Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund set to improve UP outdoor recreation

The total of recommended land acquisitions in the UP is five in $1.5 million
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Park Sign.(WLUC)
Published: Dec. 16, 2022 at 8:47 PM EST
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UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WLUC) - The DNR said 45 projects in Michigan will receive funds from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.

Three recipients are in the U.P. and one of these three is in Marquette County. The Iron Ore Heritage Trail will use its $150,000 to expand trail access in Marquette and Negaunee Townships, said Trail Administrator Carol Fulsher.

“What we are going to do with that is develop some single-track trails because the Iron ore heritage is a liner trail that’s mostly rail trail,” said Fulsher. “We do know that there are a lot of mountain bikers and single-track people out here, so we wanted to accommodate them as well.”

Fulsher also expressed that the work will begin soon.

“Takes about six months for us it gets contracts signed and engineering is done,” said Fulsher. “So, I would say some of it may be done by the end of the year and some of it will go into 2023.”

The DNR parks and recreation division in the Keweenaw will get $5,000,000 to purchase 4,000 acres of land near Fort Wilkins Historic State Park.

“Which will preserve a bunch of lands up there for various recreational purposes,” said Michigan DNR Public Information Officer John Pepin.

The City of Manistique will use its $345,000 to expand its Lakeshore Campground by nine acres.

“It helps actually everyone in the U.P because land acquisitions and land developments for recreation purposes benefit the tourism of the upper peninsula and that also benefits the local economy.”

Here is the full list of the three projects in the Upper Peninsula set to receive funding:

1.) Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority- Marquette Country Single-track Acquisition - $150,700

Acquisition of 176 acres of the natural area adjacent to the Iron Ore Heritage Trail. The property will be developed for a single-track internal loop trail in Negaunee and Marquette Townships. The system will provide a recreational destination along the main trail corridor for snow bikes, mountain bikes, hikers, snowshoers, hand cyclists, and cross-country skiers. The property offers views of Lake Superior, Hogback, and Sugarloaf mountains as well as access to Bishop Creek within the Marquette area. The Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority provides a long-distance, multi-use, interpretive trail across the Marquette Iron Range.

2.) DNR- Park, and Recreation Division - Fort Wilkins Historic State Park - Keweenaw County Keweenaw Point acquisition - $5 million

Acquisition of approximately 4,000 acres near Fort Wilkins Historic State Park. The addition will consolidate state land holdings in the Keweenaw Peninsula for recreation and natural resource conservation in an area known for its natural resource-based recreation. The property consists of rugged terrain, lakes, streams, and several existing recreation trails including snowmobile, mountain bike, and off-road-vehicle. Other recreation opportunities include hunting, fishing, hiking, paddle sports, wildlife, and winter sports.

3.) City of Manistique - Lakeshore Campground - Schoolcraft Country Lakeshore Campground acquisition -- $345,000

Acquisition of a 4-acre parcel along U.S Highway-2 adjacent to the City of Manistique lakeshore campground on Lake Michigan. The new park, along with a contiguous parcel funded by a 2021 trust fund grant, will allow the park and campground to be expanded by 9 acres. The campground features sites with a range of features, including full hook-up, pull-through sites, and rustic, tent-only sites. The park includes a Lake Michigan beach, pavilion, playground, and boardwalk. The acquisition will allow the development of a trailhead along US 2 for the Iron Belle Trail bike route, which extends more than 2,000 miles from Ironwood to Belle Isle in Detroit, with routes for both bicycling and hiking.