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Prospector ATV event still on, now with 12 rides on Sept. 19

Lead Summary

ATV Minnesota will hold its annual membership event on the Prospector Loop trail system Sept. 18-19, 2020.
“We’re heavy on the ride part and light on the rally,” said Prospector President Nick Wognum. “With the pandemic this year we’re going to focus on having 12 different rides to choose from on Saturday. And we hope people return for a full Ride and Rally in 2021.”
The traditional VIP Ride will take place on Friday, Sept. 18 with everything being held outside. Participants will start from the fairgrounds at Timber Hall in Embarrass, ride to Tower for a lakeside catered lunch and then take the trails back afterward.
“Luckily we were able to find outdoor areas with plenty of room for people to spread out. Both Timber Hall and McKinley Park have plenty of space for social distancing,” said Wognum.
“This is a nice ride that will give people a first look at Prospector, plus they’ll get to enjoy a catered lunch on the shores of Lake Vermilion,” said ATV Minnesota President Ron Potter.
A team of volunteers from four communities has been working on the Prospector Loop trail system for over seven years. Prospector trails connect Ely, Babbitt, Embarrass and Tower together and also provide a link to the North Shore trail system in Lake County.
“There will be 250 miles of trails when all of the construction work is complete,” said Wognum. “Like everyone we’ve been impacted by the pandemic and there’s a couple areas that won’t be done until 2021. But the vast majority of routes will be open for this year’s event. And when we host again next year everything should be completed so there will be new opportunities. We’re also looking forward to the ATV Big Air Tour in 2021 as well.”
The 12 different ride options will give everyone from the novice to the experienced rider choices for a fun day out on the trails.
“Our meetings for this event have been unbelievable. We have a great group of people who are excited to show people what we’ve been working on,” said Wognum.
“We’ve put together 12 fantastic rides that will be led by our volunteer guides.”
The 2020 12 Pack Ride lengths vary from 25 to 180 miles with seven different start/stop points.
“You can choose anything from a nice leisurely ride to an all-day trip where you’ll go from near the Canadian border to within 10 miles of Lake Superior. Each ride is unique and we have staggered starting times from seven locations to spread people out,” said Wognum.
Just like the VIP Ride, participants will be required to register online prior to the event at
“On the website we’ll have descriptions and maps of each of the 12 rides so people will know what they are signing up for,” said Wognum. “The VIP Ride is limited to 200 people and each of the 2020 12 Pack Rides have specific limitations as well. My advice is to register online right away because some of these rides on Saturday are limited to 10 or 20 machines.”
ATV Minnesota is following state and CDC guidelines for the rides and the annual auction has been moved to an online format.
“We had planned to have the banquet and auction at the Miners Dry building at Ely’s Historic Pioneer Mine,” said Potter. “To keep with the guidelines we knew the indoor part would be difficult so the annual auction will be done online. We’re hoping this works out and people have the ability to bid whether they’re on the ride or not. It’s our major fundraiser and there’s always some great items to bid on.”
The group is also working on how to hold a general membership meeting and election of officers.
“We have some ideas that we’re exploring and we will let our members know how that will work as we move forward,” said Potter.

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