NTN’s South Trails are an important piece of community

I am a community member and a sophomore at MSHS here in Marquette. I recently heard that there was a plan to build on the Noquemanon Trail Network’s South Trails. This was devastating news to hear. These trails have been such a big part of my family and my childhood. When I was younger my dad would take me out riding and we used to ride Grom together all the time. Then when my sister was old enough to ride, she would ride with us as well. Grom was her favorite and mine too, that is until Dad took me on Mossy. As soon as I finished the trail it became my favorite trail instantly.

I cannot imagine growing up without these trails. It is unthinkable that they are considering building over Grom, part of the Blue trail, part of Gorge-ous, Smiley and Mossy. I cannot even begin to explain how much these trails add to our community. They account for hundreds of tourists. These trails may just be bike trails to some people but they are truly so much more.

Our community members hike, run, race, snowshoe, fat-tire snow bike and enjoy nature on each and every one of these trails. The blue trail connects to the trail that leads to my house. As a trail runner the Blue Trail is the perfect route to run. My dad has honestly biked over thousands of miles on these trails and knows each trail like the back of his hand.

Parcel 35 is located very close to the trailhead. The trailhead is the beginning and end of each ride. The trailhead is a place where family and friends can gather. Local businesses depend on tourists for business and tourists depend on the trails. Take away the trails you take away business.

Even if there was were no trails here and it was just nature, think of all the trees this project would clear. Clearing trees is scientifically proven to increase global warming. As a nation we have already impacted global warming enough.

Definitions of trails include “a mark or a series of signs or objects left behind by the passage of someone or something,” and “a beaten path through rough country such as a forest or moor.”

These trails are similar to the heart. The heart has many vessels that connect to it. The community is like the heart and the trails like the vessels. Take away the vessels there is no heart.

One reason people love these trails is because they offer something for everyone: the Grom Trail is perfect for kids, the Green and Red trails are considered intermediate. Gorge-ous and the Blue trails are black diamonds, the hard trails. If these trails were built over, the diversity and balance of the trails would be lost.

I want to be able to take my kids biking on these trails. I want them to enjoy the peacefulness of the trees. I want them to feel the accomplishment of completing a ride like I did, and still do. I want them to feel the wind upon their face as they ride down Mossy. I want them to fall and get up again. I want them to ride down Smiley, smiling like I did, and still do.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Elise Heide is 15 years old, and a sophomore at Marquette Senior High School. She loves playing volleyball and bike riding.