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Name Change Reflects Expanded Role

The Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club has changed its name to the Hancock Trails Club. The name change reflects the club’s evolution to a four-season organization.

“When the club was formed more than 30 years ago, our role was to maintain and groom cross-county ski trails,” says Club President Jay Green. “Now we coordinate the development and maintenance of more than 25 miles of singletrack used by mountain bikers, hikers, and runners in the summer. We also now groom trails for snow bikes in the winter, as well as our traditional role of grooming the ski trails.”

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Green said the club’s new name is more descriptive of its expanded year-round role and also better reflects it geographic location and focus.

“Our trails are in the City of Hancock, Hancock Township, and Quincy Township” he said. “It makes more sense for our name to reflect that fact.”

Over the past five years, the club has renovated several summer trails that suffered from erosion problems and has overseen the development of several new summer trails, including the new Skyway Trail that winds for 1.5 miles on the ridge above Portage Lake. 

“We’ve seen a significant increase in the summer use of the trails,” Green said. “We also recently completed a major effort to improve the wayfinding and sustainability of the trails, thanks to a grant from the Copper Shores Community Health Foundation and funding from the Keweenaw Land Trust.”

The Maasto Hiihto and Churning Rapids trail system enjoys a partnership with the City of Hancock, Hancock Township, and more than 15 property owners who allow trails on their land. Churning Rapids (roughly the north half of the trail system) includes more than 1,000 acres, much of which is in a conservation easement, which provides public access in perpetuity.  That land is still privately owned with the easement held by the Keweenaw Land Trust.

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