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Skiers can expect new and improved Erkki Harju ski trail, thanks to grant

Last week the all-volunteer Erkki Harju ski trail board hosted its annual meeting open to the public at Superior Shores. The purpose was to update everyone on the focus of the trail, give the budget report, and plan for the future.

Erkki Harju Ski Trail board members include include president John Cron, treasurer Luann Udenberg, secretary Lisa Hebl, and equipment manager and head groomer Steve Lulay.

A financial report was given relaying some increased, but limited to this year only, revenue. Cooperative Light & Power, through their Operation Round Up grant program, donated money to help repair some grooming equipment and to purchase an additional, more specialized groomer to help with the expert loops as well as to be used on the connector trail to the high school for the Nordic ski team.

In addition, Cron applied for a Department of Natural Resources grant for trail improvement. This grant application was extensive and the trail was fortunate to be awarded these funds. This allowed many culverts to be replaced and repair of the expert loops to occur. The board is very grateful to Cron, the DNR, and city employees who facilitated and completed the extensive work.

The 9-kilometer ski trail is named after the late Erkki Harju, a Two Harbors resident who was instrumental in making the trail what it is today. The trail is located just north of Highway 2 past and through parts of the Lakeview National golf course. Funding for the trail comes from the DNR Grants-in-Aid program, the city of Two Harbors, and donations. The trail is groomed by volunteers who put in countless hours to make the trails "a thing of beauty" as quoted from a trail user. The trails are also used in the summer by hikers and runners.

Suggested annual membership donation is $10 per individual and $15 per family. Donations can be dropped in the donation box at the trailhead on Highway 2 or sent to P.O. Box 381.