Multi-track trails coming to lower Red Hill near Carbondale |

Multi-track trails coming to lower Red Hill near Carbondale

Carbondale is moving forward with plans to build a trail connection from the former commercial property at the base of Red Hill near the intersection of Highways 82 and 133, recently acquired and preserved by the Aspen Valley Land Trust, to the Red Hill Trail network.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

After receiving three submissions in response to a request for proposal for the development of new multi-use trails leading to Red Hill, the Carbondale Board of Trustees ultimately selected Singletrack Trails Inc. as the contractor.

The project kicked into high gear when the former commercial property at the base of Red Hill was acquired after Aspen Valley Land Trust’s successful “Save Red Hill” fundraising efforts.

AVLT brought other stakeholders to the table, including the town of Carbondale, the Bureau of Land Management, Red Hill Council, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails, the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association, and Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers to discuss future development plans.

Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers has a trail build project on its calendar for July 24 and four or five different Tuesday nights when they will be asking volunteers to come out and actually build the trail.

“That will be a hiking trail off of this new property that will link up with the BLM’s trails on Red Hill,” said Carbondale Parks and Recreation Director Eric Brendlinger. “That is what is kind of driving the train here a little bit in the sense of we need that design of where the potential future other trails, which will be multi-use trails, will need to go and how they will link into that hiking trail.”

According to the Red Hill trails project proposal submitted by Singletrack Trails Inc., its services carry an estimated price tag of $49,840 — $19,950 allotted to Singletrack Trails Inc. and $29,890 to the Carbondale firm DHM Design.

Over 300 individuals donated to acquire the land, including numerous local donors, “so that is why the public outreach process was so important and a big part of our scoring,” Brendlinger explained.

“We wanted to make sure that those people who just recently donated money to acquire and to preserve that land … have a voice in this whole process,” he said.

Ideally, Singletrack Trails Inc. will hold three open house meetings for public input. The first will be in late May, and possibly on site in an effort to speak directly with trail users.

The second would potentially take place at DHM Design’s office in Carbondale in conjunction with the town’s First Friday in June.

The final meeting, also possibly in early June, would engage specifically with the Latino population.

Upon Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers completion of the Red Hill hiking trail, and after taking into consideration dialogue from the public and stakeholders, then Singletrack Trails Inc. will submit a detailed report of what the trails will look like and their alignment or alignments with other trails already in existence.

“There could be a directional trail, there could be a downhill bike specific trail, there could be a multi-use trail that connects to existing trails or extend existing trails from the BLM land to this property,” Brendlinger said. “There are just a lot of options there that is going to take some expertise from Singletrack being on the ground listening to the public’s needs and piecing together that plan with all of that data.”

While the entire plan’s timeline remains tentative, if all goes as planned, the Red Hill connection will see completion toward the end of the summer, and then the other multi-purpose trails will get laid out in the fall.

“One of the main reasons everybody is pretty excited about this across the board is to get people off of County Road 107 there,” Brendlinger stated. “It is a skinny mountain road with a lot of vehicular traffic on it and pedestrian traffic.

“This new hiking trail will be kind of the first introduction to getting off the road and how the future will be there,” he said.

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