to look to increased signage as the answer to promote appropriate trail use. We hope trail users will use common sense and be courteous when they are on the trail.
“Signs, signs everywhere a sign!”, exclaimed Trail Care Coordinator, Charlie Gregory. “When it comes to trail etiquette, there is no substitute for using one’s good judgement and maintaining the mindset of sharing the trail and being mindful of others.”
“We can breathe a sigh of relief that the detour signs put up last summer due to flooding have been removed,” he continued. “A review of signage is underway to better address concerns of residents along the trail as well as to provide a safe, fun, and unobtrusive experience for the users.”
“We also want to remind users, there are special use provisions for the segment of the BVT between Beulah and Mollineaux. The trail narrows with private property bordering either side of the trail, there are no dogs allowed, and speeds must be kept under 10 MPH in this segment of the trail.”
“Otherwise, on the remainder of the trail the speed limit is 15 mph and pets are permitted as long as they are leashed and under control,” Charlie continued.
“On the entire trail no motorized vehicles are allowed. Current Michigan laws permits the use of Class 1 e-bikes. All speed limits apply to e-bikes as well. Please be respectful and announce your presence as you pass by people.”
Even if you’re in the area on vacation, we can always use a helping hand keeping the trail clean and beautiful for all to enjoy. Please consider signing up as a volunteer. Or go here to learn more about our various volunteer roles, including staff positions.