Skiers again mapping out Nordic trail plan |

Skiers again mapping out Nordic trail plan

The White River National Forest is accepting comments on the West Elk Multi-Use Club application to mark and groom up to 20 miles of existing roads and trails for cross-country skiing near the Buford/New Castle Road northwest of New Castle.

“Any approved marking and grooming would comply with Forest Service standards for winter trails,” said a White River National Forest notice.

If approved, the project would be implemented this winter.

The area under consideration is about six square miles, along the east side of County Road 245.

Kay Robinson, the trails committee chairperson for the West Elk Multi-Use Club, envisions a marked trails system along the lines of other trail networks on the Grand Mesa and Shrine Pass.

Trail system users could park at the West Elk parking lot, which is now equipped with an outhouse, Robinson said.

Robinson said the club has worked on the project for three years. Last year, the Forest Service derailed the club’s proposal over concerns it might impact lynx habitat.

“I think the Forest Service has gotten that all worked out,” Robinson said.

Forest Service representatives were not available for comment.

The club’s proposal allows snowmobiles in the general area, but they would not be allowed on cross-country trails approved for marking and grooming.

Snowshoers and dog sleds would be allowed on the groomed trails.

Marked trails are needed for safety reasons, and also to keep them visible after snowstorms.

“We might even name the trails if enough people want it,” Robinson said.

Trail grooming would be done by snowmobiles, or snowmobiles pulling a grooming device.

Comments can be mailed to the White River National Forest Rifle Ranger District at 0094 County Road 244, Rifle CO, 81650; faxed to 625-2352; or

e-mailed to

The comment deadline is Jan. 12.

Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534

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