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GMRPTC Director’s Report: May is here & it’s all things bikes!

Below is a message from GMRPTC Executive Director Renee Mattson. You can reach her at

The weather is feeling much more like summer, and in addition to blooming flowers and greening grass, it’s biking time!!

After four years in development, the Mountain Bike Trail Development – Guidelines for Successfully Managing the Process was officially released during a May 15th news conference at the State Capitol. This guide is the premier manual (one could say the world’s MOST comprehensive mountain bike trail development resource) for land managers who want to build sustainable and purposeful trails.

The 242-page manual covers the full scope of the building process, from planning to permitting to execution. GMRPTC led the manual’s development, with Rock Solid Trail Contracting and the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) partnering throughout the project. And kudos to author Jake Carsten who wrote, sourced photos, and worked tirelessly to create a comprehensive guide. This resource is available at NO CHARGE to all Minnesota land managers and others who seek information about trail building.

At the press conference, Chair of Legacy Finance Rep. Leon Lillie came to congratulate GMRPTC on the endeavor and said a few words about his love of mountain biking and the value of the guide. He also noted the tremendous impact of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in Minnesota.

Thanks to GMPT members Gina Hugo, Brad Harrington, and Karlin Ziegler for joining us at the event, as well as Elizabeth Wefel and Alex Wildfang from Flaherty & Hood for their attendance and skilled photography. Also in attendance were Commissioners Rick Anderson, Jen Foley, and Jonathan Wolf, as well as System Plan Coordinator Joe Czapiewski. It was a great showing for Greater Minnesota.

And speaking of biking…

The Duluth Traverse applied for and received a Connecting People with the Outdoors grant to create a mobile mountain bike fleet that will go out to the neighborhoods and youth centers, increasing access to the bikes and instruction. On May 25th, a media event was held to announce the new fleet and programming, and kids from the Valley Youth Center were some of the first to enjoy the new bikes (and helmets). The photos below show the bikes, their legacy logos, and the kids having fun in the sunshine.