MARQUETTE – The Noquemanon Trail Network Council (NTN) is entering into an agreement to purchase a 100 foot wide trail easement and approximately 40 acres of land from Plum Creek with local funding received from the Cliffs Natural Resources/Eagle Mine Marquette County Community Fund.
The easement covers the entire length of the MGHS Noquemanon Ski Marathon and MGHS Ore To Shore race routes, as they sit on Plum Creek land. The 40 acre lot is also on County Road 510, the western existing trail head for the Noquemanon Trail Network which doubles as the staging area for the start of the Noquemanon Ski Marathon Half Marathon.
“The reason we are attempting to purchase this easement and land is to protect this trail system from being closed off by private landowners,” said Jon Mommaerts, MGHS Noquemanon Ski Marathon Race director. “There are several 40 acre parcels for sale adjacent to our trail system. It is highly likely that we could lose permanent access to our event trails if we do not secure these easements soon.”
Mommaerts said the objective is to secure access of the major trail corridor that is utilized by thousands of non-motorized sport enthusiasts.
The NTN has over 1,000 members and nearly 5,000 annual event participants that benefit from this trail. The trail system has become a major driver of economic impact to the area. It is the base of silent sports tourism and a tool to create population growth as more and more people choose to live in an area that has many high quality silent sport opportunities. The NTN’s goal is to continue to increase membership and usage of this trail corridor for as many users and user groups as possible.
The NTN will be developing several signs stating that the land acquisition was made possible through the Cliffs Natural Resources/Eagle Mine Marquette County Community Fund.
The Noquemanon Trail Network is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization. Our mission is to develop and maintain an interconnected, year round, non-motorized land and water trail network in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan to enhance the quality of life through healthy lifestyles, youth recreational opportunities, and economic development. For more information on the NTN visit www.noquetrails.org.