Bike Report: Spirit Mountain’s summer return
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the summer of 2020 saw a spike in trail activity. But at Spirit Mountain, the trails remained empty.
Jon Regenold, Co-director of Resort Services at Spirit Mountain, said, “When the decision was made not to be open last year, that was a bummer, absolutely. We run a lot of programs out here. We have a lot of kids that come out, we have families that come out and have fun. The smiles and the laughter, and to not do that last year definitely had some pain for many of us.”
This summer, Spirit Mountain is making a comeback, welcoming hundreds of kids to their summer camps.
“To return to that, not only was it a joy for our guests, but it truly is a joy for those of us who get to work here as well,” Regenold said.
This season comes with the return of the familiar trails and the addition of new ones.
Regenold said, "We’re able to open the season with three new trails, and that’s really from the work of the volunteers."
Jeremy Ehlert was one of the volunteers building trail at Spirit Mountain on Monday. He says volunteering is his way of paying it forward for other riders.
Jeremy said, "Giving back to what I’ve also taken. I’ve been very lucky, and I think we’re all very blessed in Duluth, to ride the trails that COGGS have put forward. And it’s sort of a long lineage of different people that have been a part of it, so now’s my time and I’m glad to be here."
The trail maintenance workday was a collaboration between Spirit Mountain, Ski Hut, COGGS, and Earth Rider. These groups are also teaming up for on a new weekly event on Thursdays called, “Summer Nights at Spirit.”
Regenold said, "We’ve got plans for events for family and for our bikers and to be able to be on the lift and be around the base area, Grand Avenue chalet, it’s going to be a really good time."
In addition to new events, Spirt Mountain will be hosting old favorites. The Kraus-Anderson Bike Duluth Festival is back August 6th-8th.
"It’s really a fund raising event, but it’s really the highlight bike event of the year in the Northland. Downhill bikers come, we have families that come, a little bit for everybody," Regenold said, "It’ll be really good to return to that this year."
Every Thursday, WDIO News will bring you a story about the sport of bike riding. We will focus on the trail systems in our viewing area as well as equipment and bike maintenance.
If you have a biking story that you think we should cover, e-mail Brandon Weathers at email@example.com.