On a beautiful fall-like day a small group gathered in Ramsay Township Thursday afternoon.
They met at the end of paved trail off Ramsay Road where a new sign reads ‘Iron Belle Trail’ and shares some of the history of the region.
The mayors, volunteers, health group, and members of the trail authority that came out are just some of the many people that made this latest section of the Iron Belle Trail possible.
Paul Anderson is a project manager for Coleman Engineering. He’s been helping oversee construction of the Iron Belle Trail in Gogebic County for the last seven years.
“Being able to recreate in a safe environment, off of the roadways, and just have this asset that is going to be used by so many different people in the community. It’s just a really fun project to be involved with,” said Anderson.
When completed, the Iron Belle Trail will be nearly 830 miles connecting Ironwood to Detroit. Right now, about 70 percent of the entire trail is complete.
A group of dedicated people have made the 10-mile paved section from Ironwood to Ramsay possible. Ramsay Township Supervisor Jeff Randall says it’s been a community effort.
“What a treat to work with people who do have the common vision and goal to see it happen,” said Randall. “So they do what it takes to make it happen.”
The latest section of the trail cost $1.48 million. It was made possible by grants and donations from the Michigan DNR, state and federal departments of transportation, private donors and fundraisers, and the Gogebic Range Health Foundation.
Andrea Newby is the executive director. She says the foundation has gotten great feedback from the community about the trail.
“You see people that have either got back into physical activity or people that never were physically active getting to access the trail. It's great tourism and recreational opportunities,” said Newby.
The completion of this latest section is a proud moment for Anderson and everyone who played a role in its creation.
“Just knowing all the energy that went into it and being part of it, just is a really great feeling to get out here and finally use it,” said Anderson.
He hopes everyone who visits the area will enjoy it as much as he has.
Now that the section connecting Ramsay to Ironwood is complete, the group is continuing its efforts on connecting it to Wakefield.