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Marquette County trail systems recognize Michigan Trails Week

Of the state’s 13,000 miles of trails, 47 miles belong to the Iron Ore Heritage Trail in Marquette County.
Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 4:54 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - September 19 – 26 is Michigan Trails Week. Each day is dedicated to promoting the use of the state’s 13,000 miles of trails.

In Marquette County, 47 of those miles belong to the Iron Ore Heritage Trail. According to Iron Ore Heritage Authority administrator Carol Fulsher, it is one of the most unique trails in Marquette County.

“It is the only long-distance rail trail that is a bike trail I believe in the whole Upper Peninsula,” Fulsher said. “We also include the history of the region, so along the trail you’ll find 48 different stories that have to do with iron mining in the region in the last 160 years.”

During the trail’s busiest months, it sees up to 12,000 users. Fulsher says that number is growing.

“Especially in the last couple years with the pandemic, our numbers have been skyrocketing,” she said. “People want to get outside, they want to be safe, they want to alleviate stress, and trails are really good about helping you accomplish that.”

Another popular trail system in the county is the Noquemanon Trail Network (NTN). For the last few years, NTN has partnered with Northern Michigan University to make the trails easily accessible for NMU students.

“They help us maintain fat bikes for students to use through our outdoor recreation program,” said Adam Fancher, NMU Intramural Sports & Outdoor Recreation Manager.

Fancher says biking the trails is a perfect way to introduce out-of-town college students to the area.

“It allows them to experience kind of the main culture of Marquette, which is definitely outdoor recreation, and mountain biking is part of that,” he said.

Through the partnership, NMU students are exempt from trail fees. To learn about becoming a trail member, click here.

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