Work continues on new trails at Huron County Nature Center

New Huron County nature trails have been completed and more are approaching thumbtip.

The Huron County Nature Center is working on the completion of a total of five new trails within 4 miles, located a quarter of a mile east of the Nature Center building and parking lot.

The first three loops of the trail were open over Memorial Day weekend during the downtown Lady Slipper Festival. Kathy Kent, chair of the board of the nature center, said clearing work for the final two loops continues this fall, along with the installation of a short walk on the seasonal wetlands.

“We expect all five loops to be open no later than next spring,” Kent said.

Kent said these new trails were designed for cyclists, but aren’t so difficult that walking or hiking along them is out of the question.

“We ask visitors to park at the Nature Center and walk the short distance to the new trailhead,” said Kent. “Our trail rules allow walkers and pedal bikes, but no bicycles or motorized vehicles are allowed.”

These new trails have been in development since 2017. Volunteers Rob Hair and Steve Penn mapped the trails with the board of directors who initiated the EGLE wetland investigation and application process for building boardwalks at through the wide canals of the wetlands.

Once three large boardwalks were built, the clearing processes began.

The Nature Center is a fully voluntary non-profit organization, so all the clearing work was done entirely through volunteer work with the participation of board members, family and friends. Members of the Rotary clubs of Bad Ax and Pigeon have also helped make these trails a reality.

The boardwalks used were built by a local contractor and funded by grants from individuals and charities.
Maintenance of these trails will continue as it will take years for the trail to reach a point where seasonal maintenance is no longer required, according to Kent.

“Fortunately, maintenance currently involves raking leaves from the trail in the spring and fall, and humming the fallen tree occasionally, and then rolling the pieces off the trail,” Kent said.

All trails in the Nature Center are open to the public all year round free of charge.

The organization is always looking for volunteer help with trails and other aspects of running the nature center. Those interested for more information can contact the Nature Center at [email protected]

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About Elisa C. Peachey

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