The ribbon has been cut, and the trail is open.
As part of his Pure Michigan tour, Governor Rick Snyder made a stop in Ironwood on Monday to dedicate the over 600-mile-long trail that connects Michigan and Wisconsin.
??This is a great opportunity for us to represent pure Michigan,?? said Snyder. ??If you think about this, it's going to be the Western Gateway of a 600-mile-long trail across Michigan, and what a great opportunity for us to enjoy the wonderful outdoors.??
One adventurous hiker present at the dedication already completed the entire trail access on foot.
??It was fantastic; beautiful trail,?? said hiker, Chris Hillier. ??It started off urban hiking right through the city of Detroit and suburban areas and some beautiful paved trails.??
The trailhead, located at the historic train depot in Ironwood, is where both the motorized and non-motorized vehicle trails meet. Officials say eventually converting the abandoned railway tracks may be in the trail??s future.
??It??s wonderful here because of the old rail tracks; you've got rails and trails going on where you can have non-motorized and motorized, and that'll bring even more business,?? Snyder said.
And more business is another perk to this expansive pathway. ??The economic possibilities; having people come through there, spending money on a meal, buying gear, spending a night at a hotel,?? Hillier said.
Since the trailhead is at the historic depot, the governor says the pathway is a great way to remind travelers of U.P. history.
??The wonderful museum pieces you have in the train depot right here represent Ironwood well. I enjoyed having a chance to look around as a part of the trail opening. It??s a good combination; you get culture and recreation in one spot,?? Snyder added.