ATVers invade Prospector Trail

Friday events: VIP ATV ride, City will hold ribbon cutting

Ready or not, ATV riders will invade the Ely area this coming weekend as part of ATV Minnesota’s Fall Ride and Rally.
The Prospector ATV Club is hosting this year’s event that had to be toned down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We had to scale back for this year’s event but next year we will be hosting again so we’ll get a chance to really put on a show,” said
Prospector ATV Club president Nick Wognum.
The event kicks off Friday with a pancake breakfast outside at Timber Hall with a VIP ride from Embarrass to Tower to following including an outdoor catered lunch from Fortune Bay Resort and Casino.
Later on Friday the city of Ely will hold a ribbon cutting at the Ely Trailhead Project starting at 4 p.m. On Saturday there’s a 12-pack of rides for ATV riders to choose from as they head
out on the trails.
“We’ve got ride leaders for each ride to make sure people get where they’re going safely,” said Wognum. “This week we actually had to turn off registration for several rides because we reached capacity - it’s a good problem to have.”
The rides, with starting points in Ely, Babbitt, Embarrass and Tower, are part of the annual convention of the ATV Association of Minnesota (ATVAM).
COVID-19 forced the Prospector Club to scale back on some event activities, cancelling the annual banquet and moving the group’s fund-raising auction from a live, standing-room-only event to an online auction on eBay.
But that hasn’t dampened the spirit of ATVAM and its members, who belong to 70 ATV clubs that build and maintain the state’s many outstanding ATV trails.
To allow for social distancing, registration for the event and the many rides ofdfered is also online, with all rides listed on the ATVAM website.
Rides vary from 25 miles to a 180-mile roundtrip from Ely to the Trestle Inn 10 miles from Lake Superior. That ride is already full.
“We were surprised that the furthest ride filled up first,” said Wognum. “That just shows we have a lot of people out there who love to put miles on.”
Over 200 riders have already signed up for one of the 12 guided rides.