Published May 06, 2010, 08:29 AM

ATV trails would link up

Construction could begin as soon as this summer on a new all-terrain vehicle trail in Lake County.

Construction could begin as soon as this summer on a new all-terrain vehicle trail in Lake County.

Announced last week at a meeting for a newly-formed ATV club, the trail would run from the Lake County Demonstration Forest off the Drummond Grade and eventually connect with the Moose Walk and Red Dot trails in the Silver Bay area. Most of the trail would follow along a current snowmobile trail.

“There’s really no (legal) place to ride without looking over you shoulder,” said Eric Beck of the ATV Club.

Lake County Coordinator Matt Huddleston said the county has $125,000 from Iron Range Resources, which they got with the help of state legislators Sen. Tom Bakk and Rep. David Dill. It must be used by Dec. 31. That money would probably get them part of the way, Huddleston said. More funds will be needed.

Phase I of the project would go from the Demonstration Forest to the North Alger Grade while Phase II would eventually connect with the Red Dot Trail. Huddleston said there could be enough money to complete the first part.

The second phase may need to run on federal property. Huddleston said he would try and work out a temporary deal with Northshore Mining so the trail would go on its land. The county would then try and work out a longterm deal with the federal government.

There are also talks of getting businesses, especially those around Two Harbors, in the county to sponsor trails.

“Silver Bay loves the business it brings,” Beck said.

“If you provide other sources of entertainment … you bring more people to the community,” said Gordy Anderson of the Two Harbors Area Chamber of Commerce.

Last year the All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota broke a Guinness World Record for the “World’s Longest ATV Parade” with a total of 1,632 ATVs driving through Silver Bay. The record was later broken by a Utah group.

Scott Larson, former county commissioner and a member of the new club, said it needed to be formed because the trail will need to be maintained by a non-profit group. Grant-in-aid maintenance money from the state could only go to a group like the one forming in Lake County.

“The club’s job is also to promote responsible recreation,” Larson said. To hear more on the club, call 834-2846.