A new tourist attraction connected to the oil shale industry is coming to Ida-Viru County. More than 120 meters above sea level, "Moto-mountain" ("Motomägi") is due to be completed in Alutaguse Municipality this fall.
Containing 12 million tons of left-over materials (tailings) from the Estonia Mine, the area soon to be known as "Moto-mountain," ("Motomägi") will be open to all comers for a range of recreational pursuits. In addition to a kilometer-long motor track, a viewing platform is set to be built at the top of the hill.
"Circuits have been made so that cars can also drive up. Dozens of cars can go up here, big buses can come up here, so it's designed for different events. But, yes, there are more motorcyclists than average in the area, and so this mountain has attracted their interest. It's possible to hold motorcycle races here, quad bike races too, but also other things like cycling and walking. I believe that this mountain will be used for multiple purposes," said Enefit Power Board Chair Andres Vainola.
Once the facility is completed, Enefit Power will hand it over to Alutaguse Municipality, which plans to find a new tenant for the mountain. According to local tourism promoters, experience has shown that sites in the region related to the oil shale industry quickly become popular.
"This is one of the most exciting sites, and so there is yet another reason to come to Ida-Viru County. All these oil shale sites are different because the scale is much bigger. People have a great opportunity to have an active vacation there," said Kristina Ernits, tourism information consultant for Ida-Viru County.
The Estonia Mine's "moto-mountain," which has been in the works since 2010, was originally supposed to open four years ago, before work was suspended due to legal disputes.
"Unfortunately, we had a long dispute with the previous contractors. lasting two or three years. We had to take it all the way to court because they did not meet their construction deadlines. But, it happens, and now a solution has been found. Let's leave the past in the past, let's not dwell on history, let's look to the future with optimism," said Andres Vainola.
The construction of "Motomägi" will cost in the region of €1.5 million.
Editor: Michael Cole