Leelanau News and Events

Trail Planned At Provemont Pond To Honor Leelanau Builder And Mountain Biker

Sept. 23, 2020

A new mountain bike and hiking trail system is proposed for Provemont Pond Recreation Area, located off Popp Road in Leland Township. The trail will be built in memory of Dennis Coburn, a Leelanau local, custom home builder and passionate mountain biker who lost his battle with brain cancer in May.

Chet Janik, a close friend of Coburn’s, tells the Leelanau Ticker a committee of family members and friends are raising money to build and support a multi-use trail system in his honor in collaboration with Bike Leelanau and Leland Township.

Bike Leelanau, an affiliate of the Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association, had already begun constructing a trail on the nearly 100-acre property when it came to the attention of a few of Coburn’s friends. Explains Janik, “It quickly became obvious that a plan to pitch in and take it further would carry Dennis’s presence and joy to people who never even knew him. Dennis was truly was a gentle spirit who loved the outdoors and biking as well as his many friends. It’s a win-win: the trail will be enjoyed by people of all ages for many generations to come, with no tax dollars used.”

The Coburn’s Challenge initiative will pick up where the initial 1-mile trail around Provemont Pond left off, to create a total of 4.5 miles of trails through the glacier-sculpted slopes and forested lowlands west of Lake Leelanau. Janik calls the park a “hidden gem” of the county.

Molly Steck, co-founder of Bike Leelanau and the liaison for the trail project, says her recent request to the Leland Township Board to create a new system of trails at the township-owned park was well-received. “The entire trail at all phases are multi-use, however Bike Leelanau is putting out RFPs for those with specific expertise in building mountain bike trails. We would like to put some feelers out for local professionals and companies who could work with us,” she says. Early spring 2021 is the proposed start date for the trail expansion. Steck will continue to work with the township on next steps as funding is secured.

“Our goal of $30,000 will get the trail built and leave some money to help sustain it, and we are approximately one-third of the way there, from private funding, mostly donations from friends and homeowners who knew Dennis,” Steck says. Janik adds that in recent days, a friend and former client of Coburn’s pledged to match every donation made between now and November 1, up to $10,000.

Donations can be made by clicking here; go to the “TRAILS” icon, then to the Provemont Pond link.

Photos: Three phases of trails proposed at Provemont Pond; Debra and Dennis Coburn

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