Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Celebrate Surfacing of PM Trail Saturday

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new Baldwin Trailhead and surfaced Pere Marquette Rail Trail where it crossed Norway St.(photo by jhy)

by Joan H. Young

This Saturday, July 26, come to Baldwin to celebrate the official opening of the newly surfaced Pere Marquette Rail Trail between Baldwin and Reed City. For too many years, this section of the trail has been more of a trial, with heavy weed growth and a poor surface for bicycling. The new trailhead was deserted today, but there should be plenty of action this weekend.

Thanks to the efforts of some folks from Baldwin, particularly Pam Simmons (owner of the Pamela Tripp Gallery), those miles have now been surfaced with a packed, crushed limestone which will provide a stable surface for bicycling and walking.

The official ribbon cutting will take place at 1 pm. Festivities will follow with drawings to win bicycle accessories, bike decorations for kids, and a safety training presented by the Lake County Sheriff's Department. Several organizations will have information tables about local history and recreation opportunities, including the Forest Service with Smokey the Bear.

A 5.5 mile fun ride to the Idlewild Historic and Cultural Center is planned. Healthy snacks will be provided.

In the evening, there is a soul/blues concert at the Wenger Pavilion in Baldwin featuring Freddie Cunningham and Root Doctor.

The new trailhead is located between 8th and 9th Streets, and Cedar and Norway. Meet there for the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The improvements to these 17 miles of trail include the crushed limestone surface, improving drainage, providing access to the roadside park on US 10 (which has latrines), improving or building trailheads at both Baldwin and Reed City, and installing accessible benches along the trail.

This project was funded with a combination of a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant and an MDOT Transportation Alternatives Program grant.

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