Trails Fest set for this weekend in Copper Harbor

Photo by Chris Schmidt, xmatic An unidentified cyclist enjoys the Copper Harbor trail system during the 2017 Trails Fest.

This weekend in Copper Harbor, the final event of the 2018 mountain biking season will be taking place, the 25th annual Bell’s Beer Trails Fest.

Nathan Miller, who serves as the executive director of the Copper Harbor Trails Club, is excited about the weekend.

“We’ve been doing it for a quarter century now, which is kind of crazy to imagine that a race that was started with just a few folks way back in the 90’s is still around today,” he said. “It’s gotten bigger and better every year. This year, we already are approaching record numbers with participants, and we haven’t even gotten to day of registrations.”

This year’s main events will include cross country races, a downhill race on Overflow Trail, a 10K trail run, three tier enduro races, and a junior fat tire cross country race.

“We have a 10K trail run as well as junior mountain biking races, and those are getting a revamp this year,” he said. “We’ll have some exciting new options for the three-mile kid mountain biking races.”

Aside from tweaking the kids’ race, this year’s events look to take the same shape as last year with the addition of more food vendors and some live performances from Joshua Davis on Saturday and The Last Revel on Sunday.

“This year, we’re going to have a couple more venders providing food during the event,” Miller said. “We’re also going to have more industry partners coming this year, so we’ll have quite a few companies bringing demo bikes and other stuff people can try out or purchase.”

The musical acts really brighten Miller’s mood when discussing the weekend.

“We have Joshua Davis, who is going to be playing music on Saturday,” he said. “(He) has kind of been making a name for himself on the national scale, so we’re really pumped that he’s going to come all the way up to Copper Harbor for the 25th annual event.”

Events like Trails Fest help sustain and create new trails in and around Copper Harbor.

“It’s a really cool way to celebrate all of what we’re doing up there, building new trails, supporting the local economy and, most importantly, having fun all season long and bringing it under one big event,” Miller said.

Participants from near and far come together to bike and run the trails of the Keweenaw for the weekend. Also, it draws some tourists for the last major weekend of summer.

“To bring everybody together under one celebration is a really cool way of showing how powerful silent sports like mountain biking are for this area,” said Miller. “Otherwise it’s just people out in the woods.

“This is kind of like the final hurrah for a lot of people before they close up shop or start to wind down for the summer. A lot of local businesses in Copper Harbor are always excited to bring people up one last time before it starts to slow down.”

Those who want to participate can still register. It costs $10 to attend both nights of music.