Ely Gearing Up To Host State Convention, Complete New Trail

February 2020 Powersport News The Ely Echo

The Ely, MN, area will host a major ATV event in September.

The local club is going all out to make sure the new Prospector Loop trail system is completed in time.

“We are very excited to host the ATV Association of Minnesota Ride and Rally event which serves as the state organization’s annual convention,” said Nick Wognum, president of the Prospector Alliance and the secretary of the state ATV board.

The Ride and Rally kicks off on Friday, Sept. 18 with a VIP ride leaving from Embarrass after a pancake breakfast at the Timber Hall.

“We would like to show some of our elected officials and others what kind of trail system the Prospector is for northeast Minnesota,” ATVAM President Ron Potter said. “The section from Embarrass to Tower has some very scenic locations and we’re looking to have lunch on the shores of Lake Vermilion.”

Friday evening the ATV Big Air Tour will perform in Babbitt with a series of high flying jumps by everything from motorcycles to ATVs. “Getting the ATV Big Air Tour to come here is a really big deal,” said Wognum. “They have performed all across the country and have been a big hit at the Hay Days event every year.”

On Saturday the event ramps up with a pancake breakfast in Ely followed by guided rides throughout the 250-mile Prospector Loop.

“It’s been interesting planning rides on sections of trails that aren’t built yet but we’ve got everything lined up for the trail to be completed by September,” said Wognum. The Prospector Loop connects Ely, Babbitt, Embarrass and Tower along with the Finland and North Shore trail systems.

“The one thing to keep in mind with the Prospector is your gas gauge because some of our sections take you into remote areas like the Trestle Inn which isn’t far from Lake Superior.

“Plus we have shorter segments so if you don’t want a long ride we can accommodate that as well. We also have the Echo Trail as an option to ride to Crane Lake and check out the new bridge over the Vermilion River and the trails they have put in place,” said Wognum.

The Prospector Alliance was formed in 2013 with representatives from each community. Volunteers have been meeting monthly to make the trail system a reality.

“Right now we’re used to seeing groups of snowmobilers coming to our communities and spending money. ATV riders will do the same thing and provide a boost to our local economy especially in the shoulder seasons,” said Wognum.

Following the different trail rides in the area on Saturday, there will be a banquet and auction at the Miners Dry building on the historic Pioneer Mine complex in Ely.

“We have a great group of people who have already been meeting for several months to plan this event and they are doing a fantastic job,” said Wognum. “Businesses should look for a sponsorship letter and we’re hoping for good support from the community. It’s taken us a long time to get to this point and we’re very excited to host the state convention.”

For more information, a schedule of activities, and to register to attend, go to the ATVAM website: atvam.org.

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