Sugarloaf Mountain improvements a step forward in accessibility

The recreational opportunities in Marquette County keep getting sweeter. Recently, the Marquette County Board of Commissioners approved an agreement with the state that will allow the county to use a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant on improvements at Sugarloaf Mountain.

The $60,000 project — which will be 75 percent funded by the MNRTF grant and 25 percent by the county’s local match — will pay for the installation of interpretive trail signs, a picnic area and access path, bicycle racks and a solar-powered waste collection and compaction system, among other things.

Not only does this work improve the recreational amenities available at the popular outdoor attraction, but it also makes the mountain’s beautiful vistas accessible to a great number of people.

At Sugarloaf’s summit will be installed a webcam, which will allow people to enjoy the view over Lake Superior and the Marquette County wilderness at just about any time they please.

“The idea with the webcam, it helps kind of the universal accessibility aspect of Sugarloaf,” Lauren Luce, senior planner at the Marquette County Planning Department, said in a recent Journal article. “With the stairs, not everyone is able to reach the summit; with a webcam, anyone could enjoy the view at any given time.”

We’re glad the county has taken this project on, considering several of the improvements were suggestions raised through community surveys. We’re also grateful the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which administers the MNRTF, has allowed the county to save some dollars in the process.

We look forward to seeing this project completed, possibly even before the snow falls — that way we can check out the wintry view atop Sugarloaf from the warmth of our own homes.