MARQUETTE — Hidden in the woods of Marquette, lies a trail that town residents use to enjoy the peacefulness of nature of the Smoky Valley.
Pioneer Trail is over two miles of relaxing views along a creek along the edges of Marquette.
The trail was brought to life in 2003, and with much time and thought, it was completed in 2013.
Fred Peterson wanted to create the trail because he believed it would be a good recreational spot for hiking and biking — and another attraction for Marquette.
"The city council agreed and so I proceeded to enter into discussion with the real estate office of Union Pacific and the Surface Transportation Board in Washington, D.C. and was successful in getting this segment rail banked," he said.
New additions to the trail include a nine-basket disc golf course, which is adjacent to the nature trail and Pioneer Trail and north of the Wolverine Sports Complex.
"The first tee begins at Fifth Street and has proved to be a challenging and popular course. One of the more unique baskets involves the throw under the railroad bridge," Peterson said. "We are proceeding with plans to add an additional nine-basket, which would qualify the course for tournaments."
Within the trail is a piece of history from Marquette — two railroad posts with lights that were moved to the entrance of the trail.
The trail has spawned new activity to Marquette, noted Peterson.
A mural of the trail was painted on a concrete wall at the north entrance to the Pioneer Trail.
Additionally, Peterson wanted the trail to not only be used for hiking and biking, but as an educational piece as well.
For the second year in a row, the trail will offer a Haunted Trail Hike on Oct. 28 north of the Sports Complex and will include parts of the Pioneer Trail and the nature trail.
The hike will include a scary story told at the beginning of the trail.
While walking on the trail, there will be scare stations related to the story along with spooky guests hiding in the trees. Entry fee is $5 for adults and kids 12 and under are free. This event is a fundraiser for Starlight Literary Club and is put on by the Marquette Lions Club in conjunction with the Marquette Chamber of Commerce. Volunteers are welcome to sign up to be a part of the hike.
Two residents of Marquette, Jerry Olson and Ron Miller, have been a big part of the trail's construction along with other volunteers.
"They recognized the value of the trail to the city of Marquette," Peterson said.
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