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2:14 PM Fri, Sept. 21st

‘Hail the Trail’ fundraiser to benefit new trails in Prescott National Forest

17 new miles of trail built in Emmanuel Pines area

Over the Hill Gang members work to smooth a new trail in the Emmanuel Pines area during a volunteer trail-building day. When complete, the new trail system will be known as Spence Basin. (Rob Hehlen/Courtesy)

Over the Hill Gang members work to smooth a new trail in the Emmanuel Pines area during a volunteer trail-building day. When complete, the new trail system will be known as Spence Basin. (Rob Hehlen/Courtesy)

With the 2018 “Hail the Trail” fundraiser launching Thursday, March 8, Whiskey Off Road event promoter Epic Rides has announced that money from last year’s fundraiser was used to build more than 17 miles of new trail in the Prescott National Forest.

The announcement of the new trail miles in the Emmanuel Pines area was made in conjunction with Epic Rides’ local beneficiary Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance (PMBA).

“Hail the Trail started in 2017 as a way to benefit non-profit trail-building organizations in the Epic Rides Off-Road Series host communities of Prescott, Arizona, Grand Junction, Colorado, Carson City, Nevada and Bentonville, Arkansas,” stated a news release from Epic Rides.

Participants purchase as many $5 raffle tickets as they wish for a chance at winning one of four well-equipped mountain bikes, with all proceeds benefiting the host communities’ trail building organizations.

After receiving $8,693 from Epic Rides in 2017, PMBA put the money toward the Emmanuel Pines trail project in the Prescott National Forest.

Once complete, the trail system will officially be known as Spence Basin.

Starting last July, PMBA logged more than 574 hours of trail-machine-operator time, as well as 2,235 hours of volunteer labor provided by both PMBA and the “Over the Hill Gang” volunteer trail-building organization on the Spence Basin project.

“To date, more than 17 miles of new multi-use trail is finished – just over halfway to the 32 miles complete system goal,” the news release stated.

“Epic Rides’ contribution to the Spence Basin project through Hail the Trail helped us build about half of the trails approved

by our District Ranger for the area,” said Brent Roberts, PMBA board member.

“Through a combination of paying a highly experienced trail machine operator to do rough clearing, cutting and benching, and hand finishing by PMBA and Over the Hill Gang volunteer crews, we’re building super fun, high-quality sustainable trails for very low cost of about $570 per-mile,” Roberts added.

Through Epic Rides’ contribution and a successful year-end fundraiser coordinated by the International Mountain Bicycling Association, Roberts also reported that PMBA is very close to having the entire project funded, with all trail construction expected to be complete by late summer 2018.

“Hail the Trail shows appreciation for all the hard work trail-building organizations in host communities put towards the trails we utilize, and beyond,” said Todd Sadow, Epic Rides president and co-founder. “It’s an honor to raise funds for PMBA while supporting the development of trails that perpetuate a healthy community and work as a year around tourism draw.”

The 2018 Hail the Trail program kicks off March 8, giving away four brand new mountain bikes – each worth more than $6,000 – after each Off-Road Series event. The more tickets purchased, the better the odds of winning while enabling more trail to be constructed. Tickets are available for purchase at: www.epicrides.com.

More information on Epic Rides and the Off-Road Series, is available at: www.epicrides.com or by following Epic Rides, @epicrides on Instagram and Twitter.

More information on PMBA is available at: www.prescottmtb.com.

Editor's Note - This article has been updated to correct the fundraiser's launch, per Epic Rides.