SAULT STE. MARIE -- The Sault Cycling Club is taking delivery of a gift that will help it groom new fat-biking trails in the city.

The City of Sault Ste. Marie has given the club a snowmobile, aiding in its Algoma Trails Network project.

"We look at ourselves and we're positioning ourselves as an outdoor community, an active community, a healthy community and a bike community," said Mark Santana, club president. "This is my own dream, but we're seeing large corporations move away from big cities for its employees to cut costs and to work remotely in a place like Sault Ste. Marie, where they have activities year-round. You can't beat that."

Over the winter, the club managed to convert 20 km of mountain biking trails in Hiawatha to dedicated fat-biking trails.

Santana said that's to capitalize on what has been a hot hobby among new enthusiasts.

"So now we see all these people that have mountain bikes, they ride in the summer are now buying fat bikes," he said. "Trying to find a fat bike anywhere in Sault Ste. Marie, they've sold out."

In the summer, the city ramped up its efforts to attract tourists and new residents alike by promoting its many outdoor activities.

With COVID-19 affecting those activities in warmer months, the decision was made to focus its sights on winter.

"So we're hoping to use this year as a building year," said Travis Anderson, the city's tourism director. "Certainly as we head into 2021, hopefully winter 2021, 2022, we will see some growth."

Anderson said the Sault now boasts the largest network of dedicated biking trails in the province.

Meanwhile, the cycling club said it wants to host events, like fat-biking races, on its trails in the future.