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About Us


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The mission of the Iron County Heritage Trail is

“To enhance, link, and preserve those unique aspects of this area’s heritage for the enjoyment of all.”


  • The Friends of the Heritage Trail will promote, preserve, and further develop the historic, natural and cultural intrinsic qualities that constitute Michigan Department of Transportation’s Historic Heritage Route designation .
  • The Friends of the Heritage Trail will develop and implement strategies to enhance the visitor’s experience to the Region by enhancing non-motorized connections, interpreting the trail resources and promoting member sites.
  • The Friends of the Heritage Trail will be a strategic organization serving Iron County’s historical sites and organizations, and diversifying the County’s economic base.


Friends of the Heritage Trail

The Friends of the Heritage Trail (Friends Group), a 501C-3, was formed in 1999.  The Friends Group membership is open to representation from:

  • Government entities
  • Ethnic groups that represent the diversity of the area culture
  • Heritage/cultural groups
  • Local organizations
  • Community at large
  • Area high schools
  • Ex Officio – Michigan State University Extension Director/Staff

2014 Officers:

Tom Lesandrini  -Chair

Al Pieper  -Vice-Chair

Katie Keller - Secretary

Pat Dishaw  -Treasurer


To join the Friends Group, download our membership form.




Since 1999, the Friends Group has successfully accomplished a number of Iron County Heritage Trail projects including:

  • Publishing a website and brochure;
  • Securing Michigan Heritage Route designation;
  • Installing interpretive signage at sites;
  • Hosting annual bus tours;
  • Completion of a Feasibility Study to further expand the Apple Blossom Trail and connect Iron River to Crystal Falls via a non-motorized pathway; and
  • Participation in a Western U.P. Heritage Routes Collaborative Marketing Strategy in cooperation with the Copper Country Trail National Byway.

The Friends Group continues to meet at least quarterly and build awareness of the historic resources throughout Iron County.


Thanks to our 2013 Heritage Trail Members and Sponsors:

Individual Members:  Pat Dishaw, Tom Lesandrini, Jack Schultz, Marcia Bernhardt, Harold Bernhardt, and Al Pieper.

Commercial Members and Contributing Sites:  Harbor House Museum, Mansfield Pioneer Church, GEI Consultants, Mastodon Township, Iron County Historical & Museum Society, Stambaugh Township, Mansfield Township, Village of Alpha, Alpha Historical Museum, West State Wide Real Estate, First National Bank of Crystal Falls, Peninsula Title & Abstract and UPPCO.


Support the Trail

The Friends of the Heritage Trail in coordination with Iron County are working towards constructing a 22-mile non-motorized paved pathway that will connect the communities of Crystal Falls and Iron River. Funding has been secured for the first phase which will connect the existing Apple Blossom Trail to Pentoga Park. To donate to this project, click here.





Contact Us

For visitor information about the Iron County Heritage Trail, contact the Iron County Chamber of Commerce at 906-265-3822,, or at 50 East Genesee St., Iron River, MI, 49935.


For website technical issues, contact Jerry Wuorenmaa, Western U.P. Planning & Development Region, at

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