Accomplishments of 2019

A quieter — but still busy! — year for our organization as we await the rebuilding of the DWP multi-use trail (old railroad grade) for multiple users. This 6 mile trail around Spirit Mountain will connect the Ely Peak Loop (opened to horse riding in late 2018) to new trail opportunities that we’re pursuing. The city needs to rebuild a large railroad trestle bridge, and do other trail fixes, but we’re seeing progress. We continue to be an active and needed voice in the trail community!

– Guest speaker Mari Hardel from the MN Dept. of Agriculture spoke about invasive species encountered on the trails and how to minimize impacts of horses spreading invasive plants.
– Fun 1st Annual Classic Horse Movie Night with “The Black Stallion” at Zeitgeist Zinema with a silent auction.
– Navigated personnel changes in City of Duluth Parks and Recreation Department, welcoming new Trails Coordinator Matt Andrews.

Participation in the Outdoors Summit event with Duluth Trail User Groups, and began developing a coordinated media campaign for trail etiquette.
Worked with City of Duluth on trail signage for new Ely Peak Loop system.
Added a DAHTA display at City Hall with horse items and poster about our goals.

Received grant funding from the Minnesota Trail Riders Association to make additional needed repairs to the Ely Peak Loop in a remaining wet area.
Excellent public relations during the Northland Horse Fair at the Superior Mariner Mall.
Spoke at City Council meeting in support of the horse trail designation for the Ely Peak Loop.
Official ribbon cutting designating the Ely Peak Loop for horse riding!
Front page news coverage by the Duluth News Tribune outdoors writer, John Myers.

Great success again for Horses In Your Neighborhood community outreach about horses and horse ownership. It continues to grow each year!
Record attendance at the Spring Tune Up/Sensory Clinic for horse owners to desensitize their horses. Horse training clinic and Beamer/Electrical pulse therapy demonstrations.

Fun group hike to explore trail proposed by Buffalo House owner to see if it would work as a trail to connect to Mission Creek trail.
Surveyed DAHTA members to get ideas for making the organization better and attract more members.

Horse trail signs are finally installed by the City of Duluth on the Ely Peak Trail, marked and ready to ride!

Joined community of outdoors groups in Duluth at social event to highlight trails and activities in the Duluth area.

Economic impact of horse ownership

The American Horse Council Foundation released it’s Economic Impact of the Horse Industry report in 2018. DAHTA purchased the report specifically for Minnesota. A whopping 30.5% of households in MN contain horse enthusiasts! Direct contribution to MN GDP is $541 million; total value added to MN economy is $1billion! Check out the national infographic below.

Highlights of 2018

It’s been a great year for the Duluth Area Horse Trail Alliance. Check out our activities and accomplishments! Become a 2019 member and join the fun!

DAHTA Highlights of 2018

Trail Development:

  • Ribbon cutting for the Ely Peak Loop in the Magney-Snively Area to reopen repaired trail for horse riding!
  • Front page Duluth News Tribune coverage, as well as all three TV stations.
  • Worked with the City of Duluth on trail and regulatory signage.

Fundraising efforts:

  • Rummage Sale at Proctor Moose Lodge
  • Donation Boxes at local tack and feed stores
  • “Spring Tune-up” horse sensory clinic
  • Trailer Loading Clinic
  • Duluth Air Show Beer Tent
  • Grants acquired from Duluth Community Foundation for trail signage and mounting blocks
  • Minnesota Trail Riders Association grant and additional DAHTA funds used to repair final section of wet Ely Peak trail.

Fun Activities:

  • Spring trail ride at Boulder Lake
  • Horse round pen demonstration at “Spring Tune-up”
  • Participated in Esko Fun Days parade

Education & Outreach:

  • Horses In Your Neighborhood (educates the public about horses and horse ownership at 5 local barns)
  • Table at Northland Horse Fair in Superior, presentation made about DAHTA
  • Participated in Duluth’s Great Outdoors Party
  • Met with trail user leaders at Zeitgeist for informal discussion about shared trail use and ways to communicate trail etiquette.
  • Further developed relationship with Cross Country Ski Club for shared trail development and maintenance.
  • Participated in DWP Restoration Technical Advisory Group to discuss share use best practices, and provide
  • Developed DAHTA display for City Hall, joining other trail user group displays.

Reminder: Stay off trails until further notice

Horse riders, the newly reconstructed Ely Peak Loops will be closed through May, and likely into June, depending on conditions. Please watch for notice of trail opening. Work is still underway and conditions will deteriorate quickly if ridden on before it has set up. Thanks!


New feature! Log volunteer hours online

This is so important! Let’s show the city how hard we work to maintain our trails.

DAHTA volunteers (members or non-members) need to record their volunteer hours (including drive time) so that DAHTA can earn in-kind credits with the City of Duluth.

Log your hours on THIS SPREADSHEET. It saves automatically! Quick & easy.

Thank you for your time and effort. Let’s ride!

Accomplishments of 2017! Happy New Year!!

DAHTA Accomplishments of 2017

Met obligation to City of Duluth in raising $30,000 for trail improvements to the Ely Peak Loop in the Magney Snively Natural Area. Construction was completed in late 2017.

Attracted new members to reach year-end high of 75 members.

Facebook page attracted 1,040 followers. DAHTA “Share the Trails” video went viral 150K views and 3.5K shares.

Northland Horse Fair booth was staffed, selling horse treats and water bottles. DAHTA board members gave a talk about DAHTA and its goals.

Horse sensory clinic was held at Serenity Farms, raised $500  with 17 participants and  their horses. Great success which will be expanded in 2018.

Participated in City of Duluth trail planning, including ways to make trails that are shared with other user groups more horse rider friendly. (Mounting blocks, rail height across bridges, etc.)

Horses in Your Neighborhood outreach event in May was huge success at four barns with 100s of participants.

DAHTA submitted a response to a Duluth News Tribune Letter to the Editor to clarify horse use on shared trails.

DAHTA was featured in an article “Hot to Trot the Trails”  in magazine

Held annual fundraiser at Derailed Bar, many donations were secured, raised nearly $2,000 in spite of rainy night.

DAHTA paid for board member to attend a grant writing workshop

Grant written and received from Duluth Community Foundation for $5,000 for trail signage on the Ely Peak Loop.

Lots of fun at the Boulder Lake Trail ride held in June

September 19 trail bike ride on the DWP trail to familiarize members with challenges and opportunities.

Received confirmation that the Buffalo House wants to work with DAHTA on developing a horse camp.

Small group enjoyed the Dago Lake trail ride held in October

Six donation boxes were placed at horse tack and feed stores

Looking ahead to 2018…

  • Official reopening of the Ely Peak Loop to horse riders!
  • Developing signage for horse riders on the Ely Peak Loop
  • Plotting out the next trail goal toward connection with the Buffalo House
  • Planning horse camp with the Buffalo House
  • Working with Jay Cooke Park for expanded horse trails
  • Increase membership to over 100 members
  • Many fundraising and fun events to accomplish our goals!