Friday, January 27, 2012

Skiers to take to the rails

Annual event promotes history of the valley


By EXPRESS STAFF

The annual Ski the Rails community cross-country skiing event offers aid stations on the route from Ketchum to Hailey. Courtesy map.

Combining the valley's history with its future, the popular Ski The Rails event provides a great opportunity for the noncompetitive skiers in the community to participate in the weeklong Sun Valley Nordic Festival.

Hosted by the Blaine County Recreation District and the Hailey Chamber of Commerce, Ski The Rails takes place tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 28, and is a free cross-country ski tour along the former Union Pacific Railroad tracks (now called the Wood River Trail).

The tour starts at 10 a.m. in Ketchum at Serenade Lane, where muffins and hot chocolate, provided by Perry's Restaurant & Bakery, will be on hand to warm up participants before the trek down valley to the finish at Myrtle Street in Hailey.

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Once in Hailey, skiers can board a free shuttle to the Sun Valley Brewery on Main Street, where live music and local beer will be served.

Volunteers from the Community School, Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley and the Recreation District will be at four aid stations along the tour with snacks and beverages to keep skiers happy.

Interpretive signs along the trail provide skiers with snippets of the area's history, and while the official start is 10 a.m. in Ketchum, this is not a race and participants can hop in anywhere along the route.

Shuttle buses to Ketchum leave the Sun Valley Brewery in Hailey starting at 9:30 a.m. and the shuttle between Myrtle Street and the Brewery starts at 11 a.m. The last bus north from Hailey is at 2:45 p.m. Dogs are allowed on the trail and on the buses. For more information, call 578-2273 or visit www.bcrd.org.




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