The Iron Range Tourism Bureau announces nearly $45,000 in grant awards for trail projects in St Louis County.

“We're pleased to have a role in the development of trails in our region,” said Fred Seymour, chair of the Iron Range Tourism Bureau (IRTB) board of directors. “Trails are an important part of our visitor economy, outstanding amenities for everyone who lives here, and powerful recruiting tools for businesses.”

The grant was administered by the IRTB on behalf of the Northern St Louis County Trails Task Force, a group that includes representatives from user groups, land managers, private business and tourism. The TTF meets monthly and is open to anyone with an interest in trails.

“The Trails Task Force has proven invaluable to clubs looking to build or improve their trails,” said Bruce Beste, co-chair of the TTF, resort operator and co-founder of the Voyageur ATV Club. “It's a place to have questions answered by land managers, learn from other trail clubs, and help move trail projects forward.”

The TTF Grant Program is funded through the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation's Regional Trails Grant Program, and is intended to support projects of $10,000 or less. It differs from the IRR Regional Trails Grant in that the matching funds may include donated labor, materials, and equipment. The TTF program, which includes $50,000 in funding, will remain open until the funds are spent. An application can be obtained by contacting Pierce at beth@ironrange.org or 218-749-8161.

2020 Grant Recipients

Iron Range Off Road Cyclists: $5,000 for improvements to the Laurentian Divide/Lookout Mountain Trails; $1,637 for signage at the Maple Hill mountain bike trails; and $4,845 for signage at Minnesota Discovery Center for the RedHead Mountain Bike Trails.

Mesabi Outdoor Adventures: $910 for McDavitt Township cross-country ski trail improvements; $2,950 for a gravel bike route mapping project; and $1,180 to groom and map trails at the Laurentian Divide.

Friends of Vermilion Country School/Howard Wagoner Trails Club: $4,917 to complete the Ancient Cedar Forest Trail in Tower.

City of Chisholm: $6,000 to pave a multi-use trail near the Minnesota Museum of Mining.

Ely Igloo Snowmobile Club: $7,810 to reroute a snowmobile trail from wetlands to non-wetlands, and make it multi-use.

Range Trail Committee: $1,000 to finish dirtwork on a Laurentian Trail re-route project.

Crane Lake Visitor and Tourism Bureau: $2,300 for trail mapping project

Ranger Snowmobile/ATV Club: $6,320 to finish the Round Creek trail re-route project.

The Iron Range Tourism Bureau is a nonprofit destination marketing organization serving the communities of Hibbing, Aurora, Hoyt Lakes, Chisholm, Gilbert, Biwabik, Embarrass, Eveleth, Virginia, Mountain Iron and Buhl.

The mission of the Northern St. Louis County Trails Task Force is to foster the development and long-term sustainability of quality recreational trails and facilities in Northern Saint Louis County that meet the needs of residents now and in the future through cooperation with public agencies and private clubs/organizations.

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