Trail Volunteer Uses Traditional Tools to Connect with Michigan’s Rich History
Michigan’s rich history has much to do with the logging boom that took place during the late 1800’s. The trees were massive and the work was dangerous so joining this new frontier was not for the faint of heart.
Dan Dueweke, a volunteer for the North Country Trail and Little Traverse Conservancy says, “I mean you look at the names of places. ‘Dead Man’s Hill’, ‘High Rollaway’. Terms that refer to people being injured or how they got the logs down the hill.”
This love of history, the great outdoors and the use of traditional tools has become Dan Dueweke’s favorite pastime. “It just feels special to me to be out there using the same type of tools they used 120 years ago.”
He maintains a 5 mile stretch of trail and enjoys using the axes and saws he’s collected over the years. “I have maybe a dozen axes and maybe 30 or 40 saws,” explains Dueweke.
Back when he lived in Virginia, Dan served as an instructor and volunteer at Shenandoah National Park. For 20 years he shared his love of traditional tools with people from around the world. “They were following you along. You wouldn’t have a lot of people snoozing during the class sessions,” explains Dueweke.
Dan has had a passion for preserving the past and protecting trails’ future for decades. His hope is to make the trail a little better for the next person who walks through.