Ely’s Hidden Valley mountain bike trails take shape, with fundraising efforts underway to ensure completion
Ely’s Hidden Valley Recreation Area is seeing expanding outdoor recreation opportunities this summer, with the addition of nearly 10 miles of singletrack mountain bike trails slated for completion by October.
The new trail system, designed by Minnesota based Dirt Candy Designs, consists of six loops ranging from beginner to advanced level.
The first loop, a progressive skills loop for riders to practice and hone bike handling techniques, was completed in 2019, just south of the Hidden Valley Chalet.
Since then, the City of Ely has contracted with Kay-Linn Enterprises of Boulder, CO to oversee the project, and signed a lease with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to include the existing Nordic ski trails as well as the new mountain bike loops.
“The DNR, Forest Service, City of Ely and the ski club have worked hard to make these trails a reality. They will be used by visitors, kids, and adventurous adults,” said Ely’s Dr. Scott Anderson, who has spearheaded efforts to develop and secure funding for the project.
Grants from the federal Recreation Trail Program and the Iron Range Resource and Rehabilitation Board total $340,000 to date.
While Minnesota based Pathfinder Trail Builders came in with the low bid on the project, the funding comes up around $60,000 short of completing the 6th and final loop. That’s where the Ely Nordic Ski and Bike Club’s 225 Project comes in.
“It occurred to me that if 225 people each contributed $225, that would put us over $50,000 towards completing the project,” said Wayne Pasmick, Lead Groomer and Treasurer for the Ely Nordic Ski and Bike Club.
“We will use $30,000 to secure a matching grant to complete construction. The remaining $20,000 will be used for informational signage, new maps, trail marking, website upgrade and a winter bike fat bike trail groomer; making these bike trails available for year round use. So donate now, a full share or partial. Full shares will be honored on the 225 Project Board or existing wood sign-board,” said Pasmick.
The ENSBC has started a Go Fund Me site to receive donations.
A link to the page can be found on the Club website, elynordic.org.
Donations can also be mailed to PO Box 346 Ely, MN 55731.