Copper Harbor Trails Club wins national grant

COPPER HARBOR – The bike trail system in Copper Harbor will be getting even better.

The Copper Harbor Trails Club was one of three winners nationally to receive a combined $100,000 in trail building assistance. The trail, called Overflow, will start about a third of the way up Brockway Mountain, ending near the bottom on M-26 where an existing trail comes up.

Bell Helmets and the International Mountain Bicycling Association funded the competition, which was primarily decided by a vote on Bell’s Facebook page.

“It’s spectacular that we’re able to win the grant on the national level,” said Lori Hauswirth, the club’s executive director. “It’s all due to the work of people voting on Facebook.”

Copper Harbor received 42 percent of the vote in the downhill category, followed by the Sandy Ridge Trail System in Oregon, which had 32 percent.

“The lead actually spread a little during the last week, so that push really helped,” Hauswirth said.

Hauswirth said she hopes to start work on the trail in July or August. International Mountain Bicycling Trail Association Trail Solutions will be coming to the site to build the trail, with the club contributing additional labor as an in-kind match.

The goal is to have the trail ready by Labor Day weekend.

“We’ve got a downhill race scheduled for Friday that week,” Hauswirth said.

In a statement, IMBA Executive Director Mike Van Abel called the Bell Built grants “another big step forward for mountain biking.”

“It was great to see how the online videos and the voting created a strong sense of community – even the groups that didn’t receive grant assistance will benefit from the experience of pulling together and raising awareness for their projects,” he said.