A 130-mile loop for all-terrain vehicles would connect four communities and two state parks, if organizers can secure nearly $1 million in funding and state approval.
Prospectors Loop would link the towns of Ely, Babbitt, Embarrass and Tower, along with Bear Head State Park and the new Vermilion State Park. Final touches to complete the project application are underway and the $977,000 plan will be submitted to the Department of Natural Resources by March, according to Trail Prospectors Alliance president Nick Wognum of Ely.
He said the bulk of the loop, roughly 100 miles, will come from existing snowmobile trails, so only about 25 miles will require new trails.
"Snowmobile trails can go over bogs and swamps, where ATV trails can't," he said.
The group will seek state and federal funding.
So far, Wognum said he hasn't heard of any opposition, but the alliance is willing to sit down and talk to any members of the community with concerns. The alliance board includes retired DNR employee Ron Potter.