The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Mosinee Grade GEMS trail open


BESSEMER — With ruffed grouse season improving with the falling leaves, both hunters and hikers have a new opportunity to enjoy autumn.

The Mosinee Grouse Enhanced Management System is open to the public for hunting, hiking and wildlife viewing.

The 4.5 miles of hunter walk-in trails and four wildlife openings have been developed on a 1,136-acre tract of land in the Gogebic County Forest, adjacent to the Mosinee Grade in Bessemer Township, according to Gogebic Conservation District Forester Cory Howes.

Funding for the Mosinee GEMS came from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Ruffed Grouse Society.

The trail was made possible through the Gogebic County Forestry and Parks Commission, in cooperation with the Gogebic Conservation District, MDNR, Ruffed Grouse Society and Mike Miskovich Logging.

“This is an intensively and well managed property that is designed to provide premium habitat for grouse, deer and other wildlife. This has been done using sustainable forest management techniques that benefit wildlife,” Howes said.

To maintain ideal habitat, Gogebic County Forestry and Parks is managing 236 acres of aspen in small blocks to produce multiple age classes in close proximity to one another.

“Management activities over the past 35 years have resulted in variable sized stands of primarily young aspen. Future management activities will further enhance the age class diversity,” Howes said.

The remainder of the GEMS tract consists of maple, oak and cedar, providing deer wintering complexes.

In addition, four wildlife openings — each one to two acres — have been planted with a nutritional mixture of clover, trefoil and wheat. The perimeters of the openings have been planted with fruit-producing native shrubs, such as hawthorn, nannyberry, chokecherry, American plum and crab apple.

Elsewhere, thousands of oak seedlings have also been planted throughout the property that will provide additional nutrition to deer and other wildlife species, Greg Ryskey, Gogebic County Forester, said.

“The openings and trails will provide a steady vegetative and insect food supply in the summer months, and an obstruction free roosting area in the winter months not only for ruffed grouse, but a wide variety of other birds, deer and other mammals,” Ryskey said.

GEMS sites are created to promote a destination for hunters in the hope of attracting tourism to the area and supporting the local economy.

Hunters and visitors can take their pictures in front of the GEMS sign, show it to participating local businesses, and receive a discount on their purchases, Howes said.

Check out the GEMS partners and local businesses offering discounts at

The GPS location to the parking lot is 46.3610-89.9370.

—Ralph Ansami


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