Trail Maniacs trail running club members run trails year-round, unless of course there’s too much snow covering the trails. Trail Maniacs race director and founder, Dave Dutro, recently created the Trail Maniacs Foundation, a non-profit organization, to provide more winter trail use opportunities for trail runners, riders and hikers to get out when area trails are buried in snow.

“Our goal is to create more winter trail use in our area,” says Dutro. “Specifically, I want to purchase a multi-use groomer to groom trails for snowshoes, fat bikes and classic Nordic skiing on different trails in the region.”

There’s more to the foundation besides grooming winter trails, but he says he has to start somewhere. “I am looking at two groomers to start with. One is specifically designed for single-track and the other will groom single-track but not tight narrow stuff,” he says. He estimates the cost at around $7,300, but admits that “we will need more than that because we plan to raise funds to operate the machines as well. Personally, I will be donating my time, but I will need to cover operating costs. Eventually, as we grow we will be looking at more expensive sleds to groom longer trails.”

Currently, during the coldest winter months, Farragut State Park offers a 10-mile loop and Priest Lake State Park offers some multi-use trails. Off the cuff, Dutro mentioned some of the trails that would be ideal for grooming, pending property owners and managers permission, including the Empire Trails out of Spirit Lake and Canfield trails in Coeur d’Alene. A trail grooming partnership with Spokane County Parks is also something the foundation would like to explore.

Dutro notes that Nordic skiers have certain groomed trails, and snowmobilers have their own groomed trails, and he hopes the Trail Maniacs Foundation will open up other trails and different areas for fat bikers, snowshoers and trail runners. Follow the foundation’s efforts on Facebook. //