MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) – According to the DNR, 45 projects in Michigan will receive funding from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.
Three recipients are in the UP and one of those three is in Marquette County. The Iron Ore Heritage Trail will use its $150,000 to expand trail access in Marquette and Negaunee Townships, Trail Administrator Carol Fulsher said.
“We’re going to use it to develop some single-track trails because the Iron Ore Heritage is a line trail that’s mostly railroad,” Fulsher said. “We know there are a lot of mountain bikers and singletrack people out here, so we wanted to accommodate them too.”
Fulsher also stated that work will begin soon.
“For us, it takes about six months to get the contracts signed and the engineering done,” Fulsher said. “So I’d say some of that could be done by the end of the year and some of that will go into 2023.”
Keweenaw-based DNR Parks and Recreation Division awarded $5,000,000 to purchase 4,000 acres of land near Fort Wilkins Historic State Park.
“That’s going to preserve a lot of land up there for various recreational uses,” said John Pepin, Michigan DNR public information officer.
The City of Manistique will use its $345,000 to add 9 acres to its lakefront campground.
“It actually helps everyone in the UP because land acquisition and land development for recreational purposes benefits tourism in the Upper Peninsula, and that benefits the local economy as well.”
Here is the full list of the three Upper Peninsula projects to be funded:
1.) Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority – Marquette Country Single-Track Acquisition – $150,700
Acquisition of 176 acres of natural area adjacent to Iron Ore Heritage Trail. The property is being developed for a single track internal loop trail in the townships of Negaunee and Marquette. The system will provide a recreational destination for snowbikes, mountain bikes, hikers, snowshoers, handcyclists and cross-country skiers along the main trail corridor. The property offers views of Lake Superior, Hogback and Sugar Loaf Mountain and access to Bishop Creek in the Marquette area. The Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority offers an expansive, diverse nature trail through the Marquette Iron Range.
2.) DNR – Park and Recreation Division – Fort Wilkins Historic State Park – Acquisition of Keweenaw Point in Keweenaw County – 5 million
Acquisition of approximately 4,000 acres near Fort Wilkins Historic State Park. The addition will consolidate the state’s lands on the Keweenaw Peninsula for recreation and natural resource conservation in an area known for natural resource-based recreation. The property consists of rugged terrain, lakes, creeks, and several existing recreational trails including snowmobiles, mountain bikes, and ATVs. Other recreational opportunities include hunting, fishing, hiking, paddleboarding, wildlife and snow sports.
3.) City of Manistique – Lakeshore Campground – Acquisition of Schoolcraft Country Lakeshore Campground – $345,000
Acquired 10 acres of land along US Highway-2 adjacent to the City of Manistique campground on the lakefront of Lake Michigan. The new park, along with a contiguous property funded by a trust fund grant in 2021, will allow for a 9-acre expansion of the park and campground. The campground has pitches with a range of features including full hookups, pull-through pitches and rustic tent-only pitches. The park includes a Lake Michigan beach, gazebo, playground and boardwalk. The acquisition will enable the development of a trailhead along US 2 for the Iron Belle Trail bike route, which stretches more than 2,000 miles from Ironwood to Belle Isle in Detroit and includes both bike and walking routes.
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