Friends of Great Bear

Since 2007, we have built many bridges crossing small streams. We have maintained all trails including fallen tree removal, drainage improvements and cutting back brush. We've even made some new trails. We also marked several trail loops and posted a map at the trail head.

Project highlights:

In 2017, the bridge on the yellow trail was replaced along with normal trail maintenance. We apologize for the condition of the white trail near the rainbow bridge. This season was just too wet.

In 2016, a set of trails were added. These trails called the Drumlins Trails can be entered from Spring Hollow, Root Hill and Highline. They feature a tight and twisting route with numerous elevation changes. See the map for details.

In 2015, we built a handicapped wheelchair accessible trail called Apple Trail. This trail starts across from the kiosk near the wheelchair accessible picnic table.

Winter 2012/2013 - We have designed and marked a new 10k route. This route has enabled us to be added as an official route of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Volkssport Association. Also a new trail was cut from behind the info board into the pines heading toward the river. This trail allows access to Great Bear without having to use the dirt road. This trail (called Mixed Pines) connects to Alec's Trail, the gravel pit and the green loop.

The theme for 2012 was mud reduction. We moved a lot of fill, built new bridges and plank ways. The biggest project was on 6 Rock North that had become impassable. We have high hopes this spring will be a lot different in that area. The Boy Scouts built plank ways to help us all get on to Whiskey Island with dry feet and tires and built the info board at the trail head. We also cleaned vegetation from the canal guard lock to help preserve it.

In 2011, we built the new trail (440 Ridge) that connects the north end of Long Trail and Wheel Wash back to the Out trail. Users can do a big loop with using the trolley track road. Trail name signs were made and installed. Drainage was improved in many places.

In 2010, we built the Deer Run trail and bridge closing the swampy trail at the north end of the pine woods. Friends pulled the invasive plant, Garlic Mustard. We made the switch back trail on yellow near the gravel pit. The 5k route was designed and marked by Boy Scouts. The Cub Scouts made our trail head sign in box.

From 2007 to 2009 we built a lot of bridges, marked trails, made the map, cut brush, fixed erosion issues and cut many fallen trees.

Eagle Scout projects:

Over the years, several scouts have done their Eagle Scout projects at Great Bear. Some of these projects include building the kiosk, a handicapped access picnic table, benches and several punchion/bog bridges.

If you'd like to help please contact Dick at 343-4565 or email

Please remember not to leave valuables (at least not visible) in your vehicle.


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