By CHARITY SMITH
Ironwood - The Anderson Bluffs and River Trails Foundation held its second annual Project Connect Fun Nordic Relay on Saturday. Skiers had the opportunity to use special trail connections between ABR, Wolverine, Miners Memorial Park and Iron Belle trails.
The event did not have a start or a finish line and was not a competition. Relay participants formed teams and conducted a relay event of their choosing utilizing as much or as little of each of the trail systems as they chose.
Scott Anderson, director of the Anderson Bluffs & River Trails Foundation said he was very pleased with the outcome of the event. "The relay skiers feedback was overwhelming positive. Everyone was a winner as this was not a competition. Several skiers skied from their home on to the trail and skied three or four trails systems," he said.
Jason Slining skied 41K from his home adjacent to the Wolverine Trails all the way to ABR to have coffee with his cousin, Eric Anderson, owner of the ABR trail, Anderson said.
"Our primary objective was to provide a unique day that families could ski any and all of the four Ironwood Nordic trails in one day," said Anderson. "It was also to demonstrate how close the community is to completing these connections."
The four Nordic Ski trails organizations all partnered together to groom their trails and the crucial connections between the trails. He said he is very grateful for all the time and effort members of all the different trail systems put into grooming the trails for the event.
"Nordic skiing is not like the field of dreams. Not only do you need to build the trail connections, but you also need to groom them. Skilled trail grooming makes for a great ski experience. Hats off to all the hard working groomers in the community," Anderson said.
There was no required fee to participate, but Anderson said relay skiers were "so generous" with their donations to the foundation.
Anderson said the foundation is looking to receive feedback on the first two years of the event so that they can decide what the scope of the first phase of Project Connect will be, Anderson said.
"There are so many benefits envisioned connecting MMHP to Norrie Park," he said.
Feedback can be emailed to [email protected].