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Hurley trail group merges with ICORE



Hurley — The Iron County Outdoor Recreational Enthusiasts group has joined the effort to develop a non-motorized trail in northern Iron County, as ICORE met with the loosely organized Regional Trail Committee Tuesday to merge the two groups.

“When we started ICORE … we had a number of Hurley and Ironwood people there, and the whole mission statement — which is in our bylaws — is to promote silent sports in Iron County. So it was a county-wide endeavor,” ICORE president Martha Pierpont said.

The effort to develop to extend Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail through Hurley to Montreal, Wis., is now one of the more ambitious projects ICORE has undertaken

The decision to join ICORE means the regional committee now has a non-profit to handle money raised toward the effort to build a trailhead between U.S. 51 and the Montreal River in Hurley — a necessary step before the project can continue.

“Our committee had a meeting a couple weeks ago, and we’re just a group of volunteers — we’re not incorporated, we don’t have any status with the IRS,” trail committee co-chair Bob Traczyk said. “We were talking about fundraising and then we came up with this problem of we didn’t have anyone to receive the money for us.”

During the meeting the two groups briefly recounting their respective histories and formations in the past couple years. They also discussed future plans, including explaining the plan to use the rail grade from downtown Hurley to the city of Montreal for a non-motorized trail that will stop in Cary Park.

The first step of the project is paving the trailhead parking lot and building a pavilion and other features, which could cost between $42,000 and $100,000 depending on what all is done.

Neither entity the regional trail committee used in the past — Iron County and the city of Hurley — wanted to handle the funds for the project, forcing the group to look elsewhere. ICORE was one of the possibilities raised in the past months, which was favored in part because it already received and because the missions of the two groups are similar.

ICORE had originally established its own trail committee, but Pierpont said while the group’s monthly events continue to draw people, the trail efforts dwindled over time.

“Where we have been lack is, in a trail committee — to be honest with you, that’s where we’ve been lacking,” Pierpont said.

The group has been doing some trail maintenance — helping the town of Mercer with its non-motorized trail and planning work on a trail near the Turtle Flambeau Flowage.

Both groups said they looked forward to utilizing their respective strengths and learning from each other

“We’re still infants, I would say, or toddlers anyway; and we feel this would be a wonderful combination,” Pierpont said. “We could learn from you (and) what you’re doing that we haven’t yet done.”

To further the merger, several regional committee members expressed a willingness to serve on ICORE’s board once the current terms expire in October.

To help raise the necessary funds, the groups also discussed early plans for some kind of fundraiser in early November.

ICORE also invited the trail committee members to its annual meeting Oct. 25 at the Mercer Community Center.


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