Snow Removal

There are over 20 miles of cleared pathways to enjoy this winter!

If you clear it, they will come! Winter trail counts have increased 20% year by year for the past 4 years – thanks to consistent snow removal efforts on the trails. That means more of us can get to work and play all year long. Below is a list of trails that are cleared when snowfall is 2″ or greater. When tied together with cleared sidewalks and great bus routes, we’re beginning to see how an active transportation network can feel and function year-round, helping keep all of us healthy and connected. Snow clearing is a collaborative effort between the City of Traverse City, Acme Township, East Bay Township, Garfield Township, Grand Traverse County, Sutton’s Bay, TART Trails, volunteers and donated services by Johnson Outdoors. It is teamwork at its best! 

Partners provide year-round access on the following trails:

Thank You to our snow removal partners!

Are you interested in volunteering for snow removal?

Its a great opportunity to get outdoors, get some exercise and help keep the very busy Boardman Lake Trail accessible for the community all winter! Click here for more information or contact Kate Lewis at

Importance of snow removal along the trails:

Providing year-round trail infrastructure for outdoor recreation and non-motorized transportation is needed and desired by the community. Providing reliable services allows access for those who rely on non-motorized transportation, including transit users accessing stops, and provides opportunities for trail users wishing to maintain a more active lifestyle benefiting their health and environment and our community’s health and well-being.

History of snow removal along the trail network:

Starting in 2011 TART Trails provided mechanized snow removal services along the trail network within Traverse City and Grand Traverse County in response to snow removal services being reduced to less than one clearing per week on the trails. After clearing the trail with donated equipment, in 2012 and 2013 TART Trails’ entered into an agreement with the City of Traverse City for trained TART Trails’ volunteers to operate a City owned, fueled and maintained Holder with a front mounted snowblower.

The agreement worked well, with both City staff and TART Trails’ volunteers partnering for a clear and usable trail all winter. However, the goal from the beginning was for TART Trails’ operations to be a temporary solution. Furthermore, the limitations of timing (Mon-Fri), uncertainty of equipment availability, and sustainability of a volunteer led effort all factored into finding a longer term solution for keeping the trails clear.

In 2014, TART Trails worked with Grand Traverse County to contract with a private company to provide snow removal services on the TART trail between 3 Mile and 5 Mile and a portion of the Three Mile Trail in East Bay Township. Acme Township provided snow removal services through their parks staff as did the City of Traverse City and Village of Suttons Bay. TART Trails’ volunteers cleared snow along the Leelanau Trail from Carter Road to the Cherry Bend trailhead. Collectively, the trail system remained operational all winter. A collective effort led by Garfield Township and trail partners helps keep the west side trails open for business along the Buffalo Ridge, Mall, Safe Routes and Barns trails. In total, nearly 20 miles of trail are cleared in the winter.

Click here to read the Sunday, November 23, 2014 forum article on this winter’s snow removal.