[This is from an ancient "Friends of Valley Spur News" (we're talking about 2001!) that I ran across, but I found Larry Treul's interview with David Worel interesting and thought I'd share]:
To Friends of Valley Spur:
Conversation with the Valley Spur Designer. The principal trail designer for Valley Spur is David Worel. Dave is an avid skiier and a forester. He has been with the US Forest Service for 33 years--25 of them in Munising. The following is from a recent conversation I had with Dave about Valley Spur.
Larry: So Dave, when did Valley Spur get started?
Dave: The trail was started in 1978 with just 5 km. We now have 44 km, both classic and skate.
Larry: Why did you start it?
Dave: We get over 200 inches of snow each year, and it lasts into April. We didn't have any real good place to ski, so we fixed that.
Larry: What is your favorite trail?
Dave: It depends on my mood. If I want scenic, I'll do B & H along the stream and down into the old growth. If I want a steady cruise, I'll go out Y. If I want hills, I'll do E, F, G or Z.
Larry: What was the most difficult trail to design?
Dave: The G loop. It took a long time to get it to ski right. Some hills went through 2 or 3 changes before we got them just right.
Larry: What was the most difficult trail to construct?
Dave: The B loop. We had to use all hand work to clear because we couldn't get any heavy equipment down by the creek. It also has 4 bridges over the creek. Each bridge has 10 support stringers made of Western Red Cedar with a deck on top. The Western Red Cedar stringers are old utility poles we got when the utility company took them down.
Larry: So why did you name the trail Valley Spur?
Dave: Back in the early logging days, there was a small railroad line or spur coming off the main railroad. The B trail along Valley Spur Creek is on that old railroad bed. Back then, they logged out the hardwoods and the wood was used to make charcoal to burn in the local iron ore smelters. So the name Valley Spur is derived from the old railroad logging days.
Larry: Are there any other historic features at Valley Spur you can tell me about?
Dave: Sure. Out on the Y trail, there are two sections of mixed pine plantations. They are the oldest pine plantations in the central UP dating back to approximately 1917. They were planted by students from Wyman School of the Woods.
Larry: Are those trees the oldest trees at Valley Spur?
Dave: Not at all. There is old growth along the B trail and on H (Worel's Woods) there are some very old maple and hemlock. The maple are over 200 years old and some of the hemlock over 300 years old. They were there about 100 years before Beethoven was even born.
Larry: Well, that's interesting stuff, to me anyway. I've got more questions but I'll save them for another time. One last thing--when will Valley Spur be open for skiing?
Dave: Don't know for sure. Just keep checking the weather, and if you have a computer--valleyspur.com. We'll be up to our eyebrows in snow soon.
3293 Trunk Lane
Gaylord, MI 49735