The Iron Ore Heritage Trail traverses 47 miles across the Marquette Iron Range in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. The rail-trail, which was designated as a National Recreation Trail in 2018, shares and celebrates the area’s rich mining history with interpretive signage, artwork and connections to museums along the way. On your journey, you’ll see many relics from a bygone era: mining shafts, forges, furnaces and other historical structures.
The trail follows several former railroads, some dating back to the 1850s, built to carry the iron ore from the mines to the Lake Superior harbor: the Marquette and Western Railroad; the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railway; the Soo Line; and the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad. From Ishpeming west to Republic, the route is an unimproved dirt trail open for hikers, equestrians, mountain bikers and ATV use.