Updated: August 06, 2021 07:42 AM
Created: June 23, 2021 09:58 AM
Mountain bikers were introduced to 15 scenic miles of trail in Chisholm in the summer of 2020 with the soft opening of Redhead Mountain Bike Park, but that was only the beginning.
Jordan Metsa is the Fund Development and Marketing Coordinator for the Minnesota Discovery Center which serves as the trailhead.
Metsa said, "The soft opening was helpful for gaining a better understanding of what we're going to do to maintain a quality experience here at Redhead Mountain Bike Park."
The park, named not for the hair color of its riders but rather the red ore they may track home on their tires, is adding 10 fresh miles for a total of 25.
"Redhead bringing in 25 miles of trails brings that ‘ride the Range’ effort between Giants Ridge, Redhead, Tioga, and Cuyuna up to 112 world class miles of mountain biking here now in Northern Minnesota," Metsa said.
All of that mileage makes riding the Range a multiple day event, and that’s the idea. Redhead is intended to put Chisholm on the map alongside other biking destinations and stimulate the local economy.
Metsa said, "Whether you're a gas station, a hotel, a small brewery, or a small business, these mountain bikers are patronizing those businesses. If we can create more of those miles, it just kind of equates to heads in beds and gas in tanks and we all benefit from a situation like that."
With the economic benefits in mind, the park won’t end at 25 miles. Redhead has plans to continue building more trail for people to discover.
The effort to expand trails across the state is something mountain biker Gary Sjoquist has had a close hand in for decades.
"I often tell people there's a lot of places in the United States where you can ride a mountain bike. There are very few places that are purpose built just for mountain biking,” Sjoquist said, "People, when they come to Redhead, they're just amazed by, first of all, the scenery, but just how well the trails have been built, and that's really kind of a calling card for Redhead."
The Grand Opening will be at the Minnesota Discovery Center at 10 am on Saturday. There will be events on the Range to celebrate the opening all weekend long.
Metsa said, "Come explore. It's definitely something worth seeing, and it's awesome because it's free and open to the public seven days a week."
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.
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