A big sigh of relief is being breathed by snowmobilers like us who love to ride in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan, thanks to the great work of a local snowmobile club and the kindness of a local land owner.
A previous hole in the trail network around the town of Wakefield – caused due to a change of ownership at a local ski hill that previously allowed a connector trail to cross its property – appears to be filled by a re-route of the trail south of town.
The Gogebic Range Trail Authority (GRTA) announced on its Facebook page the creation of the new route, which would keep riders south of Highway 2 all the way to Wakefield. According to the club, the route (shown in the picture) is all set and is pending approval from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which had agreed to expedite the approval process.
In an interview with MLive, GRTA President Steve Hamilton called the route a “brand new, incredible, safer trail” and said, “It’s been the greatest reward after such a difficult time to see the community come together behind snowmobiling… It’s a tremendous family friendly, family focused, healthy outdoor recreational activity that does more for our communities than most.” See the full MLive story on the trail here. They did a nice reporting job in the piece.
The new trail came together incredibly fast, but also just in the nick of time – snow is already piling up in the area, and the trails could technically open as early as December 1. The hole left by the ski hill’s decision threatened to disconnect Ironwood and Bessemer in the west from Wakefield and the rest of the U.P.’s great trail network to the east.
HUGE kudos to the club for putting this together from us here at Snow Goer. What a fine example they are of a forward thinking club that finds a way to solve problems! Kudos also to the landowner – on behalf of snowmobilers everywhere, a sincere “thank you!”