Madeline Island Trails, Inc., is a 501c3 Non Profit organization and is run solely by volunteers.
Read more about our commitment to Madeline Island, its wilderness trails, and connecting people to the outdoors.
“Many hands make light work.” … That is the key principle behind the island’s newest non-profit service organization, Madeline Island Trails, Inc. On Wednesday, November 4, 2020, after lots of discussion and research, a group of islanders met to form a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to “developing and maintaining a recreational trail system on Madeline Island for use by the general public, to protect and further the responsible use of open space on Madeline Island and to lessen the burden on local government for the maintenance and development of recreational trails.”
After doing xc trail grooming and maintenance on the island for the last two years, I’ve learned just how much islanders value and love island trails and how willing they are to pitch in on trail maintenance, but I’ve also come to realize that the future health of island trails will depend on more than the work of a few dedicated enthusiasts (think “Keith Sowl”!).
Add to that the arrival in recent years of a small but passionate group of hikers with a dream to create a hiking thru trail from La Pointe all the way to the north end of the island. That group met several times during the summer to explore that dream and figure out whether or not it was realistic. We spent lots of time in the woods and even invited a professional trail builder from Ashland, Will Krift, to talk with us and take a walk on both existing and proposed island trails. We also heard from a number of islanders who were excited about the possibility.
As a result, we’ve formed Madeline Island Trails to better organize volunteers to help with trail work as well as charitably raise funds for trail maintenance and development. In the near term we will create a website and Facebook page to post information about what we’re up to as well as post trail conditions for both xc skiing and hiking. We also want to get more people involved in caring for the trails.
Going forward we will need lots of help … Many hands, so to speak … like all the volunteers who worked this fall on a new winter ski trail off the Capser/Nucy Meech trails just outside of town. We would like to invite anyone with a love of island trails and an interest in helping to join us. We’d also love to hear from people who know the history of existing trails or have ideas of their own for how this work might best be done.
If you have a question, a comment, or you want to get involved, please drop me a line or give me a ring. Thank you all in advance for supporting our work. “Many hands…!”
See you on the trails,
“Going for a leisurely walk in the forest feels like getting a big ol’ hug from Mother Nature.”
– Jamie Erwine