Katie Thoreson with WXPR radio station reports that, thanks to the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, a section of ski trail that formerly ran through private land is now owned by the county as a public resource, delighting fans of the extensive MECCA trail system in Mercer, Wisconsin.
Most MECCA trails were already publicly owned, but “for a long a time, a key connection in the trail system went through a 40-acre parcel of privately owned land.” The owner of the property “was always happy to let MECCA have their trail, but when the land went up for sale a couple years ago,” MECCA volunteers were concerned that a new owner wouldn’t feel the same way.
By matching Knowles-Nelson funding with a grant from the Gogebic Range Health Foundation, Iron County was able to purchase the land and secure the trail forever.
“It’s a big relief,” said MECCA Trails President Mike Shouldice. “It’s a big feather in our cap that we were able to do this.”
Featured image by Mark Preuschl, 2007.