Governor Snyder Highlights Two Hearted River, Soo Locks and Universities in Annual Upper Peninsula Trip
Over the weekend, Michigan’s governor Rick Snyder ended his short annual trip to the Upper Peninsula. The trip was a busy one for our governor as he covered several important areas and also kept social media followers aware of his travels by using the #nerdup hashtag.
— Governor Rick Snyder (@onetoughnerd) August 11, 2015
Snyder’s main stops included:
- Soo Locks
- Northern Michigan University
- Michigan Tech University
- Two Hearted River
- Dedicating a highway in honor of Earl De Marse
The highlight from the trip was a stop at the Two Hearted River. Snyder’s visit to this amazing Upper Peninsula location coincided with the 10th anniversary of what’s known as “The Big U.P. Deal”. This 2005 deal helped preserve 420 miles of land for forestry, recreational, and conservation efforts.
This $57.9 million project spanned eight counties in the Upper Peninsula. Included in the deal was 23,388 acres of the Two Hearted River. This agreement and purchase by the state kept the land open to the public and also established key conservation efforts.
Prior to the 10 year anniversary ceremony, Snyder spent time on the river kayaking. While commemorating the anniversary of the deal, Snyder also cut a ribbon establishing a new effort. The new sign shows how efforts are being made to reconnect 35 miles of rivers and tributaries in the region. Keep in mind that the Two Hearted River is Michigan’s only designated “wilderness river”. The conservation efforts and re-connection project seem all the more appropriate after the more than $4 million in damage done by a 2012 fire that demolished more than 21,000 acres of trees.
Again, if you have never been to the Two Hearted River, I would recommend putting it on your list of things to do in the Upper Peninsula. The views are amazing and the setting is extremely peaceful. On our visit, we were three of five people there and you couldn’t hear a thing other than yourself talking. The drive is a little bumpy and will also show you the lasting damage from the fires. No word on if Snyder and his crew took Bell’s Two Hearted Ale with them like we did.
Other main stops on Snyder’s tour were the two large universities in the Upper Peninsula: Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan. At Michigan Tech, Snyder toured the Great Lakes Research Center. At Northern Michigan, Snyder learned more about their new invention program and even had a safety glass container pitched to him.
Snyder and his team were active on Twitter using the #nerdup tag. Snyder also provided followers with some cool state trivia that you may not know:
- $500.4 billion in iron ore is shipped through the Soo Locks each year
- With a population of 21,335 Marquette is the U.P.’s largest community
- Northern Michigan University first opened its doors in 1899 as Northern State Normal School and 32 students attended
- Sault Ste. Marie is the third oldest permanent settlement in the United States (Check out our guide to freighter watching here)
Rick Snyder was elected the governor of Michigan in both the 2010 and 2014 elections. He has strong ties to Ann Arbor, with his alma mater the University of Michigan and former employer located there. Whatever your political affiliation is, you have to respect the annual trip to the Upper Peninsula. Often, this important part of our state gets left out. Snyder’s visit likely added future tourism of many state residents who did not know about places like the Soo Locks, Houghton, or Two Hearted River.
Rick Snyder can be found on Twitter as @onetoughnerd. The “One Tough Nerd” moniker is a self-proclaimed nickname.