Water Sports

Bear River water trail plan in development

RYAN BENTLEY/NEWS-REVIEWThe Bear River is seen looking southward from a pedestrian bridge in Petoskey's Bear River Valley Recreation Area.

PETOSKEY — An effort among various local entities could lead to an expanded network of recreational amenities, markers and access points along the Bear River over the course of several years. 

The waterway runs through Petoskey, Bear Creek Township and Melrose Township, and with participation from decision makers in those governments, the state could designate the course of that river as a recognized “water trail” — “a designated route on a navigable waterway … designed and managed to create a positive outdoor recreation experience for the user,” according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. 

Across those three government entities, the designation would mean a more standardized framework for future recreational developments along the route, and access to state funds and other resources. For residents and visitors in the area, it might mean an easier time accessing, using and navigating the rapids for river-based water sports and activities. 

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