This winter has been a mix of tragedy and optimistic progress for the ICORE Hurley to Montreal Trail Project. In December, Mike Fauerbach and the Trails Committee organized a successful fundraiser at Sharon’s Coffee Company in Hurley. Mike and everyone involved were thrilled by the generous support from the community for this project. However, the new year began with sorrow for the sudden passing of Mike, the leader and biggest champion of the trail. Yet ICORE has been heartened by the generosity of so many people that knew Mike and his works, as donations in his honor have allowed us to meet our 2019 fundraising goal for the Hurley to Montreal trail. If we can get a reasonable price from the railroad and a matching grant from the DNR, we should have enough funds to acquire the railroad grade.
We’ve also had progress working with the City of Hurley, the City of Montreal, the Iron County Forestry Department, and local ATV and snowmobile clubs. Together we have identified a tentative route for the future non-motorized trail. The trail would mostly follow the former Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie railroad grade, now owned by Canadian National, with a half-mile segment on the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Pence Branch, now owned by Union Pacific. The trail will include two beautiful railroad bridges, including the “Hurley Railroad Overpass West” pictured here.
Negotiating a price with Canadian National will take more time, however. Over the next year we’ll continue negotiating a purchase, receive a formal appraisal of the property, and work on a Memorandum of Understanding between ICORE, Hurley, and Montreal to guide to guide our path forward.
We will also continue working on the Hurley Trailhead, beginning with a work bee on May 4. We’ll plant more trees and shrubs, bring back the benches and bike rack, stain the benches, seed some more grass, and break ground on a wildflower garden. Other things in the works include a trail event on June 2 and construction of a small parking area next to the trail.