Now is the Time: Permanently Protect the Trails You Love!

Now is the Time: Permanently Protect the Trails You Love!

By Sam Raymond, Owner/Manager

Keweenaw Adventure Company (KAC) is a proud supporter of the Copper Harbor Trails Club (CHTC) – the organization responsible for the development and maintenance of Copper Harbor’s world-class mountain bike trail system.  As a founding member of the Club and as its vice-president, I also served as the Race Director of the Copper Harbor Fat Tire Festival (now Bell’s Beer Copper Harbor Trails Festival) from 1998-2012 and have been devoted to the trails since before I became the proprietor of KAC in 1999. The Club, the trails and KAC have shared a symbiotic trajectory of success in the past decade and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be in the mix of it!

In particular, 2016 brought about great change and accomplishment for the CHTC. After dreaming, planning and fundraising since the State acquired over 6000 acres at the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula in 2002, the Keweenaw Point Trail (Phase II ) was nearly completed – the final push to Highrock Bay will be the top priority  for 2017! The lower half mile of the Garden Brook Trail was rerouted and built sustainably to better serve as a core artery of the system. The CHTC partnered with the Michigan Nature Association (MNA) to build a new hiking-only trail along the cliffs on the south side and up to the nose/Copper Harbor Overlook of Brockway Mountain – the Rooks is the only MNA Sanctuary that allows mountain bikes and the CHTC is thankful for this collaborative effort. (Photo Credit: Chris Guibert)

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Also many years in the works, perhaps most significant, is the Access Protection Project to secure permanent public access to trails on 94 acres at the core of the system  Affected trails include the main trailhead from the Township Park, lower Garden Brook, Stairway to Heaven, ‘Der We Went, Here We Go, Say Hello, Ma Maki and Downtown – all of which link to the neighboring State, County, Township and MNA properties. The trail system would become fragmented without this key access.

Excitedly, CHTC (in partnership with Grant Township) now has $248,300 of a Michigan Natural Resource Trust Fund grant in place to protect the trails. A 25% local match (i.e. $85,000) is yet required and we have just an $18,000 short-fall of funds to be raised by the year’s end. If you’d like to be a part of protecting the permanent public access of the trails, click here. Donations  are tax deductible, which is great perk for any end-of-year giving you might consider!

The story of the Copper Harbor Trails is nothing short of amazing considering Copper Harbor has a year-round population of about 80 residents (~300 in the summer).  Our grass-roots success has been shouldered on the efforts and contributions of tireless volunteers, devoted CHTC members, business sponsors and generous donations from those who use and enjoy the trails.  Thanks if you’ve been a part of this phenomenon and here’s to a great, successful 2017 ahead!

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