Last November, the Friends announced our intent to raise the needed funds to pave the Trail from Beulah to Thompsonville. Since then, we’ve been working to identify potential funding sources for this big project. We’re looking at nearly $3 million to pave the 12-mile section.

A Potential Game-Changer for Thompsonville

The trail vision map below illustrates how completing the BVT with a fully accessible surface represents a significant step towards recapturing the importance of Thompsonville as a crossroads – in the past for rail and in the future for non-motorized transportation.

The proposed project will help make Thompsonville the center of a regional trail network connecting Benzie County to Manistee, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Cadillac, and Leelanau County. Even more than that, we’ll be connected to trail networks to the north, east and south, making Benzie County the northwest Michigan hub connected to trail systems throughout Michigan.

Show Your Support at Next Week’s Public Hearing

Below is the official notification of this Public Hearing. We hope to see you there!

BENZIE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS PUBLIC HEARING A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. The public hearing will take place during the regular board meeting in the Frank Walterhouse Meeting Room, Government Center, 448 Court Place, Beulah, Michigan. The purpose of the Public Hearing is to consider submission of a grant application to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to pave the surface of the Betsie Valley Trail from Beulah to the Manistee County line near Thompsonville. The project is a collaborative effort between the Benzie County Parks and Recreation Commission, Weldon Township, the Department of Natural Resources and the Friends of the Betsie Valley Trail. The plan will be discussed with a decision made following. Minutes are on file in the County Clerkʼs Office for public inspection. Dawn Olney Benzie County Clerk March 9, 2022

There is one update to this notice: The Friends will be working with Benzonia Township to submit our application for a grant from the DNR. We are thrilled to partner with Benzonia Township and look forward to working with them.

Also, anyone who has comments and wants them considered at the public meeting / put into the record should send them to Dawn Olney at the county before the hearing date.

Even after this public hearing, we want to hear from you! Please send your comments or questions about the project via email to our Board President, Jed Maker at


Please go to our Donate Page to contribute to this project!

Together, we’re building a better Betsie Valley Trail for ALL! As always, thank you for your support!