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Blueberry Ridge Trail Restoration Begins

Tue, Sep  20, 2005 - By Michigna DNR

Michigan Department of Natural Resources work crews last week began renovation of approximately 4,000 feet of the Blueberry Ridge Pathway near Marquette.

According to Mike Paluda, Upper Peninsula supervisor for Forest, Mineral and Fire Management, the restoration involves grading some areas of the trail; adding topsoil, fertilizer and lime to build up the sandy soil, and planting grass and white clover to stabilize the ground before winter.

"Our crews will be seeding and placing erosion mats on the steep portions of the pathway to prevent further erosion and hyrodseeding the other exposed areas of the pathway," Paluda said. "The work should be finished by the end of this week."

The trail system currently is closed to all users to allow for stabilization and revegetation. DNR officials plan to open the trail for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing once there is sufficient snowfall for trail grooming, which usually occurs in early December. The trail will be closed again to warm weather users in 2006.

When the trail reopens in the spring of 2007, mountain bikes and horses will not be allowed on the Blueberry Ridge Pathway. Paluda said the Blueberry Ridge Committee, comprised of area residents and trail user groups to investigate options for alternate uses. In winter, this trail also could be open to dog sledding and skijoring.

"It will be the first equestrian trail constructed on state forest land in the Upper Peninsula," Paluda said. "If we can secure the needed support and funding quickly, the new trail could be open as soon as next summer."

The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural resources for current and future generations.