Get Outdoors: Birkie Trail - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Get Outdoors: Birkie Trail

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HAYWARD, WI -
The Birkie trail is a world renowned cross country ski destination.
Nancy Knutson, the Communications Director American Birkie Ski Foundation said, "The trail starts at the American Birkebeiner trail head which is just east of cable Wisconsin. And it extends all the way down to Hayward Wisconsin."
It's about 100 kilometers, or around 67 miles, long. But, unfortunately warm weather cut the race short this year.
"We were able to do just a small 5 km loop from the American Birkebeiner trail head and just turn it into the Birkie celebration." Knutson said.
But this trail is used for more than just one race a year. Its actually open to the public 356 days a year. 
Ben Popp, the Executive Director American Birkie Ski Foundation said, "I think one of the things that makes this trail really special it's all on public land people can access it year-round. You could hike on it, bike on it, cross country ski, you name it it's open to use all the time. "
The 100 kilometer trail is about 40 feet wide, making the whole Birkie trail about 200 acres of clean and clear trail for anyone to take advantage of. 
"It's mowed in the summertime, rocks are picked, The downed trees are removed it's groomed throughout the winter months and that's really unusual to find a trail of that magnitude available year-round." said Popp.
And all that maintenance adds up. Funds are raised from trail passes in the winter, members, and sponsors. 
Popp says, "On an annual basis we spend around $300-$350,000 on the trail and we've invested about just over $1.4 million in equipment to do that."
And this coming weekend, another growing sport is taking advantage of those constantly maintained trails. 
Knutson explained, "Next weekend we have the fat bike Birkie and the fat bike Birkie is the worlds largest fat bike race."
About 12-hundred fat bike racers are expected to participate in the fat Birkie this year. There are two races fat bikers can race, a 23 and a 47 kilometer race. 
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