Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ski the Rails

Keep the tradition going

Express Staff Writer

A map of the tour includes historical marker sites about the area.

For more than a decade, Ski the Rails has been an annual tour in which skiers of all ages and abilities can classic or skate ski the old Union Pacific right of way. The tour is a free, laid-back, cross-country ski event that will take place on Saturday, Jan. 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Wood River Trails.

"It's the community's greatest asset, and it's a great way to celebrate it," said Blaine County Recreation District Recreation Director David Keir.

Because it is a tour and not a race, there will be shuttle buses traveling the route for everyone who would like to participate. The free skiing event highlights the history of the old railway.

"We do historical signs along the way so people can stop and look where something use to be," Keir said. "There will be a wide trail groomed for classic and skate skiing as well as buffed out with aprons for stops. People can take their dogs as long as they are on a leash and they can ride the bus."

Along the trail there will be four aid stations presented by sponsors of Ski the Rails. Stations will include The Community School, Alpine Broadcasting, Power Engineers and the Idaho Mountain Express. Each station will have hot drinks, food and good company.

Additional sponsors include the Wood River Journal, KECH/KSKI Radio, the Sun Valley Brewing Co. Pub & Spirits.

"It's just a way to give back to the community, and we sell tee shirts and every year there is a new design," Keir said. "You don't have to do the whole trail. There are lots of options such as sleds with kids."

After the tour, everyone is invited to lunch at the Sun Valley Brewing Co. Pub & Spirits in Hailey until 2 p.m. with Sun Valley beers at happy hour prices.

For more details, call 788-2117.

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