Celebrating the Len Hardy Memorial ATV Trail

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Len Hardy loved riding ATVs. And the Nashwauk man loved to share that passion and education on safe riding with others.

He helped create 19 ATV clubs across the region, held leadership positions with the ATV Association of Minnesota, and taught countless kids ATV safety. And he was a dedicated DNR Trail Ambassador.

Sadly, his life was cut short in an accident in July of 2018.

Wednesday, his family and others gathered in Nashwauk for the dedication of the Len Hardy Memorial ATV Trail.

His sons, Dave and Charlie, told us, “This is greatly appreciated. He would have loved this.”

Sara Gray, a granddaughter, shared, “He was always out there. We grandkids couldn’t wait for him to take us out on the trail. He’d teach us how to ride, let us steer.”

Speeches took place at the Veterans Memorial Park, as Hardy was also a member of the Army National Guard for 22 years.

Then the group rode down to the sign at the trail, where there was a ribbon cutting, and then they headed out on the trail.

The nine mile stretch is a very important connector, as Nashwauk was not hooked into any trail system before this.

Sara Thompson, a Forest Recreation Specialist for Itasca County, said, “It’s very exciting to have a trail have a grand opening. It’s finally here in a community that deserves it so much. And it’s going to be a hub to provide recreation, and it can be expanded out of as well.”

Funding from Yamaha and Iron Range Resources helped make this possible.

Mesabi Metallics and U.S. Steel worked closely with Itasca County on the actual path of the trail, since it crosses mining company.