Across the Upper Peninsula, development is taking place through efforts big and small. A privately-funded new backcountry trail, a grand opening for a small aquarium retail store, celebrating a one-year-old company in the U.P., and the restart of a major economic development program all made the news this week.
Baraga EDC restarts with celebration
The Baraga County Economic Development Corporation just held a big kick-off event for the public.
The northern U.P. EDC hosted a celebration at the Baraga Lakeside Inn in Baraga, welcoming local residents, business owners and entrepreneurs to learn more about economic development in the area.
It comes after a restructuring and restart of the BCEDC, which now sees the economic development group looking to the future with new plans for the area. That's happening in collaboration with Marquette's Lake Superior Community Partnership, a similar group for the central U.P. which also recently has partnered with other smaller Upper Peninsula economic development groups.
The EDC welcomes engaged citizens, would-be business owners, possible investors, and others to contact it with new ideas.
DNR opens new non-motorized trail in the Keweenaw
This month saw the ribbon cut on a brand-new section of trail near Copper Harbor thanks to the efforts of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Copper Harbor Trails Club.
A new 6-mile section of the Keweenaw Point Trail was opened to non-motorized use, with the official ceremony being held southeast of Copper Harbor at High Rock Bay. It connects Mandan Road at Fort Wilkins Historic State Park and its campgrounds to a scenic point at High Rock Bay and provides a crucial link in the usability of local trail systems.
The segment, which was funded privately to the tune of $83,000, is the second phase of a three-part trail development plan that started in 2015. When it's all done, there will be a new 30-plus-mile backcountry multi-use trail for mountain bikers, backpackers, backcountry hikers and other outdoors enthusiasts. Donors included private donations, fundraising events held locally, and the Steven C. Leuthold Family Foundation.
Lori Hauswirth, executive director of the Copper Harbor Trails Club, says, "This trail will not only provide great non-motorized recreation opportunities, but also a boost to the local economies of the Keweenaw."
The third and final phase has been approved by the DNR and will run from High Rock Bay south and east to Montreal, but fundraising is still underway for this longer piece of trail, which has an estimated cost of $497,000.
Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
*Lake:* A view of Lake Superior along the Keweenaw Point Trail, near High Rock Bay.
*Group:* A group of mountain bikers and others gathered Thursday at High Rock Bay to celebrate the opening of a new section of the Keweenaw Point Trail.
Aquarium store opens in downtown Marquette
Fans of fish tanks will be delighted by the latest business to open in downtown Marquette. U.P. Reef has opened its doors at 118 W. Washington Street, Suite B in Marquette, which is above Wattsson and Wattsson Jewelers.
The new full-service aquarium store celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting with the Lake Superior Community Partnership, showing off its range of products and knowledge.
Interested customers wanting to check out U.P. Reef can drop by during its business hours, which are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.
U.P.-made sauce company marks one year in business
You've probably seen a new sauce somewhere on the local store shelves by now -- the U.P.'s own Red'z Bulgogi BBQ Marinade. With its eye-catching red-labeled jars and creative flavor appeal, the sauce has been appearing in more and more locations lately.
In fact, this fall marked Red'z one-year anniversary in business in Marquette, so the company along with Accelerate UP, the Michigan Small Business Development Center, and the Lake Superior Community Partnership, had a big bash with (of course) good food to celebrate.
Owner Teresa Mauldin showcased sandwiches and other dishes made with her signature sauces, and shared the story of her Bulgogi BBQ sause, described as "Korean-inspired with a Yooper wave of flavor."
It's currently being carried by 127 stores across the Midwest, fanning out from the U.P., and fans can hope to see other Red'z sauces on the market in the future.