Plenty for CHTC to be proud of in what lies ahead

Copper Harbor Trails.org Copper Harbor Trails Club’s Keweenaw Point Trail now complete, the non-profit is now looking forward to starting a new trail project in 2019.

COPPER HARBOR — Nathan Miller, executive director of the Copper Harbor Trails Club (CHTC), said the organization is looking forward to 2019, and expanding the trails the club owns. Part of the enthusiasm is due to the five-year Keweenaw County Recreation Plan recently approved by the Keweenaw County Board of Commissioners.

“The last five-year plan had a lot of good planning for building our Keweenaw Point Trail,” Miller said, “which is a 30-mile loop that heads out to High Rock Bay, then Keystone Bay, and comes back through the Montreal River Corridor. So it was good to see that wrapping up in the last five-year plan, and now we’re looking forward towards the Keweenaw Ridge Trail, and then continuing on south.”

The 2019-24 recreation plan has identified the Keweenaw Ridge Trail, which is currently in its concept stage, as heading west through Eagle Harbor, then to Eagle River, then follow the Cliff Range to Mohawk, Miller said. The trail will eventually terminate in Calumet, on Keweenaw National Historic Park property.

“It’s going to be a really, really long, non-motorized, human-powered trail,” said Miller, “and we’re really looking forward to getting people all the way up through the Keweenaw on this trail to Copper Harbor.”

The CHTC is a non-profit organization that manages, advocates, and builds non-motorized, human-powered trails in, and connecting to, Copper Harbor. The club does own land, said Miller, but works with property-owning properties.

“We work with partners. We have trails on township property, on private property, DNR land, and County land,” Miller explained.

Miller and the other club members, however, are also very aware that there are other groups and individuals who want access to lands for their particular recreational preferences, which includes ATV and ORV enthusiasts.

“We have a couple of connective trails on the Keweenaw Point Trail currently,” said Miller, “that we’re looking to kind of get off of the two-tracks, where the ATVs and ORVs might be using those roads as well, and bring those (non-motorized) trail users onto single track trails on DNR land, and that’s a project that we’re going to be working forward on in 2019, as well as the Trust Fund grant that we were recently awarded to build 15 more miles of trail.”