Spirit Mountain, Duluth Traverse Land $1M+ For Nordic, Snowmobile, Mountain Biking

DULUTH, Minn. – Spirit Mountain and the Duluth Traverse have landed more than $1 million combined to increase outdoor recreation.

Starting with Spirit Mountain, it’s getting roughly $1.2 million to expand its Nordic, snowmobile and mountain bike trails.

The state grant will allow Spirit to complete the third loop for its Grand Avenue Nordic Center, build connector trails up to the Skyline Chalet for snowmobiles and support a new snow-making pump.

Spirit Mountain says it’s all about more snow and more opportunities for high school and college teams, professional athletes and people just having fun.

“A lot of these people have dreams and goals of reaching the big times, hitting the national team, the Olympics, who knows, so being able to get out on snow as soon as they can and keep skiing on snow — it’s beneficial in so many ways,” said Eric Blow, outdoor operations manager at Spirit Mountain.

Spirit Mountain’s grant money is part of $12 million in state grant dollars being handed out to parks and trails in dozens of counties through the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission, which includes a second grant in Duluth that’ll give kids more access to the sport of mountain biking.

$167,783 will buy a fleet of new mountain bikes and fund the programming around the sport. The program will be mobile, too, and bring kids and teens onto the Duluth Traverse, which has 85 miles of mountain biking trails connecting Duluth neighborhoods

“The entry to mountain biking can be a challenge, it can be intimidating, it can be expensive, and it requires a certain level of skill safety knowledge. So the grant we received is designed to provide the programming instruction a welcoming environment transportation instructors,” said Jessica Peterson, parks and recreation manager for the city.

The Traverse still has another 15 miles of trail to be completed, so when it’s all said and done it will be 100 miles total.

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