Beaver Creek trail near Rifle reopens |

Beaver Creek trail near Rifle reopens

Heidi Rice
Post Independent Photo/Kara K. Pearson W/ HR STORY Norman Carpenter, left, walks with employees from the Rifle Ranger District White River National Forest, Cathy Kahlow, second to left, Kristi Ponozzo and Dave Silvieus on the newly opened Beaver Creek Trail Saturday morning. The use of the property which the trail runs through was donated by Norman Carpenter. The trail lies about eight miles south of Rifle.

After being closed for six years, the Beaver Creek Trail south of Rifle is now open to pedestrians, horseback riders and other nonmotorized traffic.

The White River National Forest officially reopened the trail, eight miles southeast of Rifle at Tepee Park in the Beaver Creek area, on Saturday morning, “The new trail will provide important recreation and hunting access to National Forest lands at the head of Beaver Creek and the Mamm Peaks area,” said Rifle District Ranger Dave Silvieus.The trail has been closed since 1997, when a private property owner refused access to the land, according to Larry Sandoval, assistant district ranger. But the subsequent landowner has agreed to grant an access right of way in exchange for the Forest Service allowing him to haul logs through Forest Service property.

“This is an important trail which runs through National Forest land for one mile, through private land for two miles and back to Forest Service land to the Battlement (2160) Trail,” Sandoval said. “It is the closest access to the Battlement Trail from Rifle.”Prior to 1997, access to the National Forest lands south of Tepee Park was granted by permission through an existing private road around Tepee Park. The landowner who subsequently purchased the property then refused to allow any public access.On Aug. 16, 2002, a new private landowner provided the White River National Forest a legal easement to construct the Beaver Creek Trail through the property, restoring public access to connect with the Battlement Trail.

“We expect a lot of big-game hunting, horseback riding and hiking on the lands accessed by this trail,” Silvieus said.The year-round trail is open to hikers, horseback riders and snowshoers, but snowmobiles and ATVs are not allowed. The public is also asked to respect the private land that the trail passes through.For more information, visit or call (800) 865-8337.

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