In recognition of his help developing Nordic ski trails in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula over the past 25 years, Northern Michigan University Nordic ski coach Sten Fjeldheim received a Partner in Conservation Award from the Michigan Natural Resources Commission in early October.

Doug Barry, a supervisor with the Michigan DNR, nominated Fjeldheim for the award after his latest focus on improving the Blueberry Ridge Ski Pathway on County Road 553 near Marquette, according to The Mining Journal.

“We had one hill system, for instance, where you had to go down a hill, and then make a 90 degree turn to go straight up a hill,” Barry said. “It’s difficult because some people kept going off at the bottom of the hill. I was new to the trail system last year, and he kind of stepped in. I would have fallen flat on my face without his help there.”

The 12-mile Blueberry Ridge Pathway is managed and groomed the DNR. There are seven loops of varying difficulty. Some of the loops are groomed for diagonal and/or skate stride. This trail also features a 1.7 mile lighted loop.