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Mi-TRALE begins planning for Senior Citizen Fall Color Tour

While the Forests in the Western UP are covered in green, Mi-TRALE is already working on their 5th Annual Senior Citizen Fall Color Tour. This popular ride takes place the final Thursday in September every year. This years date is September 27th. The ride will once again be on the Bill Nichols (BN) Trail between Adventure Mountain in Greenland and Twin Lakes State Park.

Mi-TRALE will provide a morning ride and an afternoon ride. Those choosing to go on the morning ride will leave from Adventure Mountain and end at Twin Lakes State Park, where they will have lunch with the Senior Citizens taking the Afternoon Ride. The Afternoon ride leaves Twin Lakes State Park and ends at Adventure Mountain. Lunch is provided by Krupp’s Mini-Mart and is Free to all the Senior Citizens.

The Senior Citizens ride in what is called a ‘Side-by-Side’ ORV. Polaris Industries from Roseau, Minnesota, has traveled thousands of miles in the past 4 years to provide 2 Polaris Ranger “Crew Cabs’ for the Senior Citizens to ride in. Mi-TRALE volunteers, Pat’s Motorsports, and the Polaris Ranger Club provides other ‘Side-by-Side’ units for the Seniors.

“These Side by Sides are easy for the Senior Citizens to get in and out of, and very comfortable to ride. Yet, they also provide the experience of riding an Off Road Vehicle (ORV) on an ORV Trail, our BN Trail,”

This popular event has given hundreds of Senior Citizens the chance to see the Fall colors of the Copper Country State Forest, including the picturesque view from on top of the Firesteel and Flintsteel Trestles. The current Trestles were built in 1917 for the Copper Range Railroad. The BN Trail is named after the last President of the Copper Range Railroad, William Nichols. This abandoned railroad began operating in 1900, with the last passenger train running in the early 1970’s.

In addition to the fantastic fall color on this trail, there is a lot of history to this trail, It is as much fun for our volunteers that provide the rides to the seniors as it is for the senior citizens. We love hearing the stories the Senior Citizens tell us.

Right now Mi-TRALE is looking for people with Side by Side units to provide a ‘seat’ for the Senior Citizens to ride in. The volunteers are asked to provide rides to the Senior Citizens for both the morning and the afternoon ride. The morning ride would leave Adventure Mountain in Greenland at 9:00 am ET, and after lunch, provide a ride for the afternoon riders that would end at Adventure Mountain at approximately 3:30 pm ET.

Mi-TRALE provides bus transportation for the Senior Citizens from Cane Court in Ontonagon to and from the ride. The bus transportation is free to the Senior Citizens.

Once we know how many Side by Sides we have available, Mi-TRALE will then know how many Senior Citizens we can take on this ride

The Mi-TRALE Fall Color ORV Tour began as an idea between Dawn Buss-Glodowski of the Ottawa National Forest and Mi-TRALE. Ms. Buss-Glodowski has participated in the past rides and explained to the Senior Citizens what brings out the beautiful colors in the Forest. It is the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation Division Twin Lakes State Park Supervisor, Rich Pirhonen, that provides the Shelter at Twin Lakes State Park for the Senior Citizens to have lunch in. This shelter is provided to Mi-TRALE and the Senior Citizens at no charge.

This event has garnered national, state, and regional media attention, and was a featured topic at a Wisconsin ATV Association Annual Convention.

The success of this ride is seen in the tears of appreciation from the Senior Citizens, and is symbolized by the most common comment from our special Senior Citizens that take the ride. That comment is, ‘this ride means so much to me, as it used to be the only fall color I would see was outside my assisted living apartment”


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