Air Force fitness trail in K.I Sawyer is getting a makeover with some unique additions

North Central UP

K.I SAWYER, Mich (WJMN) – What once was a physical training trail for the U.S Air Force, now has sat abandoned for nearly 26 years. One Sawyer resident is looking to bring the trail back to life.

“What we need now is to actually rebuild the trail with the stations like the one behind me, needs a coat of paint, some of the other stations just need a complete rebuild, to make it safe and usable again,” said Ryan Lipinski, Health, Safety, & Recreation Program Development Specialist. “That’s what I’ve been working on for the last two and a half years, and we’ve finally got the trail cleared so you can use it for jogging and biking, dog walking, nature hikes, and all that kind of stuff. And in the wintertime, you can use it for cross country skiing and snowshoeing.”

The trail begins with a half-mile journey to the trailhead containing all of the various fitness stations and then ends with a half-mile journey back. Lipinski says this trail is designed to teach stamina, balance, and agility. The trails welcome any and everyone to come and get active.

“If you have like Parkinson’s like I do, all the stations around here, help with pretty much similar to the same physical therapy I do at the VA hospital, only it’s right here in my neighborhood so I can run around and do it,” Lipinski said. “It really doesn’t matter if you’re disabled or not or what your disability is. There’s something out there that you’re going to find, as you can see later there’s plenty of room for a wheelchair to come back here, may need some assistance.”

The trail will also offer a unique feature, bilingual signs.

“We are looking to put all the signs like the one behind me,” Lipinksi said. “We’re looking to make them be bilingual suddenly being in our normal English, but also be in the local tribe’s language as well so when you look at one of the nature signs or something, you’re actually learning another language, as well as learning about the plants and the animals, such around here.”

Lipinski has raised enough money for all of the materials needed to construct and refurbish the trail. On Saturday, May 15 at 9:00 a.m. Lipinski is asking for volunteers to work on the trail. If you are interested in volunteering you can contact Ryan Lipinski via email at ryanhlipinski@yahoo.com.

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