Finishing touches being put on Rio Grande Trail
The last bit of asphalt was finally laid down on the Rio Grande Trail on April 30. There was a sense of delight at a job that was not only well done, but done ahead of schedule. The paving is finally complete, and for the next couple of weeks fencing and signage will put the finishing touches on the trail. A great deal of effort was put into this project, and even this last bit of trail, from CMC Road to the Carbondale park-and-ride, has some well-thought-out additions.Two 8-foot wide paths have been added, leading to the Carbondale Community School and to the Red Rock Diner’s parking lot. This will enable the Carbondale Community School parents to drop off their children at the Carbondale park-and-ride trailhead so their children can safely walk on the trail to school. Additionally, the neighborhood next to the Red Rock Diner now has a safe path to the rest of the trail going to the Carbondale park-and-ride.The Rio Grande Trail, which stretches from Glenwood Springs all the way to Aspen, will now provide cyclists and other recreational trail users safe access from Glenwood to Aspen.Also on May 1, the Rock Bottom Ranch/Catherine Store section of the trail reopened, so folks can now get off of Highway 82’s frontage road and safely commute to work or ride or walk for fun.Now that the trail corridor is open, come out and enjoy the rural, mountainous landscape in which the newest stretch of trail is embedded. The Roaring Fork River, private property and Bureau of Land Management lands adjacent to the trail provide abundant habitat for a variety of wildlife, including mule deer, elk, smaller mammals and birds. To preserve existing conditions and minimize impacts on wildlife and sensitive habitat, the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority will provide long-term management of the trail. This will include a seasonal closure of the trail between Rock Bottom Ranch and Catherine Store Bridge from Dec. 1 until May 1 each year. No dogs will be allowed on the trail between Rock Bottom Ranch and Catherine Store. Although dogs will be allowed on the remainder of trail, they must be leashed at all times. To protect the wildlife and to enable everyone to enjoy this spectacular stretch of trail, we ask that you please do your part by observing the trail rules and regulations. For more information on RFTA’s Wildlife & Ecological Resources Management Plan, trails rules and regulations on the Rio Grande Trail Corridor, please visit http://www.rfta.com and click on Trails or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 384-6437.Sabrina Harris is transportation manager for the city of Glenwood.
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