The Iron Ore Heritage Trail and its Administrator, Carol Fulsher, were recently recognized at the Midwest American Trails and Greenways Conference (MATAG) in Des Moines, Iowa as Michigan’s Trail Project and Trail Person. At each MATAG Conference, held every other year, each State is encouraged to recognize the tremendous contributions of volunteers, professionals, and other leaders who are working to create a dynamic system of trails across the Midwest.
The Iron Ore Heritage Trail was awarded outstanding Trail Project because of the “trail’s artfully designed trailheads, mile markers, kiosks, and other trailside historical items have made this an iconic trail for the State of Michigan. Marquette has long been known for its mountain biking and cross-country ski trails; however, the addition of this spectacular rail-trail has branded Marquette as a sought-after trail hub. The trails have brought so much attention to the area that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is basing their new online trails portal featuring all the trails of Marquette County as a demonstration site”.
Carol Fulsher, its administrator, was awarded outstanding person because of her “overall effective leadership, including coordination, advocacy, technical assistance and fundraising. She guided the local governments along the trail route in forming the Iron Ore Heritage Trail Recreation Authority and successfully coordinated a campaign to start a millage to help fund the development and maintenance of the trail. She successfully worked with the Michigan Historical Center to develop trail features with history interpretation in mind, telling of the critical importance of the iron mining industry in that part of the state. Every kiosk, mile marker, and sign along the route represents this past in an iconic way.”
“I was stunned to learn that we won these awards this year,” commented Carol Fulsher, Administrator for the Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority. “I work with a very committed board of directors who use their skills to build this trail. I’m very lucky to be surrounded by their talents and perseverance. We want to continue building a one-of-a-kind trail that is an asset to the people of Marquette County and the State of Michigan and allows all users somewhere to partake in their sport and mode of alternative transportation. We thank MTGA and the DNR for their recognition of our work.”