Short’s is joining forces with Glacial Hills Trails and Paddles and Pedals this winter to keep trails groomed for all to enjoy. Together, we can face any storm. Bring on the snow! Last year, Friends of Glacial Hills and the local municipalities that own the Glacial Hills property agreed to allow a portion of the Glacial Hills trail system to be groomed for winter fat biking using a Rokon, two-wheel drive off-road motorcycle with a roller style groomer. All of us at Short’s are pretty stoked to be a part of the first season of fat biking at Glacial Hills. While many of us regularly take part in hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing on the trails, our love for fat biking grows exponentially each year. We’re thrilled to be introducing new people to the sport through a trail system we believe in.
In addition to enjoying the trails, many members of the extended SBC family have taken on the role of trail stewardship. We talked with Tim Reicha, the Festival and Events Director here at Short’s, about his experience trail grooming. Tim is one of two people who regularly take the Rokon for a spin (alright, alright, it’s not really a joy ride, but it feels good to get out on the trails in any capacity). Tim is an avid fat biker and outdoor enthusiast, and is no stranger to these trails. He has helped with trail maintenance through NMMBA on the VASA and Vasa singletrack near Traverse City and through the Friends of Glacial Hills at Glacial Hills in Bellaire, but this winter has been his first experience trail grooming. “Grooming has been a continual learning process each time we head out on the trail. We anticipated this process, and expect it to continue through the end of the winter fat biking season.”
“I have definitely had an enormous amount of help. I actually got involved relatively recently,” Tim stated while speaking about those involved in the winter trail grooming effort. Others involved include, Brad Gerlach from Friends of Glacial Hills and Patrick Boyd from Paddles and Pedals. These dedicated individuals have been the driving force alongside Joe Short and other members of Short’s executive staff. Brad has been involved in planning the groomed course and spreading the word as well as preparing and maintaining the safety of the trail. Patrick has been the main groomer with Tim assisting in grooming when needed.
Glacial Hills trails are commonly used for mountain biking in the spring, summer, and fall and to be able to extend the biking season to four seasons is a huge benefit to fat bikers that live in or visit Northern Michigan. Tim proudly mentioned, “As a community member and Short’s employee I love to see the joy on people’s’ faces and hear the overwhelmingly positive comments every time I am grooming or biking at Glacial Hills. I think the fact that Short’s is about a mile away from the trailhead definitely will bring some people out to Glacial Hills. I think for folks driving out from surrounding communities, it’s nice to make a partial day trip out of riding, hiking, snowshoeing, or xc skiing at Glacial paired with a meal and beverage at Short’s!”
Interested in trail use?
There are between 4-5 miles of groomed trails with a couple connectors on the numbered fat bike trail that extend the ride possibilities quite a bit. The groomed trails are accessed from the Vandermark Rd parking lot. Snowshoeing can be done from Eckhardt or Orchard Hill lots, and backcountry skiing can be done from Orchard Hill.
Interested in donating?
Please visit www.glacialhillstrails.org for more information or to donate to the cause.