Congratulations is in order to our great state of Michigan for claiming two top honors in Outside Magazine's "Where to Live Now" article in the August 2010 installment. It turns out that the towns they picked in Michigan were very Grand.
Grand Rapids was named as the best town in the nation for the mountain biking enthusiast. While the local trails are the main focus of the article (75 plus miles of marked trail in the surrounding areas with access to the North Country Trail), GR also boasts an in-town park complete with a roller/ pump practice area, trials/ skills park and three miles of single track. Kudos to GR, turns out that the whole Cool Cities plan wasn't only referring to the walkability and the artwork.
Continuing with the Grand theme, Grand Marais took the first runner up position as the place to live if you appreciate flat water paddling, aka kayaking or canoeing on lakes. Grand Marais came to the title due to its proximity to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The house prices are affordable (can you say vacation home?) and the town even has a yearly paddling festival! http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=241388245346. Sounds like a place for me to test out.
Well well, looks like things are looking up for Michigan in my book. I think that it is high time people start to see this state for what it really is, a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, tree huggers, wide-eyed optimists and health nuts.
Give yourself a hand Michigan... you deserve it.
(A proud Michigander)