Lodge sale to preserve public use

EAGLE RIVER — While the agreement between Keweenaw County, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development will put the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge up for sale, the county has created easements on the property to protect future public use of some hiking/biking trails currently existing on the property, along with a county road, which will remain open to the public use after the property is sold.

Most of the KML is situated on 165.27 acres of land, according to Charles Miller, attorney for Keweenaw County. An additional 12.66 acres was added to provide easements.

Easements specifically created for protection include one which connects the “Golf Course Road to a trail, and the reason for this easement is so somebody coming up from Copper Harbor can still get to Golf Course Road, and Golf Course Road so that businesses can continue to come and let people off and enjoy the remainder of the trail system,” Miller said.

Ownership of the Golf Course Road, a county road with a 66-foot-wide right-of-way, will also be retained by the county.

Not all of the trails in the vicinity of the lodge can be protected, but three of them will: Blue Trail trailhead; Historic Red Trail, which goes to Lake Manganese; and the beginning of the Dancing Bear Trail.

“Most of Dancing Bear Trail is actually on GMO property,” Miller said. “The hope is, of course, that the buyer will want to keep all the trails intact.”

Miller said the goal of designing the easements in such a way to retain the public’s ability to use the trail system at the point where on KML property at the point where it safely rejoins the trails on the other side of U.S. 41.