Monie Shackleford / WXPR News

The iconic Smokey Bear is celebrating his 70th birthday this month.  As WXPR Contributor Monie Shackleford reports, on Saturday, the Ottawa National Forest marked the occasion with a well-attended party at the Ottawa’s Visitor Center outside of Watersmeet, Michigan. 

The party for Smokey included food, games for kids, historic Smokey promotional displays, fire trucks from area communities, and of course Smokey Bear.  After the crowd sang “Happy Birthday,” to Smokey, he cut the cake with a firefighter’s axe called a Pulaski.  

Submitted photo

Cyclists can now travel easily between Land o Lakes, Wisconsin and Watersmeet, Michigan. 

The Agonikak Trail cuts through the Ottawa National Forest. 

The 12-mile stretch was originally built for snowmobiles but had been neglected over time. It’s now been upgraded to a compacted gravel surface

Alan Piel, Michigan Director of Wilderness Lakes Trails, says the trail’s location made it an appealing choice for restoration.