The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Signed easement paves way for opening of Copper Peak trail system


Submitted photo

COPPER PEAK Board members, from left, Paul Belmas and Charlie Supercynski, celebrate the completion of an easement agreement with Paul Anderson over the Sisu Dirt Crew opening a multi-use trail system around Copper Peak.


Ironwood Township - The Copper Peak Board of Directors approved an easement Wednesday with the Sisu Dirt Crew, opening up a recently constructed trail system on the hill to public use this season.

While the trails are currently closed through spring melt to prevent damage, Dirt Crew secretary Paul Anderson said the easement allows the trails to open later this season for biking, hiking and other non-motorized activities.

"As soon as they're dry, they'll be open and available for use," Anderson said.

The trailhead is located directly to the east of Copper Peak's visitor center, Anderson said, and is marked by a sign and map of the trail.

There are roughly 6 miles of trails and over 500 feet of elevation changes, Anderson said, as it runs from the Black River to the ski jump.

"The trail goes down to the Black River and then it climbs all the way back up the top of the mountain," Anderson said. "It kind of circumnavigates the hill, so it kind of winds around the back side of the peak and twists around and climbs all the way up to the base of the ski jump and then it goes back down the front side of the hill ... down to the chalet."

Given the changes in the elevation, Anderson said there are some really nice views along the trail.

Even though the trails have yet to open this season, Anderson said there are already plans for events - including a Sept. 9 bike race.

Anderson said registration for the event will begin once the planning is complete.

The Sisu Dirt Crew, a committee within the Sisu Ski Fest, not only volunteered to build the trails, but also fundraised to support the effort.

The group also built a roughly quarter-mile trail at Mt. Zion - which Anderson said can be accessed just to the left of the gate at the turnoff to access the top of the hill - and has done volunteer work at the Wolverine Trails.

While Anderson said the Mt. Zion trail is good for beginners, the Copper Peak trail is a slight step up in difficulty.

"The elevation gain is really what makes it a challenge," Anderson said. He explained, with bermed corners and bridges, the trail's terrain remains entry level.

Given the group's nature, it continues to seek funds for trail maintenance and future trail development, including a pasta-feed fundraiser April 9 at Maplewood Steakhouse.


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