The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Roads at Porkies reopen after damaging ice storm


Submitted photo

HUNDREDS OF trees were felled by ice last week in the Porcupine Mountains State Park near Silver City. The Department of Natural Resources supplied the photo.

SILVER CITY - Roads have been reopened at the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park after ice and snow felled hundreds of trees last week.

Jeff Gaertner, park supervisor, said Tuesday, "All roads are open and passable, but park motorists should expect some wood and debris on park roads."

Highway 107 to Lake of the Clouds and the road to Summit Peak were closed late Thursday as trees weakened by a thick coating of ice and snow continued to fall, hampering efforts of clean-up crews.

The road to Lake of the Clouds reopened Sunday and the road to Summit Peak Road was opened today.

"We have not been on all the trails yet, but so far it looks like the majority of the damage begins around 1,000 feet elevation and continues higher," said Bob Wild, a Michigan Department of Natural Resources interpreter at the park. "The lower elevations, like those near Lake Superior, did not get as much ice."

Government Peak Trail, in the park's midsection, the Overlook Trail east of Lake of the Clouds and the Cloud Peak Trail have been impacted most heavily.

"In one section of the Government Peak Trail, there are over 300 trees down and across the trail within a four-mile stretch," Wild said. "There is also damage to some foot bridges and many sections of boardwalk."

Higher elevations at the park received up to an inch of ice, which was then covered by two to four inches of snow.

Last summer, the Porkies was struck by two consecutive storms - the first in the west, the second in the east - that felled numerous trees onto trails, flooded creeks and streams, undermining riverbanks and toppling trees.

One cabin had to be relocated and several campsites and cabins were temporarily closed.


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