Beginning in early 1994 and into the spring of 1995 Horace “Huffy” Huffman and Tom Bailey (both of the Little Traverse Conservancy) discussed between themselves, and later with other like minded individuals, the concept and need for a vehicle to coordinate and bring together numerous trail user groups in Emmet, Charlevoix and Cheboygan counties. Huffman and Bailey recognized a lack of overall coordination, direction and planning of recreational trail activity in Northern Lower Michigan to meet the demands of an expanding population and the rapid growth of tourism to the area.
Huffman and Bailey already had pretty well established in their minds in rough form what the mission of the yet to be created organization should be. Various drafts were considered, reworked and finally set forth:
The Mission of the….(organization)…. is to facilitate the establishment of a multi-use, year ‘round, safe recreational trail system in Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet counties.
This mission statement has been amended to include the terms “advocate for”, maintenance, and to delineate our geographical area as Northern Michigan.