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In the loop: Norway cookout to highlight Dickinson trail connections

Elijah, Jason and Saunja Morgan of Vulcan ride their bikes on a trail at the edge of Oak Crest Golf Course property that connects the newly constructed trails with the original Ogee loop at Marion Park. This new connector trail officially opens Sunday during the Norway Trails open house event. (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photo)

NORWAY — A “new and improved” Norway Trail System is ready for use this weekend, officials said.

The Dickinson Trail Network will host a cookout and ride Sunday to unveil its Norway Trails Ogee System at Marion Park this weekend and “show appreciation to all the volunteers who worked so hard to make the trails a reality,” said Chad Susott, president of the Dickinson Trail Network.

The cookout begins at noon Sunday at the True North Outpost on Highway 8.

The Norway Trail begins with a 1.5-mile single track Ogee trail at Marion Park that launched in 2018.

The DTN and volunteers were able to build a 2.25-mile Norway School Forest Loop and the 0.75-mile Alwine Trail that connects this trail system to Piers Gorge Road.

THE NORWAY AREA offers several miles of non-motorized trails.

“Just this week, Oak Crest Golf Course generously agreed to allow us to build a trail on the edge of their property, which connects our newly constructed trails with the original Ogee loop at Marion Park,” Jason Morgan, a DTN director, said of the new trail.

The next goal for the Norway Trail System is to connect to Piers Gorge Recreation Area.

Steve Veihl, a DTN director, submitted a bike trail proposal to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources that includes a 2.6 mile-loop within the Pier Gorge Recreation Area that would be north of the current walking trail.

“The proposed bike path will consist of a moderately challenging 2.6-mile loop showcasing the natural rocky features inherent to the Piers Gorge Area,” Veihl stated in his proposal.

Trail organizers hope to obtain DNR approval in time to break trail in spring 2020.

Though the Millie Hill trails are open to the public, the official launch won’t be until spring 2020, when all the testing and inspections are completed and they get the final approval from Iron Mountain.

“During this trial phase, we encourage the public to exercise caution when walking, hiking and biking, especially on the more difficult terrain,” Susott said.

Millie Hill has three distinct trails on the north side, marked as green, orange and pink. These trails are “black diamond” degree of difficulty and should only be attempted by expert or very experienced mountain bikers, he said.

At the bottom of the north Millie Hill trails is a “jump-line” trail, also rated for advanced riders only.

But the three trails on the south and east sides of Millie Hill are suitable for beginners “and can be enjoyed by everyone,” Susott said.

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The DTN’s long-term goal is to construct non-motorized recreational trails that connect all the trail heads throughout Dickinson County, beginning with a trail from Iron Mountain to Norway.

The group gives special thanks to the sponsors of Sunday’s event: U.P. Sport and Spoke, Mouw and Cellelo Law Firm, KCD Specialty Landscaping, 51st Brewery and True North Outpost, Susott said.

“We welcome the public to join us to check out the trails, thank our wonderful volunteers and enjoy some free food and drinks,” Susott said.

Dickinson Trail Network is a 501(c)(3) non-profit group of volunteers whose mission is to build, maintain and promote non-motorized trails throughout the county.

Theresa Proudfit can be reached at 906-774-2772, ext. 245, or tproudfit@ironmountaindailynews.com.

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