All things trails happening this weekend in area

The beautiful Noquemanon Trail Network has become one of the greatest assets and attractions in our area. NTN, as it’s called, is a nonprofit organization created to build and maintain the recreational trails.

Today through Sunday, The Marquette Trails Festival celebrates and supports all things trail. With its center at Marquette Mountain Ski Area, the festival is a fun weekend with mountain bike races, running races and all sorts of events on the schedule.

It’s a fundraiser for NTN so we hope many folks find some time to support the festival.

Last year, nearly $11,000 was raised. We’re hoping with the public’s help, that total is surpassed this year.

With events like the Dual Slalom Race, Enduro Race and Long XC Race, excitement for spectators is a part of the festival’s first day, which begins at 4 p.m. today and concludes with a bonfire and s’mores at Marquette Mountain.

Festival organizers have put together two more days of great events for all ages and abilities to participate in.

Saturday’s jam-packed with action including the challenging Twin Peaks Trail Run, which is a half marathon trail running race.

Also in the mix will be the 5K Trail Run; the Point to Point Long XC Mountain Bike Race, which starts at the Forrestville Trailhead and take racers through 31 miles of single track all the way back to Marquette Mountain; and the Short XC Mountain Bike Race, which allows bikers to sample some great short track trail.

For the younger set, the Youth Trail Running Race and Youth Mountain Bike Race are both scheduled after the cross-country events. The competitive day ends, organizers say, with the fast Downhill Mountain Bike Race, followed by awards from Saturdays’s events and music.

Sunday is another day of great action wrapping up at about 4 p.m.: visit the website to find the complete schedule.

We thank the Marquette Trail Festival organizers for all the work that goes into making a busy weekend like this happen.

May the weather be good and may the ski hill area be busy with participants and spectators alike.