Glacier Nordic Club of Whitefish has received a $51,000 grant toward the purchase of a snow cat groomer to improve the Big Mountain Nordic Ski Trails. The funds are being awarded through the Tourism Grant Program at the Department of Commerce, Office of Tourism and Business Development.
The grant is part of $750,000 in grants recently announced by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock to develop and enhance tourism and recreation in 27 Montana communities. The grant funds will support $1.8 million of investments into infrastructure and marketing projects across Montana.
A new trailhead providing permanent access to the Big Mountain Nordic Trails opened this winter near the top of Big Mountain Road. Glacier Nordic Club built the new trailhead and access trail in partnership with Whitefish Legacy Partners on land donated by Whitefish Mountain Resort. This trailhead accesses 23 kilometers of trails groomed by Glacier Nordic Club and Iron Horse Golf Club on lands owned by Whitefish Mountain Resort, F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber, and the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.
“With the significant snowfall at the higher elevations, the new snow cat groomer will provide more reliable and improved trails for skiers,” said Cameron Blake, executive director of the Glacier Nordic Club. “The snowmobiles and implements currently used don’t have the weight or equipment to handle lots of snow, meaning it could previously take days to get the trails groomed after a big snowfall.”
With the addition of the Big Mountain Nordic Trails to the current trails in the area, the Flathead Valley is catching the attention of skiers nationwide as a destination for Nordic skiing and will provide a complimentary activity to ski vacations at Whitefish Mountain Resort.