REPUBLIC TOWNSHIP — A year–round trail system in Marquette County is getting a makeover along parts of its 47 mile length.

Thanks to a Republic Township millage in 2011, a two and a half mile section of the Iron Ore Heritage Trail near its westernmost trailhead will be the first to be upgraded. This portion of the Heritage Trail, once occupied by a railway, is being given a dual–purpose makeover to accommodate the area’s ATV traffic.

“The motorized traffic area is going to be on one section of the rail grade, and it won’t be an improved surface, but the other part will be improved,” said Carol Fulsher, administrator with the Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority. “(It will) be ten feet of crushed limestone, and we’ll have some sort of system in the middle of the trail to try to get people to use their appropriate trails, and we’re asking people to be civil and respectful of other users on the trail.”

Republic is also working to fund renovation of the bank building adjacent to the trailhead.

“They’re looking for trust fund dollars to help restore that, and it will be a nice indoor spot for people to get situated when they come and use the trail,” Fulsher added.

Repairs will be done this month on the Bruce Creek Bridge along the trail that was burned in July.

Upgrades will also be made to a section of trail in Tilden Township. The improvements were delayed because some of the original rail grade along the trail was restored to rail use for the Humboldt Mill, but the Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority now hopes to have both sections completed by the beginning of next summer.

The Greenwood and LS&I rail grades that are also a part of the trail system will not be upgraded at this point, as Ely and Humboldt townships did not pass millages for the work.