The Beauty Of Nature

Set Out To Take A Path You Seldom Do

Autumn Splendor

Reflections Of Northeast Michigan


Valentines Day Lantern Ski

A lantern ski will be held this Sunday at the Norway Ridge Pathway.  The event is being hosted by the Department of Natural Resources with assistance from the Performance Locker and TBTA.  Blake Gingrich, DNR Parks and Recreation Supervisor, will provide the lanterns to light the pathway for a night time ski.  The event will kick off at 5:30 PM.  There will be a bonfire in the parking lot.  Hot Chocolate will be served.  The pathway will be freshly groomed.  Mother Nature is predicting ideal ski conditions.  Ski and boot rentals are available at Harborside Cycle.  bring your valentine for a unique skiing opportunity.

Chippewa Hills Compartment Revisions

Attached is an email and compartmental revision maps for the proposed timber treatment at the Chippewa Hills Pathway.  Review the information.  If you would like to comment to the DNR, email your thoughts to


Randy Fairbanks, President TBTA


Chippewa Hills Compartment Revisions
54082 Original Compartment Map
Chippewa Hills Updated Treatment Map Covertype_07132015
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TBTA will be holding its’ annual meeting on Thursday February 4th at 6:00PM. The meeting will be at the APLEX. TBTA will provide the pizza. There will be a cash bar. The meeting is open to any interested person. Agenda items are listed below.

Chippewa Hills Pathway Timber Harvest Update
Chippewa Hills Pathway Trail Proposal
Youth and Recreation Grant
Election of Board of Directors – 2 Board Seats Available
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Blow down trees cleaned up and Trails Groomed

TBTA volunteers cleaned up the blow down trees from the recent windstorm. With the recent snowfall, Chippewa Hills Pathway, Norway Ridge Pathway and the Alpena Golf Course have been groomed for skiing. Rental equipment is available at Harborside Cyclery.

Randy Fairbanks


TBTA Board of Directors Meetings

December 3rd, 2015 Alpena Community College Center Building RM 116
January 7, 2016 ACC Center Building RM 112
February 4 RM 112
March 3 RM 112
April 7 RM 112


Thunder Bay Trails has been notified that the Department of Natural Resources will fund some needed repairs at the Norway Ridge Pathway. Blake Gingrich, Unit Supervisor Parks & Recreation Division, stated that monies have been committed for replacement of the bridge/boardwalk identified as site 6. This is the bridge that TBTA has repaired on a yearly basis after the spring snowmelt. Gingrich stated that the replacement is scheduled for late summer/early fall of this year. It is expected that TBTA volunteers will help with the project.

Thunder Bay Trails Board of Directors April Meeting

The April Board of Directors Meeting has been changed to Thursday April 9th at 6:00PM. The meeting will be held at Alpena Community College, Center Building, Room 106. The meeting is open to the general public. On the agenda will be the status of the proposed timber cut at the Chippewa Hills Pathway.

Randy Fairbanks
President, TBTA

Chippewa Hills Update

This past Thursday a meeting was held in Gaylord.  The meeting was very positive.  The following is an e-mail that Mary Beth Stutzman had sent out to the Chippewa Hills User Constituent Group.
Her email captures the tone of the meeting.  Hopefully TBTA will be able to move forward with the the cut and work with the DNR in the area of compromise that will lead to Chippewa Hills becoming a destination point for all non-motorized users.
 Continue reading “Chippewa Hills Update” »

Letter from Director of the Department of Natural Resources

Attached is a letter from the Director of the DNR in response to the position of the Chippewa Hills User Constituent Group on the proposed timber cut at Chippewa Hills Pathway.


Randy Fairbanks, President TBTA

DNR Director letter

2015 Membership Drive






March 6, 2015

Dear TBTA Member, Former Member, or Member to be,

Eighteen years ago, the Department of Natural Resources stopped grooming the non-motorized trail systems at Norway Ridge and Chippewa Hills for cross country skiing. Citing lack of funding and manpower the DNR stated that they would no longer be able to groom or perform maintenance on the pathways. A group of non-motorized enthusiast got together and formed what is now known as Thunder Bay Trails Association. The mission of Thunder Bay Trails Association is to promote and protect non-motorized trail systems in Alpena County and adjoining areas and reflect their recreational significance for the enjoyment, education and adventure to area citizens. TBTA has remained true to its’ mission statement. For eighteen years TBTA members have groomed the trails for cross country skiing, performed trails maintenance and advocated for non-motorized trails. This has been done without any monetary assistance from the DNR and no support from the Forest Resources Division of the DNR.
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Thunder Bay Trails Association Board of Directors March Meeting

The TBTA Board of Directors March meeting is Thursday March 5, 2015 at 6:00PM.  The meeting place is ACC, BesserTech Building, RM 126.  It should be noted that this is a different room than where we normally hold the monthly meetings.


The agenda will include an update on the Chippewa Hills timber cut controversy.


The meeting is open to any interested party.


Randy Fairbanks,
Continue reading “Thunder Bay Trails Association Board of Directors March Meeting” »

Chippewa Hills Update

The Chippewa Hills User Constituent Group has been meeting regularly since I lasted posted.

A position paper has been prepared.  The position paper has been forwarded to the Director Creaugh of the DNR, Chief William  Oneil of the Forest Resources Division and Chief Ron Olsen of the Parks and Recreation Division.  Attached is the position paper and its rational.


Mary Beth Stutzman and myself had an informal meeting with Steve Milford, District Forester and Rich Hill, Parks and Recreation Division last Thursday.  No compromises to the proposed timber harvest plan were offered and none were made.  A meeting is scheduled in March to try and resolved this issue.  Steve Milford stated that the DNR wants to get this matter resolved in a manner that will be beneficial to all user groups.
Continue reading “Chippewa Hills Update” »