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Friday, August 9, 2013

The Return To Ironwood!

On April 25th of this year, I had the chance to meet Governor Rick Snyder at the capitol in Lansing as part of being nominated for a Governor's Fitness Award. I only had a brief second to shake his hand and say something so I thanked him for proposing the trail from Detroit to Ironwood and said that I intended to be the first one to thru-hike it. He responded politely but probably had more important things on his mind. He'd better! He is, after all, the Governor.

Thanks, Dude!

Now, it looks like I might get the chance to shake his hand again and tell him that I was, indeed, the first person to thru-hike his trail. The good people of Ironwood have worked very hard on a beautiful park and trailhead and Governor Snyder is going to be there on Monday, August 12th to dedicate it. I'm honored to have been invited to return to Ironwood to participate in this event.

I love Ironwood!

Better still, I was offered a ride up there by Roger Storm. Roger is a Trailway Acquisition Specialist  for the DNR and he is actually the man who came up with a rough outline of the trail the Governor proposed. That outline became the graphic that the Free Press printed as the 'proposed trail' and that's the trail that I stuck to. We have many questions for each other so I'm really looking forward to the ride up there.

This  is the trail that Roger came up with...
...that became this graphic printed in the Free Press.

Not sure where I'm going to stay up there or how I'm going to get home. I'll figure that out later. In the meantime, I'm really excited to be returning to Ironwood and seeing the good friends I've made up there. Special thanks to Lee-Ann Garske for making all this happen.

Me and Lee-Ann at the trailhead the Governor is going to dedicate.

I posed this question before and I received some really interesting answers: If I get to see the Governor again, if only for a second, what should I say to him? Leave me a comment!


  1. Remind him what a beautiful state Michigan is and this trail will attract hikers from all over. PS- A huge thanks to the people of Ironwood!

  2. Thanks for hittin the blog, Valerie. I'll join you in thanking the people of Ironwood. They have been very good to me and they really want to be known as a 'Trail Town' and as the northern terminus of this trail. I think it's great that the Governor is going there to give them some of the recognition they deserve.

  3. Chris,

    Be sure to tell him to keep the North Country Trail as THE hiking portion of his trail. Bikes can take a different route, but we want the hikers on our trail. It will be good for the NCT and also the state.

    Have fun.

  4. I hear you, Dr. Jinkerson. The NCT was designed for foot traffic only and should stay that way. I saw one plan for this trail that kept the NCT across the UP as 'foot traffic only' and another trail that ran across the southern portion of the UP that would be for bikes, ATV's and snow machines. I'll have to ask about that.

    As President of the Hikers Chapter of the NCT and a Trail Angel, your suggestions carry weight. Thank you for leaving a comment.

  5. Hi Chris, I hope your big day on Monday went well, and want to hear the details. I was telling a friend about your hike and the proposed trail. He is quite a history buff, and offered the suggestions that the trail should start at the Ohio border, near Monroe. I suppose it could swing over to Belle Isle.

    1. Hi Lee! Thanks for leaving a comment. Including miles from Monroe to Belle Isle would be kinda cool especially considering all the history there. Who is your friend? I'd love to know more about that part of the state.

  6. p.s. He thinks it should start at the Ohio line near Lake Erie following the path used by both British and American soldiers during the War of 1812. There is a battlefield near the trail called the River Raisin National Battlefield. There is now a park there.

    I think it's a neat idea also because then it does from state border to state border.

    1. "Remember the Raisin" was an American battle cry for years. I know that park and the history there is amazing. I have a presentation coming up with some of the movers and shakers in the Michigan trail community. I will mention your friend's idea that the trail could run from border to border including that park. Thank you for sharing it with me.