Carbondale First Friday open house seeks input on Red Hill trail plans | PostIndependent.com

Carbondale First Friday open house seeks input on Red Hill trail plans

Megan Webber
Post Independent intern
Red Hill Council volunteers perform trail maintenance recently at the popular trail network on BLM land just north of Carbondale.
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Learn more about the Red Hill access trail project at redhillaccesstrails.com. You can find more information about upcoming workdays at rfov.salsalabs.org.

Trail design and construction contractors working with the town of Carbondale hope to involve the public in planning new trails that will provide access to the Red Hill Recreation Area.

Planning and design consultants DHM Design and trail builders Singletrack Trails will host an open house from 5-7 p.m. Friday at DHM’s downtown office, 311 Main St. in Carbondale. The event is planned to coincide with the height of First Friday festivities.

The town has been working in collaboration with the Aspen Valley Land Trust, which secured a key piece of commercial property at the base of Red Hill earlier this year, and project stakeholders. DHM and Singletrack Trails were hired to design and construct the new trails, and to gather public input as part of that process.

“As one of the most iconic recreational trail areas in the region, the planning process to make Red Hill an outstanding experience for locals and visitors is important to us all,” DHM Principal and project lead Jason Jaynes said in a news release.

“We want to hear from bikers, hikers and anyone with ideas on how to make the new access trails a welcoming, safe and enjoyable amenity for the town,” he said.

The open house will provide opportunities for the public to ask questions and offer suggestions on the alignments of the trails. The office will display bikes and hanging signs outside to indicate the open house.

The project kicked into high gear this spring after the former commercial property at the base of Red Hill was acquired through AVLT’s successful “Save Red Hill” fundraising campaign, which raised $1.35 million to purchase the 25 acres.

According to Carbondale Director of Parks and Recreation’s Eric Brendlinger, the funds came in donations from more than 300 people. The trail will give hikers and bikers a safer alternative route to access the Red Hill Recreation Area, he said.

Friday’s event will be the first of two open houses on the project. The second will take place Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and again from 4-6 p.m., at the site near the Red Hill parking lot on Colorado Highway 82.

A third open house will take place at a later date in partnership with the Valley Settlement Project. That event will take place in order to gather support and suggestions from the town’s Latino and Hispanic population.

Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers has a workday planned for July 24 to begin construction, if the town approves the trail plans by then. Anyone is welcome to show up that day and every Tuesday until Aug. 21 to help with construction. Those workdays will begin at 4 p.m. and end at sundown.

The goals of the open houses include gathering public feedback on the proposed trail alignments designed to improve safety, reduce user conflicts, eventually eliminate pedestrian traffic on County Road 107 and improve overall trail access and experience.

Brendlinger said the town is interested in hearing from the public what type of trails they’d like to see, and what types of trails are possible at Red Hill. Other project stakeholders include Red Hill Council, Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers, Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association, Garfield County and Bureau of Land Management.