Amazing area

New Turtle Mountain Trails Association planning special events

Submitted Photo

Within the Turtle Mountains there are many places to enjoy the expansive North Dakota outdoors.

There are over 20-plus miles of mountain biking trails at Lake Metigoshe State Park that are perfect for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and fat tire biking in the winter and hiking and biking in the spring, summer and fall.

A few miles to the west are another 18 miles of trails on the Forest Service land located in the Strawberry Lake area that are open to hiking, biking and equestrian activities.

The Turtle Mountains are an amazing asset to the great state of North Dakota. A special group is working toward enhancing our trail systems so that more people can come and enjoy this beautiful ride! The Turtle Mountain Trails Association is a non-profit educational association whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve great trail experiences for mountain bikers in Bottineau County, and create a bicycle friendly community through cycling awareness, safety advocacy and promotion of bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation. The TMTA seeks to preserve and protect the Turtle Mountains’ diverse natural habitat, promote conservation, and become stewards of the land by providing mountain bike access and diverse riding opportunities on North Dakota’s public and private lands. TMTA seeks to engage our community through education, communication and unified action.

“As we enter 2019, I am witnessing firsthand the momentum growing over the work that this group is doing. We wish them success and will continue to work to go the extra mile to assist them in reaching their goals,” said Whitney Gonitzke, Bottineau County EDC director.

‘Dirty Turtle Gravel Grinder’

The first big event that this group is sponsoring to bring people to our community is a spring gravel race scheduled to take place on April 27, 2019. This race, called the “Dirty Turtle Gravel Grinder,” provides race options of 100, 50 and 25-mile distances. The group’s Facebook page has drawn considerable interest and they are hoping to get 100-plus riders this year. The race route takes people through the scenic Turtle Mountains and beyond. The group is also planning multiple events in 2020 that would include a series of three races; one gravel race, one mountain bike trails race and one on a winter fat tire bike course. The scoring would be cumulative and when done would give us King and Queen of the Turtle Mountains!

Mountain biking as a popular outdoor recreational activity, is a fun and exciting way to enjoy the many health benefits of regular fitness and cardiovascular exercise. Plus riding with others in clubs or groups provides the perfect opportunity to build personal bonds and make new friends. Mountain biking, more than any other activity, allows you to quickly get off the beaten path and enjoy the solitude and majesty of nature. What a great way to improve your overall health … physically, mentally, and emotionally.

The TMTA, as a grass roots organization, has truly stepped out of the box to create a wonderful experience for our community.