Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission planners recently visited two northern Minnesota regional trail systems that promise to be a part of an exciting multi-facility draw for mountain bike enthusiasts from across the country. Both parks are applying for Legacy funding through the GMRPTC after having achieved regional designation.
Tioga Park in Cohasset will utilize the unique terrain of the abandoned Tioga pit mine, currently managed as school-trust land. The city is planning for more than 20 miles of mountain bike trails, with green, blue and black difficulty classifications. Recent planning and trail alignment markings showed just how exciting this system will be. “Starting only with a vision of what ‘could be,’ it’s impressive what this community has accomplished the past few years to make this idea real,” said Joe Czapiewski, System Plan Coordinator for the GMRPTC.
Similarly, Lake County is planning to use an extensive network of County land overlooking the North Shore of Lake Superior for a unique mountain bike experience. Based in Beaver Bay, this trail will also provide a multi-day experience for cyclists. When built, it will utilize new trailheads developed to serve cyclists, ATV riders and the Superior Hiking Trail, each accessing their own independent and specifically designed trails. Czapiewski noted, “Great terrain and fantastic views of both Lake Superior and the inland hills are going to draw mountain bikers looking for a unique experience year-round.”
The GMRPTC has also designated mountain bike facilities in Cook County along the North Shore and at Detroit Mountain Recreation Area in Detroit Lakes as regionally significant. Combined with the MNDNR’s trails at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area and an extensive system in the City of Duluth, Minnesota is quickly developing as one of the premier multi-day mountain-bike systems in the country.
GRMPTC provides Clean Water, Land and Legacy amendment funding for city and county parks and trails in Greater Minnesota that have been designated as regionally significant and lie outside the seven-county metropolitan area.
For more information on the work of the GMRPTC and to view all the designated parks and trails in Greater Minnesota visit: www.gmrptcommission.org.
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