Local trail system taking shape | PostIndependent.com

Local trail system taking shape

Cathy Tuttle

Within 10 years you will be able to bike on a regional trail system linking Glenwood Springs to Aspen, running from west of Parachute to Glenwood Springs, and leading from Carbondale up the Crystal Valley. Trails are great for us, great for the economy and worthy of significant public and private investment. Listed below are a few of the upcoming events in our valley’s trail systems. Stay tuned for ways you can help these trails move forward and take full advantage of them.

Until now, the LoVa Trail has only been a vision. Beginning in Glenwood Springs, the LoVa Trail was conceived as running the entire length of the Colorado River to the Mesa County line, west of Parachute. Finally, in spite of dramatic increases in construction costs, the design for the first segment of the LoVa Trail is almost complete. This first section will begin in West Glenwood, and span the 2.3 miles west to South Canyon. The Lower Valley Trails Group (LoVa) has raised over $2.25 million for this ambitious effort through, arguably, the most difficult section of the planned route.With Interstate 70 north of the river and the railroad to the south, there is little room for the trail in this rugged terrain. Nevertheless, bids will be accepted this fall, with construction to begin first thing next spring and completion by the fall of 2007. GOCO ($1,250,000), Garfield County ($400,000), Glenwood Springs ($150,000), CDOT ($280,000), and Colorado State Parks ($180,000) have been the major contributors to this historic effort.For more information, please contact LoVa Executive Director Larry Dragon at ldragon@lovatrails.org or 625-5658.

Construction of the Rock Bottom Ranch section of the Rio Grande Trail will begin in late July. This section will complete the connection between Carbondale and Aspen and will be a fantastic addition to the valley trail system. The railroad corridor between Catherine Store Bridge and Rock Bottom Ranch will be closed to the public during construction. Even though everyone is anxious to ride this stretch of trail, RFTA representatives ask that the public respect this closure. It is estimated that the trail will be open to the public by the end of October. Enjoy your riding summer and look for the grand opening celebration this fall. For more information on the Rio Grande Trail, please contact Mike Hermes at mhermes@rfta.com or 384-4973.

MidValley Trails Committee of Eagle County has started construction of a new trailhead and access to the Rio Grande Trail from Willits Lane and across Hooks Bridge. The trailhead will include parking and amenities. This committee is also in the preliminary stages of a planning process for a rough trail on historic Stage Road, which parallels Frying Pan Road. Finally, they are working on final details of a midvalley trails master plan that will depict current and future trails and trail connections in and around Eagle County. For more information, contact Jacque Whitsitt at jacquewhitsitt@comcast.net or call 927-2414.

Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers (RFOV) has great trail projects remaining in 2006.Glenwood Meadows Open Space Trail (Glenwood Springs) – Saturday, Sept. 16A vast new parcel of Open Space was given to Glenwood Springs with the development of the new Glenwood Meadows Mall. Help build a new trail to connect the Glenwood Community Center with these new public lands.Basalt Mountain Trail – Saturday, Sept. 30 (National Public Lands Day)This rugged trail on the backside of Basalt Mountain needs a major maintenance effort: trail widening, trimming the trail corridor and restoring trail drainage where possible.No experience is necessary. Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers and its project partners provide the tools, materials, leadership, and some great rewards including a dinner at the end of the work day. To volunteer, contact RFOV at (970) 927-8241, or rfov@sopris.net, or http://www.rfov.org.For more information on a Bicycle and Pedestrian Friendly Region, please contact Cathy Tuttle at 274-1875 or ctuttle@newcenturytrans.org. For information on New Century Transportation Foundation, please go to http://www.newcenturytrans.org.

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