New multi-use trail opens in UP - WNEM TV 5

New multi-use trail opens in UP

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Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

A new multi-use trail opened in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The trail spans from Escanaba to Hermansville and was developed through a partnership between the Michigan DNR and American Transmission Co.

It is a 25-mile off-road trail.

"This new outdoor recreation opportunity is a great example of government, businesses and the community working together," Gov. Rick Snyder said. "Because of the public-private collaboration, residents and visitors alike will enjoy this trail for decades to come and celebrate the best of Pure Michigan.”

Development of the trail started in 2007 when the state acquired the land for $550,000.

The DNR took public comments from 2009 through 2011 to determine what to use the land for.

“In 2013, the American Transmission Co. approached the DNR about the possibility of siting its electric transmission line next to the rail-trail,” said Ron Yesney, DNR Upper Peninsula trails coordinator. “In return, the company offered to fund construction and maintenance of the recreational trail, including three bridge upgrades.”

That resulted in the $3.5 million trail project.

“This was a winning project all the way around,” said Tom Finco, vice president of external affairs for American Transmission Co. “By co-locating our transmission line within an established corridor, we minimized the environmental impact of the project and were able to provide state residents with a multi-purpose trail. This new recreational asset also should help attract tourists to an easily accessible part of the Upper Peninsula.”

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