New Heritage Trail connects Republic to Chocolay Township

Mining iron ore has been the backbone of the Upper Peninsula’s economy for more than a century. Now, that heritage will be on full display for generations to come with the grand opening of the 48-mile Iron Ore Heritage Trail.

Hundreds of bikers, outdoorsmen, and high-ranking state officials turned out for the historic occasion that connects communities from Republic to Chocolay Township with views of the past that wouldn’t be possible without the new path.

The $1.9 million venture received funding from organizations across the spectrum, all under the guidance of the Iron Ore Heritage Trail Recreation Authority who has spearheaded the operation from day one.

“It’s like raising a child,” Carol Fulsher, the Administrator for the Iron Ore Heritage Trail Recreation Area

Governor Rick Snyder was also on hand to lend his support as part of his initiative to connect Bell Island to Ironwood with 600 miles of trail.

“The history of mining, timber and iron ore parts of the trail are really important to remember and celebrate,” noted Governor Snyder, who took a personal family vacation in the U.P. “But, looking forward are brightest days are ahead of us. Mining and timber are going to continue to do well in our state, but things like tourism, which this trail represents, are great. Not many states can say they have a 600-mile long trail, let alone having one as beautiful as this.”

The trail will be open to walkers, runners, and bikers in the warmer months, and will serve as a snowmobile trail once the snow falls.