The Vision

The Nakwema (nah-KWAY-mah) Trailway, linking Charlevoix and Traverse City, will provide a vital, non-motorized connection between pristine freshwater shorelines, rolling dunes, and pastoral farmlands. The Trailway will provide critical foundational infrastructure for happy, healthy, resilient individuals and communities that make up the quintessential towns, villages, and rich cultural heritage that define northwest Lower Michigan.

This project builds on the vision of more than a decade of community groups working to make trail connections throughout this corridor. Through collaborative input on routing, the trail will wind through the unique flora and fauna that define our region, allowing trail users to safely experience exceptional scenic land and waterscapes.

Non-motorized recreation and transportation infrastructure is invaluable to our region and the Nakwema Trailway is going to be a game changer for Antrim County! Providing residents and visitors non-motorized access between Traverse City and Charlevoix is a true investment in our community health and safety, and will provide a boost to our local economy year-round. There’s so much to explore along this north-south corridor including roadside parks, farmers markets, fruit and vegetable stands, parks and beaches – making connections that one may never experience by car. I can’t wait to be able to hop on this trail with my family and explore more of what our region has to offer.

– Joe Short, Short’s Brewing Company



Develop a non-motorized trailway between the TART Trails and the Top of Michigan Trails Council networks, connecting multiple communities and over twenty-five protected natural areas throughout three counties to create a 325+ mile trail network in northern Lower Michigan.


Create opportunities for everyone to participate in active living and healthy lifestyles through year-round outdoor recreation and active transportation, while providing access to the region’s iconic shoreline and showcasing the region’s phenomenal cultural and natural resources.


Provide an extraordinary resource for residents of and visitors to northwest Lower Michigan to spur economic development opportunities, enhance regional identity and strengthen vibrant communities.