Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Owasippe Trails Reopen to the Public

small map of trails at Camp Owasippe
from MMBA
OutdoorBlips: vote it up!
from theScarlett Sasafrass, originally from WZZM-TV, and the White Lake Beacon

The public trails at Camp Owasippe in Blue Lake Township, east of Muskegon, have been closed since last year. The Chicago Area Scouting Council closed the trails because of liability concerns. The property has been in the news a lot over the past few years as the Council has sought to sell, and the Scouters and the Township have fought to preserve the camp.

A Muskegon Man, Matt Vander Sys, has set up a non-profit organization and removed the liability issue from the council's list of problems. Users now must sign a liability waiver, and pay a $6 daily fee to use the trails. The fee also covers fishing in the camp lakes. A $60 yearly pass is also available but includes blackout dates for Scout camp season and hunting season.

"'It is a great piece of property,' says Matt Vander Sys of Endurance Adventure." There are over 30 miles of trails, and they are very popular with the mountain bikers. Recently the bicycling community came together and cleaned the trails at Owasippe. They are thrilled that these great trail miles will be open again.

"Michigan's Most Difficult Offroad Triathlon" was held August 23 on the trail system. The event included a 1000-meter swim on Big Blue Lake, a 14-mile run and 10-mile bike ride on Owasippe's trails. "Montague resident Stu Scholl has participated in triathlons around the country and said the late August event was outstanding. 'It truly was one of the best I’ve competed in,' he said. “Where can you get this kind of usable space in Michigan?'"

See Endurance Sports
See MMBA Trail Guide
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

Go To for all the news
See Get Off The Couch


Todd Scott said...

Thanks, Matt! The world could use more positive, can-do people like him.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Hi Todd- I didn't even know about these trails until I found this article. What a great resource. I wonder if they are too difficult for me. I DO like biking, you know.

Anonymous said...

im a former scouter and looking to get re-involved in scouting, been to owasippe since i was 11 yrs old. its a really nice piece of land, however, you mention that the trails are open to the public, what obout camping on the property, is this or will this be available to the public? and if so, is there a fee and who can i call for info or registration? i would love to camp there this spring before the scouts come out for their yearly camping.

Sharkbytes said...

Hi Anonymous- I really don't know. You might try contacting Ron Kulak through the Scarlet Sassafras at

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