Friends of the Betsie Valley Trail and Trail Activities
Melanie and Rusty Spike
Melanie Taylor receives rusty spike recognition for her service on the Board.
Jim and Rusty Spike
David Oellerich presents past President Jim Ryan with a rusty spike.
On September 16, 2017 the Friends hosted a ceremony at which the Beulah Trailhead was renamed the Dr. William R. Olsen Trailhead.
Bill Olsen's son Bill
Bill’s son, Bill, made remarks about his father at the ceremony at Stormcloud Brewing.
Bill Olsen's Daughter Kristine
Bill’s daughter Kristine Drake welcomed friends to a celebration of Bill’s life at Stormcloud Brewing Company in Frankfort.
Curt Vanderwall spoke on behalf of the State Legislature.
Bob Wilson of the Michigan Greenways & Trails Alliance spoke about the vital role that Bill Olsen played in the development of trails in Michigan.
Roger Perry, Friends VP, presided at the dedication ceremony.
2017-2018 Board: Roger Perry, Anne Noah (Secretary), John Rothhaar, Beth Roethler, Kris Welty, Martha Garber and Pete Weir (Vice President). Not present: David Oellerich (President).
Wildlife Along the Trail
This male Chestnut-sided Warbler sang his “Pleased to meet’cha” song for those attending the Benzie Audubon Club’s late-May field trip. (Photo by Carl Freeman)
Snapping Turtle laying eggs along trail
This was one of two Snapping Turtles laying eggs along the Trail. (Photo by John Ester)
Yellow billed Cuckoo
In June both Black-billed and Yellow-billed Cuckoos were found along the Trail between Adams Road and the Betsie River. This is the Yellow-billed Cuckoo. (Photo by John Ester)
Bottle Gentian, a relatively rare Michigan wildflower, near Railroad Point. (Liz Calhoun photo)
May brought out Marsh Marigolds (Caltha palustris) in profusion along the Trail between River Road and M-115. (Photo by Bill Olsen)
At the same timeTrillium were in full bloom in the same area. (Photo by Bill Olsen)
While many of the bluebird boxes along the Trail are used successfully, some nests fail. This was one such nest, containing five Eastern Bluebird eggs that never hatched. (Photo by John Ester)
Tree Swallow nest
Tree Swallows also use bluebird boxes to build their feathery nests. Unfortunately this one failed, as reflected by the four unhatched eggs. (Photo by John Ester)
Showy Lady's Slipper
Showy Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium reginae) in June (Photo by Bill Olsen)
Ox-eye Daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) (Photo by Bill Olsen)
Columbine (Aquilegia canadesis) (Photo by Bill Olsen)
Larger Blue Flag Flower
Larger Blue Flag (Iris versicolor) (Photo by Bill Olsen)
Wood Amemone Flower
Wood Anemone (Anemone quinquefolia) (Photo by Bill Olsen)
Day Lily (Hemerocallis fulva) (Photo by Bill Olsen)
Snapping Turtle laying eggs next to the Trail
Female Snapping Turtle laying eggs next to the Trail (Photo by Bill Olsen)
Juvenile Osprey in late summer over the mouth of Betsie Bay (Photo by John Ester)
This Green Frog joined in the chorus at the “Birding by Ear” field trip of the Benzie Audubon Club. (Photo by Carl Freeman)
Little Wood-Satyr butterflies mating
Love was afoot (shall we say) for these Little Wood-Satyr butterflies mating on the Benzie Audubon field trip. (Photo by Carl Freeman)
Mosquitos on snaping turtle
Look carefully; mosquitoes are gorging themselves on this female snapping turtle laying eggs by the wetland along the Trail near River Road. (Photo by Carl Freeman)
Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly on a Swamp Milkweed
There is great butterfly habitat where the Trail runs along a wetland near Thompsonville. On this Benzie Audubon Club field trip Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) has attracted a Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele). (Photo by John Ester)
Boy on Butterfly Trip
The trail is enjoyed by users of all ages, as shown by this young man on the Audubon butterfly trip. (Photo by John Ester)
*If you have a digital Trail photo to share, email it to the